$49K is a lot, more so if it's just spending.
Mine wasn't this high, but a few years ago I had $31K in debt and was underemployed, spinning my wheels, living off the credit cards. Not fun, very stressful, sickened and heartbroken at what I had let become of my finances.
I got busy. I created a job for myself with a former employer, started catching up all the other bills I was behind on. It took a year or so to become current with everything. Then I got myself a Dave Ramsey emergency fund, but I kept it at $2600, which was 2 months of bare bones bills as my job was shaky at the time.
I couponed, I learn to cook more from scratch (still working on this), no eating out, cable tv went, I quit smoking. We together worked odd jobs, delivered pizza menu's in the nieghborhood (paid to walk and exercise!), we cleaned 2 office buildings every weekend for almost a year. We dumpster dived! We hauled scrap metal in the truck. We bought storage units that went to auction, we had massive yard sales and craigslist sales. We've eBayed and Half.com'ed a lot of stuff too. I love thrift stores and buying second hand, the thrill of the hunt or a great score.
The debt is gone, in some ways we've had a lot of fun along the way. The satisfaction that I took control of this aspect of my life is the greatest gift to myself. Paying off that debt, I was never so proud to do so.
It can be do-able. I considered BK, but I choose not too.
Finally, another poster mentioned the "Living Like No One Else" (www.llnoe.com
) forum, and I would totally recommend if you have any interest in Dave Ramsey and a more focused support community. I am a member over there as well, same screen name. You can also watch a lot of stuff on Youtube as well. Dave R, Mary Hunt, Suze Orman (personal gag..), Gail Oxide (sp?).
You might also be able to watch some episode's of "Til debt do us part". It's a candain show, but good all the same.
If you take nothing else from this wake up call, at least be proud of yourself of facing the facts. It can be overwhelming, and this is a growth opportunity. You have the ability to take control, or continue to let this control you. Best of luck to you and yours.