“Ways & Means”

This post is from a contributing DA H.O.W. member:

Ways & Means, an electronic meeting in print for the fellowship of Debtors Anonymous, is published quarterly by the D.A. General Service Board. It is a forum for sharing the experience, strength, and hope of D.A. members, groups, and other service bodies.
DA Ways and Means (W&M) 2013, Quarter 1, Page 2

I just wanted to take this opportunity to discuss how much I appreciate the Ways & Means newsletter. All 12-step literature is helpful, but I really appreciate opportunities to read about debtors as offered by both the free Ways & Means newsletter and recovery stories on the DA website.

Debting is a little tricky for me to translate from the Alcoholics Anonymous texts, particularly when it comes to my own diseased thinking. Being able to read stories of the experience, strength, and hope of others freely on the website or downloaded onto my device makes a real difference for me.

When I first started DA, I was talking with a friend who is a long-timer in AA, and we were discussing The Doctor’s Opinion section of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and how it applies to debting. In this section, Dr. Silkworth describes how addicts have both a physical allergy to their substance, and a mental obsession that keeps them returning to it.

I could see the mental obsession for debting, but couldn’t translate the physical allergy. She suggested that maybe the physical allergy might be the buzz or high I get from financial transactions, particularly those that involve debting. This makes sense because, for me, there is a sense of entitlement when I use someone else’s money for things I want.

The DA Ways & Means newsletter helps me remember I am not alone, nor am I cured. I am so lucky that it’s been over three years since I had much worry or concern about finances. I no longer wake up panicked in the middle of the night. But reading other people’s stories helps me remember that horrid feeling pretty distinctly. I don’t have to graduate from this program, and there are lots of sources of hope: my outreach calls, meetings, and the wonderful DA specific literature that is available to us all.

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