June is the one year anniversary of this blog. For at least a year prior to inception, I felt increasingly nudged, then pushed, to write about my experience, strength, and hope in recovering (one day at a time) from the disease of compulsive debting and spending.
Where I am in My Recovery Path
While I have 15 years back-to-back abstinence in another fellowship, I only have four such (one day at a time) years in DA. So, while I am not a long-timer by any means, I am grateful that:
- I have not incurred any new unsecured debt since April 25, 2009.
- As of now, I have repaid over $20,000 toward my original $33,000 (plus) debt ($13,248.45 to go).
- I have a spending plan that allows me to live within my means.
- My spending plan accrues in categories so I am prepared when bills come due and able to purchase discretionary items by accumulating in associated categories.
- Despite being on disability, I have money for both needs and some wants.
- I have a sponsor, network, and PRG team that help me with difficult spending decisions. I am no longer alone.
- I no longer spend impulsively, even when I want to do so.
- I have learned to live more in today even when there are upcoming challenges.
- I have experienced having characters defects removed (on a given day). For instance, where I might have once boiled over with rage, I have instead felt calm and stayed quiet. Because of this, my marriage has become strong and loving instead of contentious and constantly teetering on the brink of collapse.
- When I experience a character defect relapse, I try to learn from it and recognize that perfection doesn’t give me the opportunity to grow spiritually.
- I have a lot more acceptance of the things I cannot change than ever before.
- Working the Steps daily through reading, writing, and a daily 10th Step review has helped me find a stronger connection with a Higher Power and the ability (most of the time) to handle challenges more calmly (what I would call a VERY gradual spiritual awakening).
The Purpose of this Blog
Writing “Getting Out from Going Under” has meant the world to me. But I always knew this blog was a finite project intended to help others figure out how to work the nuts and bolts of a DA program, while also giving them insight into the H.O.W. way of using the tools as well as instructions on working the Steps.
For instance, while there is a lot of literature about spending plans, I never felt that any took me by the hand to teach me step-by-step how to put it all together. That was really a key component of my initial vision, to provide an in-depth manual on how to do so.
In addition, many of us need more than instructions, we need to understand financial concepts and reasons for performing certain vital tasks required to be financially responsible in Recovery. For example, there are people who need to understand WHAT it means to reconcile a spending plan with a bank account and WHY it is important to do so, BEFORE teaching them HOW to do it.
It is my hope that I have succeeded in providing some foundational material to help a complete newcomer find information that works in tandem with a sponsor and PRG team, in addition to creating instructional, spiritual, and conceptual material to aid in overall DA recovery.
Even if you don’t want to work all the tools in the way that those working DA H.O.W. do, I hope you will find guidance and support here for such universal DA topics as:
The fact is, I feel that I have said what I came to say about how I work my DA program. While this blog is not conference-approved or endorsed by DA, the way I work my program not only works for me, but for many others as well. All I’ve done is pass on what I have learned.
The “Getting Out from Going Under” blog will remain here indefinitely as an archive of resources.
I am truly grateful to the network of people who have supported “Getting Out from Going Under,” both those who know me and those readers who don’t. Thank you to all who contributed posts and comments. Writing this blog has been a profoundly fulfilling way to express my gratitude and give back what I have so generously been given. Thank you for allowing me to be of service.