The Final Straw

Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 175 days written!

Yesterday, I nearly lost my solvency. More like I was about to throw it out the window or, as my husband said, just because the boat has a leak, do you really want to sink it?

I don’t handle stress well. Does any addict? So I’ve been having a huge amount of “buyer’s remorse” about my decision to start a new business at the same time I’ve lost 1/2 my income. I look at the behemoth of a printer I bought (to make art prints and greeting cards) with loathing since I cannot really make it work properly (though a conversation with Epson did help to make it somewhat functional). I checked into returning the beast, but it was not an option.

I’ve written about my decision not to dive into my Savings to fund this endeavor, but used up the $2,200 I had accumulated in other categories, money which could certainly have served as padding. My meager spending plan is tight, very tight, which already makes me feel an urge to let loose and spend recklessly. Though I’m making these decisions in concert with my PRG team and sponsor, it’s still my choice in the end and I have to live with the consequences. Still an addict, in the excitement of the moment, I foolishly thought it would be easier to live with the results.

So when I called the dentist yesterday to check on my upcoming dental cleaning and the office manager told me that they suddenly decided to drop my insurance, the dam burst open.

Hysteria is a mild term to describe the tantrum I threw, tears rolling down my face, curse words soaring through the air … after I hung up. My poor husband was simply in the path of the storm and despite the incredible support he provides, I was none too pleasant to him (yes, I did make an amends).

At that point, in my addled, addict brain, it made complete sense to take $2,500 or $3,000 to invest in this business from my Savings because … well, screw it … the universe is conspiring against me and I’ve tried so hard to do the right thing … so I deserve to do what I want.

Yes, I should definitely have a free-for-all because I now have to buy dental insurance because it took me years to find a good dentist and I’ll be darned if I’m going through all THAT again! My rage was at myself as well for not thinking through the fact that I was simply playing a shell game with my money by leaving myself no cushion at all. I felt ashamed at my poor judgment.


My poor husband, who has seen what havoc I can wreak in my addiction, was pretty rattled by my defiant attitude.

It is amazing how my addict mind can use adversity as an excuse to blow the whole house to pieces.

Who, in their right mind would think, yes, I now have a situation where I will most likely need to dip into my savings … so let’s just spend it all?

A compulsive debtor and spender, that’s who.

Thankfully, I pulled myself together and found that I could buy an equivalent plan and keep my dentist for very little money. Then, I thought through the repercussions of spending to cover up the pain, of destroying my life and nearly six years of recovery, all because of a small bump in the road.

I’ve now come back to myself. Thankfully, my Higher Power and those around me are there to remind me of the truth. I wrote ten gratitudes this morning. Still feel raw and scared, but just for today, I’m not even considering any foolish moves. And instead of beating myself up about the decisions I made, I’ve enlisted help and am in process of developing a business plan to actually move from fantasy to reality with my art business.

This post makes me feel extremely vulnerable. But I think it is vital that we not only share when it’s easy to stay solvent with money, but when it is hard, when we are struck with a series of unfortunate events, whether of our own making or not. I’m so grateful that I made the decision to continue working my program for another day. For me, that means committing what I spend before spending it. What a great relief to have boundaries around my spending just for today. By sitting through the pain, by using my tools, by waiting it out, I get to see, once again, that the terrible obsession will pass.

2 thoughts on “The Final Straw

  1. Hi Sober with Money – thank you so much for sharing. I’m a newcomer, and you made me realize “again” that my debting hurts those I love. I was a quiet debtor – pretending everything is wonderful and scheming “until I got caught” by my husband. It’s been credit cards, our mortgage, bills, and over spending. I’ve suffered his deserved wrath, causing him to not trust me. That has been the viscous cycle I’ve created for the last 27 years. The End of that part of my life was 3 and half months ago, when I entered DA. I’m working to forge a life of honesty, being true to myself and those I love.

    I’m curious about your printer (I’m an artist) – what model did you get? And what made you decide on that specific model? Did you purchase it at a store or through the internet? Did the warranty run out?

    • Hi Kathie, thanks so much for your comment. Congratulations on your decision to change your life through program. Despite my miserable rant today, it truly has been a miracle for me. As for the printer, I got an Epson R3000 from B&H Photo. Have only had it for a week. Was going to get the Artisan 1430, but this one uses pigment ink and can handle heavier paper. What kind of art do you do?

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