A History Lesson

I started reading the new edition of the Currency of Hope, the Debtors Anonymous book describing its program of recovery and containing stories of recovery. I began reading the chapter covering the history of Debtors Anonymous. I’ve read this information before, but this time, I had a revelation.

If you don’t know DA’s history, it’s quite interesting. The original members had a very hard time figuring out the bottom line of our addiction. They thought, at various times, the problem was due to a lack of saving, will power, and more. But despite trying a variety of methods to address the addiction, such as committing to daily deposits into savings accounts, members were not recovering.

Finally, they came to believe that the bottom line was not incurring unsecured debt. I’ve always had a bit of an issue with this because some people come into DA with no debt. And for me, debting was the final straw because of my compulsive spending, not the first option I chose.

But today, I realized that what I take this to mean is that I must live within my means. When I do that, it’s impossible to debt, right? So if you need what DA offers, but cannot relate to the primary purpose of DA, which is to not incur unsecured debt one day at a time, simply translate that to mean that you commit to living within your means one day at a time.

In the end, we all just want to be sober with money, whether compulsively debting, spending, anorexic, underearning, or hoarding. Through the miracles of the program, we learn how to care for our financial needs in healthy ways, which includes not incurring unsecured debt one day at a time.

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