Click here to listen on our podcast site, “I Cant Stop Spending!”
As I write this, it’s a little over a week before Christmas and Hanukkah. And it came to me that it’s the perfect day to begin a recovery program or to re-commit to recovery around compulsive spending. What better time to let your addiction know that you mean business then to affirm your commitment in the midst of the frenzied spending around the holidays.
In fact, if you suffer from any addiction, now is the time to get the help you need to become and stay sober or abstinent or clean or solvent or authentic or whatever describes your addiction. This is the season of excess, whether it’s food, money, sex, alcohol, people-pleasing, anxiety, sadness, anger, or whatever else you are powerless over.
I’ll tell you why this came up for me today. I attend a Debtors Anonymous (DA) meeting where we read and share on DA pamphlets. This week, while working through the Recovery from Compulsive Spending pamphlet, we read and discussed “suggestions that have helped many D.A. members recover from the pain of compulsive spending.” (from the pamphlet)
I am grateful to report that I finally paid off the last of my debt a couple of weeks ago! This is truly a miracle. In the late 1990’s, I first came into DA with $22,000 in debt. I paid that off and found all kinds of reasons to justify leaving the program by 2001.
Fast forward to 2009. I crawled back into DA a broken person after accumulating approximately $34,000 of new unsecured debt and trying to figure out how on earth I would send my son off to college. DA HOW healed me, and one day at a time, I lived within my means and committed what I would spend before spending it. I had PRGs around my debt, paying for my son’s college, and any other financial issues that came up.
In April, I celebrated six years of back to back abstinence from compulsive debting. But it has become clear to me recently that I am still a seriously compulsive spender. And I now truly understand why the primary purpose of Debtors Anonymous (DA) is not incurring unsecured debt.
If we just never had to spend money again, we wouldn’t have a problem, right? But unfortunately, we must learn to forge a new relationship with money that doesn’t include incurring unsecured debt. As I’ve written before, we must walk the razor’s edge.
Now that the Daily Reader is finished, I’ve been thinking about some other book ideas. Right now, I’m working on two of them that should be done in a few weeks. I’ll be posting more details as they near completion.
As a part of that process, I thought about creating a 12 Step Prayer Book. Over the years, I’ve basically just typed or cobbled together what I could find.
I must admit that I don’t usually focus on the tool of awareness. Compulsive debting and spending are all around us and I think I am somewhat desensitized.
But I just read a book that opened up my mind to some new ideas for increasing my awareness. The book is called “Bought Out and Spent! Recovery from Compulsive Shopping and Spending.” In it, author Terrence Shulman gives a lot of food for thought about awareness by including some great statistics and a list of movies to open our eyes.
I love documentaries, but never really thought about whether there were movies directly targeting our addiction. Here are the two from his list that seemed most interesting to me:
Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 248 days written!
It was brought to my attention that the current DA HOW questions document contains Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) material that is copyrighted and AA has asked that this information be removed from the questions that are publicly offered.
I don’t have the original Word document, but I did my best to clean up the PDF and remove this material. This only affects a limited number of questions.
I kept the references to the book name and page number for the material I removed. I believe all the removed material can be purchased through Amazon or AA, and includes, “Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers,” “Pass it On,” and “Bill W.” (I believe this is the correct book).
UPDATE ON 2/27/15:
I created a folder to make getting these documents easier. Now, if you go to http://tinyurl.com/dahow90 you will see the 90 questions document and a folder with questions for the other steps.
I have replaced the old file with this redacted version on the lower right side of this website.
Please talk to your sponsor about using these questions.
Also, I am not responsible for any errors or issues with these questions. I had nothing to do with writing them. I’m just trying to do a service by correcting this issue and making the questions available for those working the DA HOW program.
Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 236 days written!
There are two fantastic resources for members of Debtors Anonymous that you may not know about.