Debt-Free at Last!

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.
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I am Not Recovered

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.
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A 12 Step Prayer Book … and What’s Next

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.
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So, How Much Time Does DA H.O.W. Take?

For the first year and a half in DA using the H.O.W. approach to the tools, I hated it most of the time. I felt so put-upon and couldn’t figure out how on earth there was time to do it all. I wanted to quit at least a dozen times. I got myself into a tizzy at least twice a week over how much time this program took, wasting time that had nothing to do with working my program on being upset about working my program.

Each time I lost a sponsor, as we all do, that was it. I was leaving. I was getting out. But I knew that if I did, I would surely go under as this was a way that worked for me.
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Daily Inventory is Important

For most people, tomorrow, being New Year’s Day, is the time to make resolutions. We, in DA, are blessed to have instructions on how to check daily whether we are living by our resolutions. In fact, by doing so, we make a habit of integrating resolutions into our daily life, instead of once a year with no accountability for what happens after.
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History of DA

If you don’t know the history of Debtors Anonymous, you might want to read about it here: http://debtorsanonymous.org/about/about.htm.
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It’s Specific, Not Different

As stated in the Debtor’s Anonymous Preamble: “The only requirement for membership in Debtors Anonymous is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt.

The DA program gives us suggestions for ways to do so, including:
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Program Burnout … a Plea to Sponsors & Members

Throughout my over two decades in recovery programs, I have seen people leave due to program overwhelm. Most notably, I have seen sponsors push sponsees, as well as sponsees push themselves, to do more service than they can handle.

We walk a tightrope. Yes, we do these programs to have a life, but how do we find time to both live our new life and stay true to our program, giving back what we have so generously been given?
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Day 2 and Beyond Without a Sponsor

In my last post, I showed you what it takes to have your first day of abstinence in DA using the H.O.W. approach when you don’t yet have a sponsor. So what next?

For days two and beyond, you continue with the daily practice of:
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If You are New and Don’t Have a Sponsor…

I wanted to write a post specific to the issue of what to do if you don’t have a sponsor and want to work DA using the H.O.W. approach. Although this is covered in the post Sponsors are Not Your Higher Power, I think it bears more discussion.

It is especially challenging for newcomers to become motivated enough to get started without a sponsor because, after all, you aren’t sure what to do and want guidance. So you may keep waiting to begin. However, all of us have had to continue our daily program without a sponsor at one time or another. Newcomers just need some guidance on exactly what to do to get started. So I am going to tell you, which means that there is no longer an excuse to get on the road to a new and better life right now! 🙂

Remember, you are committed to recovery and a Higher Power, not to a person.
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