This article was just so amazing that I had to let you know about it. You know I don’t normally believe in New Year’s resolutions, but so many of these 16 goals for the coming year absolutely spoke to my beliefs around actions we can take to live in recovery from compulsive spending:
I’ve never read anything quite like it. 🙂
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 just read the article “I had to Debt: A Debtor’s Myth” on page one of the second quarter of 2012 Ways and Means. It is without a doubt the clearest and finest expression of what it means to work this program successfully that I have ever read.
Reading this article changed my thinking about my recovery focus. I realize that paying down my existing debt is simply taking care of a symptom. The real measure of recovery in my program is how many days I have accrued not incurring NEW unsecured debt. For me, as of today, that number is 1,649.
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:
If you are brand new to DA (or new to the DA HOW concept), it may all seem overwhelming. But this is your first chance to practice living one day at a time and keeping it simple.
As a beginner, here is what I did:
1. Cut up all your credit cards and cancel all your accounts. Yes, this may seem terrifying, but the only way to stop debting is to stop using unsecured debt. Leaving even one (“just for an emergency”) is like keeping a bottle of liquor in your house for guests when you first get sober.
2. Write down every penny you spend and the category in which you spent it. For instance, $2.07 coffee out. Be diligent and vigilant in keeping track of everything you spend.
3. Get to as many DA or DA HOW meetings as you can. Here is a link to live meetings and here is a link to phone meetings.