I’ve had a misconception of what recovery from compulsive debting and spending means. Somehow I thought that sobriety with money guaranteed me financial wealth, security, and monetary reward (along with the fame that I craved). As if that Higher Power I was urged to believe in was really “HP Santa,” whose sole job was to reward me as I saw fit for being a “good girl” and doing the right thing.
How wrong I was.
Following Step 10 in the Big Book, there is another set of promises, which are read less often at meetings. These are glorious promises, directly related to the disease and I have experienced them in all their glory. We call them the “hidden promises” and they are found on page 84 of the Big Book.
Here is the final post on the DA Promises.
9. Acceptance and Gratitude will replace regret, self pity and longing.
I love the skill of acceptance. It helps me get through hard times and releases me from the past’s stranglehold. Acceptance doesn’t mean that I just sit in a bad situation or feelings. Acceptance means that I am not fighting my current reality. I come to see what I can change and take the next right action to do so. The Serenity Prayer is a wonderful reminder that I use often.
Moving on with more DA promises.
5. We will realize that we are enough; we will value ourselves and our contributions.
How quickly and severely I judge myself for every misstep. I always looked at the glass as half empty. Today, I am working toward seeing it half full, though this is a hard habit to break.
We are continuing with a discussion of the DA Promises.
3. We will live within our means, yet our means will not define us.
Ah, this one is crucial to my serenity. Not comparing myself to others shifted for me with recovery. Ironically, when I was a “big spender,” throwing money around for gifts, dinners, etc., I was never jealous of others. I lived in delusion. It wasn’t that I was trying to fool others. It was that I believed the lie that I had lots of money. In truth, it wasn’t really mine at all, but the credit card companies’.
DA has its own set of promises, so we can gratefully look forward to even more benefits of working our program. I’m going to break up the discussion of the DA Promises into smaller segments than the Big Book Promises (which was one giant post).
There are three sets of promises offered to us in Debtors Anonymous:
- The Big Book Promises
- The “Hidden” Promises in the Big Book
- The DA Promises
The Big Book Promises
The Big Book, which is our instruction manual, gives us the steps to take to recover from our disease. It also tells us what we can expect to happen to us if we do the work they suggest as a program of recovery. We call them “The Promises.” In the Big Book, they are on pages 83-84.