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.
As I approach four years of recovery in DA H.O.W., I am stunned at how much vagueness I still experience … and grateful that I have a program that helps me continue to grow.
I came across this fabulous article on the YNAB blog that showed the power of the spending plan and the importance of revisiting it periodically (in our case, with a PRG) to modify the spending plan as our needs change. The article was written by Jesse Mecham, founder of YNAB.
Please note that this is not DA or 12 Step material, but I thought the concepts were valuable for those of us working DA.
You certainly don’t have to use the YNAB software to appreciate this article.
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.
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.
Recently, I’ve spoken to a number of people who don’t incorporate accruing in categories as part of their spending plan. The first requirement of membership in DA is a desire to stop debting. There are no rules about accumulating or working your spending plan in any particular manner.