(Discretionary) Urgency is Our Enemy

It has recently become clear to me that urgency is one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of weapons used by our disease to trick us into relapse. Along with adrenaline, urgency is a powerful drug that can drive us to behave counter to our best interests, blinding us to the potential consequences of acting while in its clutches.
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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 Debt is a Debt is a Debt

Recently, I’ve been hearing murmurings that some debts, like those for medical bills, don’t qualify as unsecured debt and shouldn’t impact our solvency date. Well, I think that’s kind of silly. Just because we don’t want to begin our “day count” over doesn’t mean that we delude ourselves into thinking that an unsecured debt doesn’t count as one.
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StyleCaster.com Article on “Online Shopping Addiction”

I just read an article from StyleCaster.com by Leah Bourne about what she calls “shopping addiction.” To begin with, I was quite sad that the author barely gave a nod to recovery, throwing in one line at the end about it, writing, “Looking into therapy or support groups is a good place to start.”
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Anniversary Announcement

June is the one year anniversary of this blog. For at least a year prior to inception, I felt increasingly nudged, then pushed, to write about my experience, strength, and hope in recovering (one day at a time) from the disease of compulsive debting and spending.
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Potato Chips

“I can’t ask God to help me overcome my desire for potato chips when I’m finishing off another bag.” Page 84 Drop the Rock

That sums up Steps 6 & 7 in a nutshell. Perfect analogy. Yes, God CAN do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, but we still have to do our part. Our part may seem impossible, but that is just the fact of it.
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Vision or Hallucination?

Here is a quote from the Debtors Anonymous Ways and Means Newsletter from Quarter three, 2011, page 3:

How many people in your group are waiting for their Vision before they’re willing to not incur unsecured debt one day at a time? We’ve heard it before. A vision built on active debting is a hallucination. One great way to make a vision fall apart at the seams is to build it on debt. I’ve been there. All the pretty magazine pictures on a Vision board don’t mean much if the underlying foundation they’re built on is debt.

I can TOTALLY relate to this. In DA, I must live in reality, not fantasy. It was so true for me regarding the “businesses” at which I was throwing money with no return. I used the excuse that these were my visions to continue justifying spending that was needed for other parts of my life, and which, in large part, increased my pre-DA debt to $33,000 (before I came in the second time around, after getting completely out of debt in DA the first time around in 2000).
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Obsession & Craving

Here is the best explanation of the difference between obsession and craving that I have read: Joe and Charlie describes obsession and craving

The “Doctor’s Opinion” in the Big Book (BB) also describes the phenomenon of craving.

On page 30 of the Big Book, it states:

The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.

We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.

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Entitlement Part 2

My son graduated college two weeks ago. He fully expected to walk out of graduation into a job. But his Higher Power had a different plan in mind. My son interned at an ad agency during his last semester and found a calling as a copywriter. The agency agreed … as did the clients. His ideas and scripts were produced. He was led to believe that he would be hired. But as the weeks of his internship went on, a sure thing led to uncertainty. And by graduation, he was told that there was no job available, but they would try to see if they could possibly add him as a freelancer. And so he waits. And mopes.

I am a “Baby Boomer,” not a “Millennial” like my son. Yet, as an addict, I suffer from Entitlement-itis – the feeling that I deserve what I want and don’t have to follow the rules to get it. I “should” be given what I want without effort and I shouldn’t have to go through the effort put forth by “regular people” to accomplish goals. Even my smallest effort “should” be rewarded by accolades and riches.
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