This is a part of our Experience, Strength, and Hope series. Read more D.A. experiences. The shares below are those of the fellows that submitted them and don’t necessarily represent the 12 steps or Debtors Anonymous.
Would you like to share your D.A. story? If so, please fill out the ODAI sharing form.
How did you know you had a problem?
For years I struggled, talking/confiding in people I trusted, hoping to get help, to break out of deep, old patterns. Nothing gave me relief. I knew that others couldn’t relate to or understand my struggles with money. This pain/isolation added to my struggle.
How did you find D.A.?
I was living in Boston at the time, attending [other 12 Step] meetings. I must have heard someone in that fellowship mention the money program. I found it and started to attend meetings in Boston.
What have you learned in D.A.?
It’s not about the money or numbers, but it is. I am not alone. There are others who struggle with issues similar to mine, but we each have unique ways our debting and underearning behaviors manifest. There is always hope. Of the three 12-step programs I’ve been involved with, this is the deepest, most spiritual and most difficult. Happily, the recovery/healing is profound. Having serenity around money issues is a miracle and a gift.
What suggestions do you have for newcomers in their first 90 days?
Don’t be surprised or discouraged if you “run away” after your first meeting or so. It happened to me and happens to a lot of people. It is a very powerful surrender and awareness to come to your first meeting. Know that the D.A fellowship has been around for a while and will be here when you return. Also, try six different meetings. Start to write down your numbers right away. Awareness of your spending/earning behavior is a profound eye-opener, and in my opinion a fundamental part of changing the behavior that includes vagueness and unconscious habits.
Lynne S. Eugene, OR