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?
I had no credit cards until my husband left. Then I got five cards in rapid succession, all with low credit limits. I’d already gone through an inheritance, in five installments. The original balance was $150,000 and it was earning 10%. Then my husband left. I worried that using the credit cards was not a good plan when I had to pay for a car repair using three credit cards and some cash.
How did you find D.A.?
A member of another fellowship told me about D.A. I wasn’t talking about my money issues in that fellowship. Then a newcomer in that fellowship shared about a book she’d read. The book was about money. Two of us went over to ask her about it after the meeting. I found D.A. meetings in Portland. I’m grateful I found them.
What have you learned in D.A.?
Anyone in a 12-Step fellowship learns they are addicts. I’m an addict. Maybe we use a different word in D.A. I’ve heard people say we are addicted to excitement in all our affairs. The result is constant chaos. The D.A. program works. Don’t try it alone.
What would you tell newcomers to help them navigate their first 90 days in D.A.?
Do everything they tell you. Remove the words “Yes, but—“ from your vocabulary. Keep trying. It works. In about three days, you’ll learn that you can live on a cash basis. Willingness is the key.