How did you know you had a problem?
I received an inheritance from my mother’s estate. I had money in savings, but I never moved it into checking account, so I was incurring $1,000 in overdraft charges as the bank shifted money to cover my overdrafts at $35 a whack. That is how I knew for real I had a problem, and that brought me back to the program. This was prima facie evidence that things weren’t working.
How did you find D.A.?
A member of another fellowship told me about D.A. I got tired having too much month left at the end of the money. My friend recommended D.A. I wasn’t happy about joining another fellowship… D.A. was a “fellowship of last resort.”
What have you learned in D.A.?
My paycheck is not my Higher Power. Higher Power takes care of my needs. My wants are another matter. When my wants are healthy, they tend to happen as well. When I try to tough it out and think I’m cured, I fall back into old behavior.
What would you tell newcomers to help them navigate their first 90 days in D.A.?
Bookending is your friend. When I’m in the store with money in my pocket and I see a sidewalk sale, I have to call someone [in D.A.], share my spending plan with them, and ask them to stay on the phone with me until I’m back in my car. Try not to judge. Be patient. Have compassion for your lack of tools. You could build a house with a toy hammer but you wouldn’t want to live in it. Eliminate the phrase “I feel like…” because feelings are one word—angry, happy, sad, fearful. Watch out for your thoughts and beliefs.