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 or the ODAI Step sharing form.
How did you know you had a problem?
My entire life I have stressed about how I am going to pay the bills. There was always stress about money in my household growing up so it translated into my adult life as well. I was always teetering on “pay this bill or eat this week.” Taking good care of myself, doing things I enjoyed, or investing in my healthcare never even occurred to me. I bounced back and forth between paying the minimum balance on my credit cards to having to use those cards to survive. I was 6 digits in debt on those cards, drove a 20-year-old truck that was about to break down yet again, worked in a job I hated, and lived in a crappy house with roommates I didn’t like. I was run down, exhausted, and miserable with my life. I didn’t know what to do but I had to do something soon or I was going to do the unthinkable instead.
How did you find D.A.?
I read a small book about the different types of money dysfunctions; it promised financial freedom in “only 90 days.” It also mentioned that getting help was the only way out. Doing it alone hadn’t worked for me so far. The book recommended many groups, and D.A. stood out the most. I checked in with some of my 12-Step friends and every single one of them told me I need to get to a meeting ASAP. So I checked my local area and made a date to attend my first meeting. Little did I know how much my life was about to improve.
What have you learned in D.A.?
I have learned how to live a life worth living. I have payed off all my debt, moved into an apartment on my own, drive an efficient reliable car, and work for a company I love. I make regular plans to do things I enjoy, there’s always food in the kitchen, and I no longer stress about rent. I focus on my healthcare and well being and make time to take care of myself. I have nourished and improved all my relationships and made new friends through the program. I enjoy life now and even when I stress about money, it’s no longer a battle I have to fight alone.
What would you tell newcomers to help them navigate their first 90 days in D.A.?
Know now that you are worth it. It is a long journey to solvency. You didn’t get here overnight; it will take time to get back out. Listen to our stories, take what you need, and leave the rest. You will hear things that won’t apply to your struggle at all, but you will hear things that will change your path completely. Be patient and go to every meeting you can. Again, you are worth it and you can find your way. Talk it out and let others help you find a solution to your problem. You are not alone.
All are welcome to join in recovery. Find a meeting.