“Black Friday” Emotional Triggers To Spend


Thought for today:

“Got to have it!  No way to be without it!  One day only!  Black Friday is here!  Don’t miss it!…”

During the holiday season the media bombards us with ads to buy.  How can we resist?  There is a romance about spending – it is intoxicating! Think of the people we’d let down – the ones who count on us  – if we don’t spend!  The retailers have to eat, after all!

Those of us who are sensitive to these marketing messages that get packed into the season needs to step back and contemplate what is really at stake.

DA Tool 9: Awareness…

We maintain awareness of the danger of compulsive debt by taking note of bank, loan company, and credit card advertising and their effects on us. We also remain aware of our personal finances in order to avoid vagueness, which can lead to compulsive debting or spending.

DA Step 6:

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

A member shares:

“During that last Christmas before joining DA I was spending in my usual care-free mode.  By that time I had no money left of my own.  It was all paid for with plastic.

“When January came and I got the bills, panic set in.  I joined DA that month.

“I learned that I had no defense against marketers.  Advertisers were merciless and knew just how to tap into my spending addiction.  I needed DA to help me find awareness.

“Today I am vigilant.  When I feel the mood in the air that says ‘Everyone is buying, I should be able to also,’ I think about how messed up my life was before DA.  It doesn’t take long to get back on track.”

What’s really going on inside us?

No one has made a worse mess with money than we compulsive debtors and shopaholic’s in the throes of our disease.  When tempted, we need to think our spending compulsion through.

For instance, we can ask ourselves, “Who am I really letting down if I don’t buy?”  Isn’t it our own pride that will be hurt when we don’t play the big shot?  Are we afraid of blowing our self-image?

Is envy prompting us to buy, in a vain attempt to look like a “winner”?

Some of us, however, go to the other extreme and don’t spend at all, even on the simplest of necessities.  Are we being too lazy to share our abundance with others?  Is generosity alien to us?  If character defects of pride, envy, greed, etc. threaten to run the show, maybe we should make a DA meeting or phone call and wait for sound thinking to return.

We need to let go of the compulsion to people-please and shop away feelings.  The opposite, feeling our feelings and seeking humility and gratitude, are the real meaning of the season.


Am I ready to have my Higher Power remove my defects of character and replace them with virtues?

Meditation for today:

Unnecessary panic is a sign of mental fatigue, overload, and emotional exhaustion.  As a child spinning too much on a merry-go-round gets dizzy, so our perspective gets distorted by too much busy-ness.

There is a known cure for dizziness: focus on one object for a time.  It’s hard to do if you are dizzy, because our eyes want to keep jumping away to other places.

It’s all about where we focus our attention.

Affirmation for today:

“If I ever feel worry or self-doubt, I will focus on one thought for a minute: the idea that I have all that I need.  I will stay grateful for the blessings in my life.”

Recommended reading: 

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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