Overcoming Debt-Denial

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Thought for today:

“Purposeful forgetting” is one of the ways we stayed in denial about our financial and emotional losses. Nevertheless, compulsive debting, reactive spending binges, and self-defeating under earning are forms of insanity, and they only get worse over time.  Until we start to deal with our debting, let go of denial (pride) and admit powerlessness over debting, it owns us.

Denial is the first of  “five stages of grief“*.  If we are in it, we don’t think we have a problem (or at least we don’t think it’s gotten that bad yet.)

Denial only prolongs misery; it doesn’t promote healing.  Overcoming denial is a first step toward changing ourselves into people who don’t need to debt.  DA Step One helps us with that:

DA Step 1

“We admitted we were powerless over debt, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Members share:

“I never faced the total of my debts until I came into DA.  When I did list them all, it took my breath away.  I thought I should be crying, but I was too ashamed even to cry.”

“Maintaining a list of all my debts, including contact information, and the amounts of total indebtedness, I can now see the damage done, and the progress I am making with my payoff plans”

“I was  out of control with money.  Shame kept me from admitting I had a problem, and I was afraid of looking at it.  But after I started tracking my numbers, I actually got some relief.  I discovered that my total indebtedness was not as bad as I had feared.”

Acknowledging when debt has been a problem:

Compulsive debtors have a “built-in forgetter” when it comes to the unpleasant and messy consequences of debt.  It’s a cliché, but true that when we forget our past, we’re doomed to repeat it.

But we don’t have to grovel in misery, and debt does not have to define us.  Our total debt is just a number.  To change direction we let go of our fear of facing the past.  We keep the memory of it green, so we don’t repeat it, and share it with other debtors when it will help them.  In this way we turn a “negative” into a “positive”.


Do I admit that I am powerless over debt, and that my life had become unmanageable?

Meditation for today:

We build self-esteem by doing esteem-able acts.  We “act ourselves into good thinking”, and esteem follows.

When we do little acts of self-worth, valuing others, and treating ourselves as our own best friends, we begin to release shame from our past, and stat living in the present.

Affirmation for today:

“I have what I need to survive and thrive.  I am grateful for what I have.”

On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss

How to Recover in Debtors Anonymous (Whether You’re in that Program or Not): A Primer

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