The First Step to Getting Through the Holidays Without Debting

"I experienced timelessness on this vacation. Now that I am back, I feel more clear and energized than ever."

Thought for today:

The holiday season is a challenging time for compulsive debtors.  We find ourselves inundated with commercials to spend.  All our friends are spending.  We feel compelled to overspend.

It’s a time tout down the credit cards if we are using them.  It’s time to remember the Twelve Steps, starting with the First Step:

DA Step 1

  1. We admitted we were powerless over debt—that our lives had become unmanageable.

A member shares:

“There is no way to tell how much money I lost due to debting, especially around the holidays.  I dreaded January because I always had bounced checks and incredible sums of money charged on my credit cards.

“In DA, people told me that no matter what, I didn’t have to use credit cards.  This seemed so impossible I actually laughter when they said this.  But they weren’t kidding.

“I was lucky to be surrounded by people in the fellowship who had survived severe debt, and in some cases, bankruptcy.  I consider all of them winners, because they learned how to live in spite of debt.

“Each of these people had one thing in common:  They all had admitted they were powerless over debt.  Debt had licked them, and admitting this fact was the beginning of their salvation.

“They used cash.  They stopped using credit cards.  In some cases they cut them up.  If they couldn’t bring themselves to cut them up, they put them in a block of ice so it would take time for them to thaw out if they felt weak.

“Some decided to stop using checking accounts.  They would buy money orders with cash instead.  This helped them not incur overdraft fees.

“Their example inspired me to admit that I was powerless over debt, and that my life had become unmanageable.”

“No matter what…”

Many of us thought we needed to use credit cards in order to make travel reservations or track business expenses, but these were also thinly veiled excuses to debt.

Thinking it through to its logical conclusion, any use of a credit card would result in unsecured debt eventually running our lives. We knew this because it was our track record.

If we are honest with ourselves, we will usually discover that debt was inevitable.  We had no defense against it.  Only by pursuing the rest of the Steps could we find relief.

Ask:

“Do I know beyond doubt that I am a compulsive debtor?”

Meditation for today:

Disease cannot have power over us as long as we have gratitude.  If we make a gratitude list of ten things we are grateful for, we will find a measure of happiness that had escaped us before. We will feel especially happy when we include the people on our list who are closest to us.

Affirmation for today:

“Just for this day, I will live in this moment, right here, right now.  I will set aside my fears of the future and my regrets about the past, accepting everything exactly as it is at this moment.” *

* From DA’s “Just For This Day” bookmark – literature P-129.

If S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting seems interesting to you, try this recommended reading:

S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple – 10 Steps to Master Your Personal and Career Goals (Productive Habits)

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