Stop incurring any new unsecured
First and foremost, we suggest that you stop incurring any new unsecured
debt, one day at a time. Unsecured debt is any debt not backed up by some
form of collateral. Although refraining from compulsive debting may be
difficult and painful, it establishes a solid foundation for our recovery.
Attend D.A. meetings regularly
Attending meetings gives
us a sense of hope, an opportunity to identify with others, and a chance to
meet people who can help us. Find a meeting
in your area.
Record your expenses and your income
A good way to do this is to buy a small notebook or planner that is
easy to carry. Throughout each day, we write down everything we spend and
any income we receive, no matter how small the amount. Do not be discouraged
if you cannot keep perfect records. If you lose track, begin again as soon
as you can. We believe in progress, not perfection.
Read D.A. literature
You will find
useful suggestions and new insights. We also find it helpful to read these books: A Currency of Hope, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. When you read
A.A. literature, we suggest substituting the words debt and debting for alcohol and drinking.
The Twelve Steps
We suggest that you begin by working the Twelve Steps and by practicing
the D.A. Tools. Because we did not arrive overnight at the circumstances that brought us to D.A., solving our problems has required time and effort. While using the Tools of D.A. provides some relief from compulsive
debting, working the Steps leads to recovery.
Work the Steps
We suggest that you work the Twelve Steps in order, preferably with a sponsor
or an experienced D.A. member who has worked and continues to work the Steps
to the best of his or her ability. For us, true, long-lasting recovery
results from a spiritual experience gained by working the Steps.
We recommend beginning with Step One. The sense of despair or "hitting
bottom" we felt when we first came to D.A. was the first step in our
recovery. We saw that our own attempts to scheme and manipulate our debts
did not work. We admitted that we were powerless over debt. We were ready to
ask for help.
Find a Sponsor
To help you work the program, we suggest asking someone who lives the recovery you want to be your sponsor. Sponsors help us work the 12 Steps, use the D.A. Tools, and carry out our Action Plans.
Ask for a Pressure Relief Meeting
After you have recorded your income and expenses for (preferably) 30 to 45
days, attended at least six meetings, and made a commitment to D.A., we
suggest that you ask two members of D.A. (usually a man and a woman) to
meet with you in a Pressure Relief Meeting. These two D.A. members should
have abstained from incurring unsecured debt for at least 90 days and had
two Pressure Relief Meetings, and if possible they should have recovery from
issues similar to yours. As the members of your Pressure Relief Group, they
will help you review your situation and formulate a Spending Plan and an Action Plan.
We suggest that you practice the principle of anonymity. Who we see and what we hear at meetings and in private conversation is kept confidential. This principle allows all members the freedom to speak openly and honestly without fear that our words or deeds may be used to harm us. Please respect the anonymity of all D.A. members.
If you decide that D.A. is not for you, keep us in mind for the future. You
are always welcome. Debtors Anonymous will be here when you need it.