21 Years Of Solvency And The Steps Bring Out Her Real Self
(Reprinted from the 2nd Quarter 2008 Issue Of Ways & Means)
I stumbled into a DA meeting in New York City with the idea of one or two meetings before I left the city to share life in Boston with my latest love. I’d been telling a friend what I was up to: “Well, heck, he should buy me a car” and “He’ll have to take care of me and provide for me, as I’m the one moving.”
This wise angel suggested I consider not starting a new relationship on lies, and to go to Debtors Anonymous for a couple of meetings before leaving. “Me! In Debtors Anonymous? No way! I don’t have money issues. She gently nudged again, “You’ll get clarity on things. A couple of meetings will help square it away for you.” I went.
Little did I know it would not be for a couple of meetings, it would be for 21 years worth of meetings, embracing a solvent life; that not only would I get clarity, but that I would not go to Boston. Thus began my love affair with DA, and the beginning of the agony and the ecstasy.
I was born into the belly of the “not enough” syndrome. Not only did my family not have enough, my community didn’t have enough, and my nation of origin, England, did not have enough. I was born during World War II, in a bomb shelter during an air raid, and with victory by the Allies came out-and-out poverty for the English working class. Not having enough was a usual experience.
With it, however, for me, came the skills of manipulation, coercion, thievery, deception, and hoarding. I used them well. I could look you in the eyes with money stashed away here and there, and convince you I had not one single penny. I held on tight to my hoard because I truly believed there wasn’t enough out there, and that if I let go, it would all vanish. And, of course, what I believed was what I created, and thus I lived out my reality. A good source of easy resources were men, and I fished for wealthy men. It didn’t matter if they were married; it only mattered what car they drove, did they have money, and would they spend it on me? I was empty, cardboard-like, with no depth, a malcontent living a futile way of life in fear and despair, which inevitably led to addictions to cover the pain, and endless broken relationships to supply me with my fix--money. I bottomed out homeless and later ended up living in the Salvation Army.
I had not one idea of what psychology was running my life, though I was an educated woman with a degree. One man told me to be myself. What the heck was he talking about? I was living in the depth of darkness in New York City, scrounging at the Salvation Army and plotting to embark on yet another addictive provider relationship when I came into the DA rooms.
Something began to stir in my soul. At that time I could not tell you why I delayed the departure to Boston, but I did. Now I know Holy Spirit was rising. My time had come to answer the call, or not. The fear escalated in the beginning when I began making the discoveries. Oh, the shame I felt, the disgust at myself, the appalling, stunning refusal to accept what I was beginning to get clear about. I wept, felt more lost than ever; I went into nightmare depressions, and then--another miracle. The only place I felt safe was in those DA rooms.
The terror gradually faded only by keeping close to DA, and so I began to find my True Self. I began to know that the Source of my abundance was within, that the degree to which I understood my Source of All manifests my material world and emotional experience of my life on this Earth. The 12 Steps nurtured an aliveness of my living experience, and were the vehicle for a viable and very real contact with the Holy Spirit for me. The DA Tools became such practical actions that seemingly answered in some way, shape, or form every problem I confronted. I began to grow my own resources, and I began to accrue my own generated material wealth.
From homelessness to multiple property ownership; visions were coming true because I believed they could. And what you believe is what you get, right? (Aha--but only the 4th Step really uncovered what I truly, darkly believed deep down). There can be no slack on my part. There can only be applied vigilance and ever-awakening, because the fear, the dark force, could seep back in. If I slacken I stand a chance of becoming lost again, and I am consciously choosing not to.
I have a sponsor in my life to help me; my well-wisher, my mentor, my grounding. Oh what joy to have such an individual instantly there, loving, caring, and suggesting. Now, living the 12-Step way of life has released a life’s purpose for me of helping others, of carrying the message of hope to those despairing, that same hope that was given to me those long 21 years ago. This is my life. DA is my life.