Debtors Anonymous (DA) is a well-known, 12-step recovery program with peer support for people in debt. DA is mainly based on Alcoholics Anonymous and follows the same format. In fact, Debtors Anonymous came to fruition when a core group of recovering members of Alcoholics Anonymous realized many people turn to alcohol to avoid the stresses caused by debt. It is estimated that the average household credit card debt in the United States is $15,204. If you face a serious debt addiction, you are not alone. Call our 24/7 hotline today at 1-888-319-2606 Who Answers? to find out how you can get help for your problem.
What is the Debtors Anonymous 12 Step Program
The program structure of Debtors Anonymous follows the AA text Twelve Traditions and Twelve Steps. The principles in this text have been adopted by many other 12-step support groups. This format is generally based on the belief that anonymity encourages people to speak openly and honestly, ensuring people get the help needed from the rest of the group. The only requirement to join Debtors Anonymous is that you have a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt. Whether that debt is small or large, Debtors Anonymous will put you on the path to recovery and give you the tools you need to avoid going into debt again.
To successfully begin recovery, it is helpful to first gain an understanding of how and why people get into debt. Some of the most common causes of debt addiction include:
- Marital strife
- Escapist mindset
- Poor planning
What Else Should I Know About the Program?
“To successfully begin recovery, it is helpful to first gain an understanding of how and why people get into debt.”The 12 steps of Debtors Anonymous are identical to the 12 steps used by Alcoholics Anonymous. The only difference is that the steps used by DA are slightly modified to relate to debt as opposed to alcohol addiction. Members find these steps are effective when used long-term, and the success rates are high for all groups that adhere to them.
The first step for every member is to admit he is completely powerless over debt, and that his life has become unmanageable. Once you have admitted that you are completely embroiled in debt and your life is out of your control, the second step is to come to a belief that a higher power is able to restore you to psychological wellness and a normal life. This higher power represents your personal image of God and is not specific to any particular religion. The third step is to turn your life and will over to God as you understand him.
After these three first steps, each member must create an in-depth moral inventory. This moral inventory explores the aspects of your life that are immoral and cause harm to yourself and others. Taking an honest moral inventory is a painful process, but it will enable you to complete the fifth step. The fifth step is to admit the nature of your wrongdoings to God, yourself and another person. After completing the fifth step, each member focuses on his intent to change and prepares to allow God to remove all the character defects that led to these wrongdoings. The seventh step is to humbly ask God to remove these shortcomings.
Most of the following steps are less spiritual and focus more on cleaning up your life. The eighth step is to make a list of each and every person you have harmed. Regardless of your current relationship with each person on this list, you must humble yourself and become willing to make amends with all of them. The ninth step is to find every person on your list and make direct amends unless doing so would injure yourself or others. This step is the most difficult for many members, as it frequently requires them to relive painful memories as they reconnect with people from the past. The support of the group is very important during this step, and it is comforting to know that other members had to go through the same thing.
The 10th step is to take personal inventory, and admit it right away when you are wrong. The 11th step requires members to seek God through meditation and prayer to improve their contact with him. Prayers should always be centered on a desire for knowledge of his will as opposed to prayers for specific items and worldly desires. The 12th and final step is to use what you learned to keep your life on track, and to use your personal testimony to reach other people who are suffering from the stresses of debt.
Finding Debtors Anonymous 12-Step Recovery Meetings
If you or someone you know is currently embroiled in debt, Debtors Anonymous may provide the support system needed to become free from debt forever. Now is a better time than ever to seek the help and support of others who have also found themselves in your situation. Remaining in debt can only get worse over time.
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