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Are Your Spending Habits Mirroring Your Drinking and Using Habits?

When you aren’t spending money on drugs and alcohol, you can feel like you are a queen ready to shop away your kingdom. The world is your domain, waiting for you to give it your money. Sometimes, spending can be a compulsive behavior for coping with difficult emotional challenges in early recovery. Without maintaining responsibility and accountability to your finances, however, money can become as much an inhibitor as your recent dependency on drugs and alcohol was.

It is not uncommon for women to come to treatment and begin the recovery process with a plethora of financial problems. Part of the road to recovery for many women is working on their financial amends. You might be in a variety of kinds of debt, owe personal friends and family members money, and need to catch up on your bills.

Recovery is, in part, learning how to have responsibility, maintain accountability, and do what is right. Living in financial Martial law is not necessarily the right thing to do. Creating a safe and sustainable financial life will help create a safe and sustainable recovery. It is all part of the process.

You lie about your spending habits

You told yourself you wouldn’t drink or use again. You promised your children, your partner, your manager at work. Then you drank or you used drugs again. Anxiously, you try your best to cover it up with as many elaborate lies as possible so that they don’t find out. You can do the same thing with your spending. You lie about a recent purchase, you try to hide your bills from someone helping you keep track of your finances, or you use means of payment nobody else has access to. Just like with drinking, you lie about spending and as a result you experience guilt and shame.

You’re in debt and you haven’t told anyone or done anything about it

You wound up in a tight place once or twice in your drinking and using days. To keep yourself from the comment and criticism of others, you would cut off all contact and hide your problems away. If you don’t look at it and there is nobody else to look at it, you think, it isn’t really a problem. Unfortunately, debt that you ignore is just debt that grows. It does not magically go away. You are avoiding responsibility and accountability, something you are not doing anymore in recovery.

You have more credit cards than necessary

Many women are guilty of hiding their drugs and alcohol in many different places so that when a loved one found and confiscated our “stash” we would have another one. We can do this with our finances when we open a stack of credit cards. Should one get closed down or taken away from a loved one, we have others hidden, waiting for us to use.

You don’t have a budget and you don’t know how to stick to one

The one thing women who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction learn is that there is no drinking or using drugs ‘normally’. We can list a thousand different ways that we tried to create a ‘normal’ program of drinking and using for ourselves. Inevitably, we failed to abide by it. Avoiding a budget, whether or not we have one, is practicing the same behavior.

You are in denial about your financial situation

Denial is what kept us from getting sober for too many years. Our lack of willingness to admit that we had a problem which was out of our control perpetuated the problems caused by our drinking and using for many years. Once we finally admitted that we have a problem, we found great relief and set forth on a journey of recovery that greatly changed our lives. Such is the case for our finances. If we can recognize our denial, we already know what is required to take the first step. Together with treatment providers, family members, or a therapist, we can create a financial plan of recovery.

 

Villa Tranquil offers women a unique opportunity to continue pursuing their recovery in a compassionate, clinical environment after treatment. Our program encourages women to start developing their lives in recovery while maintaining the accountability necessary for the first year. Call us today for information:  (866) 697-7573