Money Money Money Money Money…Money
My first sponsor, who also happened to be a Certified Public Accountant, told me numerous times throughout our years together that money doesn’t fix money problems. As you can well imagine, I had no idea what he was talking about at that time in my life. I had real money problems and I needed really good advice, not that philosophical crap. Oh, the value of retrospection…
With a few years of recovery under my belt, I now understand exactly what he tried to tell me 30 years ago. He was simply telling me that the reason I had money problems in the first place was that I emotionally spent my money and my inability to handle my emotions was why I overspent. Too deep at the time; very valuable today.
Like us all, I too had to make peace with money. I was always what you call money hungry as a child and I only covered it up as I got progressively better at hiding it as an adult. Money was what got me what I wanted. Money was what got me the people I wanted. Money was freedom. Money was expression. Money was the means of self-delight. Money was on-demand comfort. Money was control.
And that was the truth revealed to me; it was all about control.
I have learned the hard way that fearful and insecure people tend to be poor decision makers. I errantly saw money as the mechanism of security that never came to pass. It was only then that I began to understand that money really didn’t solve my money problems. An illustrative example:
I would have a money problem. I would worry about it until my fingernails disappeared. I would plan, plot and scheme. But due to my emotional instability, it was all for not. I ended up doing what was going to make me feel better right then at that moment regardless the potential consequences. I chose to deal with those consequences later on, not realizing that I would live long enough to face them eventually. The worst part is that it was a neurotic cycle. I would have a money problem, lose my mind, but eventually find a way to work through it. I would then move on to the next money problem and do the exact same thing, serially. I wasted years of my life in this self-torturous mental prison.
So, was I destined to be screwed forever?
When I turned over my problem of powerlessness over money with the rest of my problems to my Higher Power, He did with my money problems what He has done with my other problems. Frankly, he solved my emotional problems so that I could finally handle money without passion or design. As such, I never have as much money as I would like, but I always have as much money as I need.
The thing that has helped me most with money management is knowing that it isn’t my money in the first place. Whatever resources land in my lap, they are nothing but gifts from God and I am nothing but a guardian of them. I am to be a good and responsible steward. I pay my bills first and only indulge myself if there’s anything left. I choose to remain happier than hell either way. There is no truer freedom along any other path, at least for me.
Let’s keep it in check, people.
James A. Francetich is a freelance writer and author. The opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not represent any community based recovery programs, private or public entities or any governmental agencies.