Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Do you ever wonder if there should be a 12-step program for people who have a problem with credit cards and debt? The idea might not be as ridiculous as it sounds. The 12-step program is one of the most successful therapy programs there is for helping people with addictions. And in many ways, our love of credit and buying things with our credit cards amounts to addiction.
Just like people who are suffering from an addiction, many times the biggest step forward is recognizing that you have a problem. Too often when someone has the beginnings of a credit card problem, there is a sense of ambivalence and “just let it go” because after all “everybody does it.” And when you have a problem that is becoming a major problem, there is no time to be lazy and let it fester because everybody does it.
Your attitude of “oh well” is exactly why the credit card companies are making record profits. If we would get mad because they are enslaving our families and finances, we would rise in revolt against such injustice. Then and only then will the world change for us. We cannot fix the world, but we can fix our own world, starting at home. To help with our credit card “addiction” we may even be able to use some of the principles of a 12-step program to get started.
Most professionals who work with people needing 12-step programs will tell you that the biggest obstacle is getting a troubled person to know they are in trouble. We all live in a bubble where we tell ourselves and each other that “everything will be all right.” 12-step programs use tough love to tell people who come that everything will NOT be all right unless steps are taken to change their addictive behaviors, because their addictions will destroy their families, finances, relationships, and physical health.
Well, folks, we might need some tough love when it comes to not taking action to fix our credit card problems before they destroy our lives. We must find a way to get over the idea that we should simply endure credit card debt and get motivated to do the hard work that is needed to dig ourselves out before the task becomes insurmountable. In many ways, the problem is our pride. We may suspect we have a credit card debt problem, but we will dare not tell anyone. We are so proud by nature and always want others to think we have it together.
Our pride says, “I’ll just take care of this myself”! This will only keep us from talking about t