Money Drunk Money Sober: What I’ve learned about myself

For this time period, I am working through Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan’s book Money Drunk, Money Sober before I work through the Prosperous Heart. The following blog entries are in response to prompts and experiences from the book. I see this as an extension of my Artist’s Way work. Some of my entries are jarring and highly personal – any program of sobriety and self-improvement demands admitting dysfunction both personally and in family, and it also calls to admit some painful truths. While not everything I work on appears here, a number of realities do. I have a genuine body of work thanks to my work on the Artist’s Way program, and I can’t ignore the changes the continual commitment has brought about. Because of that, I also can’t ignore what going further into the harder aspects of the program – like facing money issues – has the potential to improve.

Technically, this question falls at the end of “week 3” but I took longer than that because the questions are a LOT to process, and change is more effective when it happens slowly. What I learned is the following:

  • A lot of my most deep-seated issues that I still need to address are tied up in my conditioning around money. This is because of crap my family pulled where a)I was only to have the things THEY wanted me to have even if I DID NOT WANT THOSE THINGS (thank the gods “molding a child” is no longer the popular way of viewing child rearing, because I hate who they wanted me to be and no kid should live with the choice of being someone they loathe or who they really are) and b)because my mother loved to guilt trip me on vacations about “spending too much money” which she made sure she did when Dad was not in the room or car to stop her. It instilled an excessive sense of responsibility, and a permanent sense of anger, especially as my sister was constantly asking for and getting one money-costing thing after another while I actually paid for my own clothing and frequently paid my own bill at restaurants even though my parents did not give me a choice about eating out with them. I was worth less to them, so I was to be less expensive to them – it was a message that has been repeated well into adulthood. Even more infuriating, my remaining relatives (I do not consider anyone family) have been pretty quick to contact me with their hand out despite doing absolutely nothing of emotional or financial value for me, ever.
  • I spend to relieve boredom, often on food.
  • Many of my goals are actually well within my reach.
  • I actually do a lot right. There’s just some stuff I can do better.