Meeting #4 – “I Shared Today”

Today’s topic was about giving and patience and kindness. Now if that didn’t completely relate to what I’m going through with all of the family drama I mentioned the other day, then I don’t know what does! I will keep it short and sweet here – my brother who has had 2 back operations in the past 2 years called the other night basically saying he was done with life and ready to end it all because he still needs another operation and is out of work because of the excruciating pain he is. He pulled out all of the dramatic effects possible (I’ll spare you the details), and had me in tears for hours as I did all I could to help him see hope. He was talking crazy talk – that he was telling Satan that if he would end his back pain, he would carry out his wrath. I tried to bring up what a loving God we have, but that made it worse. It was honestly one of the worst nights of my life – and that was on my 3rd night of sobriety?!? Holy mamacita!

Fast forward to today. I took action and did everything in my power to make things happen. We now have the potential of having the back surgery that he needs on Monday, March 25th. Typically surgeries don’t happen that quickly and it took a lot of hoop jumping to make it a possibility. I spent a LOT of time and energy doing all of this but I didn’t do it to be recognized – I did it because he is my BROTHER and that’s what family does. Amidst my full time job, working out at 5:30 AM, meetings at 8 AM and everything else going on in my life, I helped make something GOOD happen. So today when the meeting topic was giving to others, I shared my story. I still shied away from the “a” word, but everyone is cool with it. When I am ready to accept it, I will. I didn’t do what I did or share to look like a saint, but I was focusing on the fact that if this had been last week, who knows if I would have had the time or energy to make things happen. I would have still been focused on my evening fix, so when he had called me with his problems, what kind of advice would I have given him? Instead I was strong (even though I’m the baby sister!) and present and willing to do ANYTHING to help him – as far as letting him stay with us for a few months during his recovery time after the operation. What I wanted from sharing was prayers from my fellowship and for them to know that it was because of THEM that they helped ME make something truly good happen. Will keep you posted on everything.

Then, my neighbor friend shared how it was really amazing that I had shown up this past Monday. That she was getting to the point where she wasn’t sure if she was getting what she needed out of the meetings, but my timing was perfect – and now we are text buddies and just allies in general. It made me feel so amazing that I somehow helped her (after we got over the initial freak out of seeing each other there of course!)

My one dilemma for the day – I felt a bit pressured today by one individual to find a sponsor. Work the steps. I’m not gonna lie – I am not 100% in agreement with ALL that AA has to offer. In all honesty, I relate SO much more to the 13 WFS Statements () than to the 12 steps of AA. If there were face to face WFS meetings nearby, I’d be there in a heartbeat. But this is the next best thing and I am happy to have the tool.

Take the 1st step of AA vs. the 1st statement of WFS:

AA: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

WFS: “I have a life-threatening problem that once had me. I now take charge of my life and my disease. I accept the responsibility.”

In essence, they mean the same thing to me. BUT. I believe that my power along with my HIGHER power and my fellowship can truly help me take charge of my life and my disease. I DON’T feel powerless; I don’t feel it has to do with willpower either, but if we take our OWN steps to fight this fight, we can regain our lives that were once unmanageable.

I guess bottom line is that I felt a bit pushed to follow a journey led only by AA when I don’t want that journey, although as we talked through it, the individual seemed to respect my decisions and backed down. I DO want the face to face interaction and accountability of AA. I cannot imagine walking into that room one morning having to tell them that I drank the night before. I DO want the sharing and praying and relating. But I will say this – if AA starts to get shoved down my throat, I am outta there. I have loved every single second of those meetings and they get my day off to the absolute best start (especially after my 5:30 AM workout!) So I’m still a fan – and still enjoying this new freedom – and taking the steps to TAKE CHARGE of my life!

Everyone have an awesome day!!!

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5 thoughts on “Meeting #4 – “I Shared Today”

    • Mrs. D…

      Just thought about you as I tried my first Red Bull ever! Figured I would try it in the privacy of my own home…and I feel a bit giddy and silly without being drunk!

      I’m kinda liking it as an energizing option for parties and such.

      Thanks for your comment…very much appreciated 🙂

  1. Well, I have to say that helping your brother in his time of need is great – and I realize that as I type that, and reading what you said about it, it’s something that doesn’t need congratulating, as he is family. My congrats is that you’re doing it sober, and that in being sober, you are able to see that you wouldn’t have been in much shape to help him otherwise. We are selfish, self-centered people in our unlovely cups and in recovery we get away from that and look towards others and how we can be of service to them. And that is what you did, brother or no brother. wonderful, and I hope he does well.

    As for the AA / no AA, and the idea of having someone being insistent on the sponsor…I have a thought or two that may or may not help. I will throw a disclaimer that I am an AA dude, and have worked the steps and help other dudes with that too. Having said that, I am totally for anyone getting sober with or without AA. Many of the sober bloggers don’t use AA and are a happy, joyous lot that I am proud in getting to know through their writings. So as far as this person asking you to get a sponsor…the reason we try to get newcomers to get a sponsor is that we see a lot of newcomers come in, get really excited about the fellowship and the meetings and get into it, but don’t start on the steps. They are sober, happy and do well…for a time. then the shine of the meetings might wear off a bit, or something happens in their lives that gets them away from meetings and then they are left without the thing that can get them through…the program. And many go back out. some don’t. I know some guys who have been sober for many years never having done the work. I can’t speak to how happy they are or where they are emotionally or spiritually.

    Nonentheless, the idea is to get people through the work as quickly as possible so that they are free of the obsession to drink and clear away the wreckage of their lives (inventory, amends, etc) and then help others. That’s pretty much it. But we aren’t in the business of ramming it down anyone’s throat. I certainly don’t. I can talk to a guy, give him a big book, get his number, call him, text him, once, etc. but if he disappears…well, that’s all I do. I move on. We’re not into playing rescuer or anything like that. We just pass the message to those who are interested. Nothing else!

    I am thrilled that you shared – you never know who you are helping (look at the example of your friend there – who says that you have to have a billion years sober to help someone? I read these blogs and I get something from everyone, regardless of how long they have sober…seriously. You make me better. You help me. 🙂 )

    Keep it up – love reading how you’re doing.

    Love and Light,

    Paul

    • Paul,

      I really appreciated all of the thought that you put into the importance of the steps and of having a sponsor. I really liked everything that you had to say, and believe me, it made me think.

      Here is what I think my conclusion is. I want to be sure I am fully committed before I “waste” the time of a sponsor. And of course that is backwards thinking b/c what better way to get to a committed level than by getting a sponsor. But it’s the same for my white chip – I don’t take it lightly. I am waiting until Monday when I have a full week under my belt before accepting it. It is important to me that once I commit, I COMMIT. I did sign up for Belle’s 100 day challenge and that excites me.

      Here is what I liked most of what you wrote: “the reason we try to get newcomers to get a sponsor is that we see a lot of newcomers come in, get really excited about the fellowship and the meetings and get into it, but don’t start on the steps. They are sober, happy and do well…for a time. then the shine of the meetings might wear off a bit, or something happens in their lives that gets them away from meetings and then they are left without the thing that can get them through…the program.” That definitely makes me understand things MUCH better.

      So that is food for thought for me over the weekend. And again, I am amazed at all of the time you take, not just on my blog, but on other blogs to encourage and support.

      Thanks!

      • Thank YOU for the wonderful response. I would like to add one more thing that ties into two things you mentioned. You wouldn’t be wasting a sponsor’s time. There is the misconception that we sponsors are bothered by others, that others take up too much of our time, that we probably have better things to do, etc. Here’s a little tidbit – when you call us, when you meet with us, when we take you through the steps, when you open up to us, when you reach out to us…you are helping US. When one of my guys calls me or when I meet with them (I am meeting with one tomorrow at 8am and will go to about noon for his 5th step) – I get probably more out of it than them. Why? Because I am not thinking of myself for once. I get out of my own head. I stop overthinking things, I am focused on someone else, I am feeling better about helping someone. I am learning patience, tolerance, compassion and love…practicing the spiritual principles. I grow. And that is also why on other blogs (plus the two recovery forums I am a part of) I spend time…because I am getting out of my self and helping others. I am giving back what was freely given to me. I am giving back..

        So anyway, that is why we do what we do. 🙂

        Have a wonderful evening.

        Paul

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