Where have I been? Sober, happy and now more than half a year into being a new Dad. Lots of changes, and lots of good things coming into my life. It is great to be sober.
Yes this is a follow up on yesterday’s post but it is also a way to frame the results of my meeting my sponsee today. We both agree he is good at pushing away things that might be helpful. In this case he has a real reluctance to meet with me regularly. Since this is something I explained to him from the start is what I need to have happen, it is a problem. My being his sponsor is contingent on my being able to meet up with him. He was free from the start to say no, this was not something he wants.
I must say I was happy to say he did agree to meet with me again next week. Of his own volition he also offered up that not showing up then would be a clear statement on his part. His absence would demonstrate he was not willing to committ to our working together in a way that I felt had to happen.
I really hope he shows up. I want to help him and meeting with someone is the way I have found works best for me. I simply cannot effectively sponsor someone without regular face to face contact. Just one of the many, many limitations I have come to understand about myself since I have become sober.
I do believe that people can have a sponsor-sponsee relationship without regular meetings too, so this is not a case of my way is the only way this can work for everyone. I have also learned in sobriety that there are very few absolutes.
This is a jumbled post but there you have it.
All the best in your sobriety,
I am meeting with a sponsee tomorrow that I have not seen in months. He does some things real well, like going to meetings and calling me most days. Yet he is really balking at working the steps. He has had a lot of challenges. Things like operations are in fact fairly big deals for most people. Even with all this I still feel like he should be moving along into his fourth step. The important thing is I realize this is simply what I think.
I truly don’t know what is best for anyone. The best thing I can do is to try to do what seems to be the right thing. Hence I pray, and sometimes fret, over what I should or should not do. I am getting a growing sense that anything I can do to try to push this fellow into doing the steps would be just that. Me pushing. It is his decision to do or not do the things that are laid out in the big book as the necessary steps to recovery. His choice. I need to at least make that clear to him tomorrow.
My gut is telling me I also need to tell him to stop calling me every day. I feel my job as his sponsor is to guide him through the steps. The rest is whistling dixie. I am sure he enjoys the regular contact but unless he is moving forward with his step work, our daily conversations are just shooting the breeze. Even if a lot of the talking is about his meeting attendance and things around that topic. In some sense it is like talking about the weather. Its fun, and easy to talk about, but its not really substantive.
It may seem a bit harsh to be so stuck on the step work but for me, this is largely what my role as a sponsor is about. I even told him that from the start so this is not a surprise to anyone I am blessed to work with.
Tomorrow should be an interesting meeting. I wonder what I will be shown, both in terms of what to do and also what this meeting will end up meaning for both of us.
All the best,
We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society. Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any of those about us. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.
page 53, from the 12 x 12.
I really like this passage but when it does come to mind, I generally forget where it is in our literature. This was the lead in passage from the daily reflections for today. Great to see it and great to now know exactly where it is!
I have a hard time doing things sometimes. I just need to do the best I can, call it good and move on. This morning I had to write a few emails. Instead of say, about 20 minutes and done, it took over an hour. Even an hour I feel happy with actually. That is an improvement over some of the stuff I can get going on with writing a simple letter. Perfectionism (it has to be right), self-esteem (if it is not just right, someone will think I am a dolt) and fear of commitment are all a part of this. Another funny aspect of this is that these two letters, and this is as often the case as not, are for good things. One is a talk I have to give this summer and the other was to report on some volunteer work I did for someone.
I think I need to pay more attention to this problem of mine. Prayer, asking God to remove those aforementioned character defects, and asking for clarity to know my path is the right one, will do wonders. I like that I already feel better about this in just writing this out.
I spoke to my sponsor a few days ago. It was good to talk to him and to hear his good practical advice. Get my ass to more meetings. Take some time to get together with him. Two important things I really do need to do. We talked about many other things too. My sponsee, for one. This guy is not wanting to work the steps but for now, well I have nothing else going on in terms of working with anyone. So there is no reason for me to not fill the role of sponsor for him for now. As long as I am talking to him regularly I can also keep reminding him that the goal is to work the twelve steps.
That is about it for now. Time to get to work.
All the best and God Bless,
My son is a little over five weeks old today. He is sleeping in a bassinet basket by my side. This experience of having a son, a child, is so very interesting. I could not imagine for a moment what it would be like to be drunk and oblivious to him and to myself. There would be so much to miss.
All of this side of life is so new to me. As my baby boy is different every day, so I find myself in my actions and reactions to him and even now to my wife. Things are richer and more complex but that is not always what is the most obvious about what has occurred within this change. What is most apparent is that things are not the same. I feel better about myself, and this is something that seems apart from even thinking about my son.
I understand it is possible for me to get a bit more mature and a bit wiser day by day, and I do believe this does happen for me more days than not. Yet there are moments when I seem to feel the weight of all the change that has accumulated and I know I have really grown. I experienced that on a mountainside in Montana when I was about to move from there. I felt it when I stood on a hill in the adobe desert in Colorado. I had heard the day before, via email, that I had been awarded my Ph.D. Both of these were celebratory turns of feeling the impact of having reached a significant milestone. With it came a humility and understanding of how fortunate and blessed I am. To be alive, and to be thriving.
That is what this feels like. I am seemingly suddenly more grown-up. And I like it.
I am married to a woman I love, and she loves me. I have a wonderful job. It is relatively unique and it is a tremendous gift to have.
Right now I am wanting for nothing and I am happily sober.
To add to all this, my first child was born about three weeks ago. I am amazed.
My active drinking career, which I pray is over, come to a slow but sure nasty bottom. I went beyond just being brought to my knees with my last drunk. My last debacle found me splayed out on the bathroom floor and in dire medical straits. I was revived, brought to the hospital and spent a night in intensive care. I knew, this time, I was defeated. I was figuratively brought to my knees in realizing my powerless. I was different, at least in realizing it was simply was not possible for me to whip this drinking problem. I also knew – finally it was absolutely clear – my drinking was a big problem. I did not just have a bad night or was unlucky. I then did something strange. I sincerely asked for help.
Today I am brought to my knees by all kinds of situations. Asking God for help in my daily life, praying about how grateful I am to have the life I have today and many other reasons. All this is now a very good thing instead of the humiliation of what my drinking drove me to become.
One funny thing about all this is I did not believe in God before I was felled by my powerlessness. I felt people who had faith in God were weak and simple minded. It says in the Twelve and twelve (and as quoted in the daily reflections book): Some of us won’t believe in God, others can’t, and still others who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle.
I am glad I am on the other side of the fence on this issue today. I know and appreciate that God does exist. He can work miracles in my life. And I can be brought to my knees on a regular basis by my faith.