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Sponsor's Help Forum This forum is to discuss any topics, questions or comments you have on sponsorship from How To Pick A Sponsor to When To Step Back and more.

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Old 01-27-2009, 04:08 PM   #111
francie21805
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"If You Want What We Have"
Sponsorship Meditations
by Joan Larkin

---- 91 ----
I want to change things. I want to see things happen.
I don’t want just to talk about them.
JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH


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I feel as if I should be doing so much more than just staying in recovery and going to meetings. And yet, when I have free time, I’m not accomplishing much these days. I go to a meeting and then to coffee—“the meeting after the meeting,” I’ve heard it called—and I get home and feel too tired to do any more. When I have a big block of time, I don’t know how to use it. I feel confused and discouraged.

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This point in recovery is a time to be especially gentle with ourselves. When we look back at how we were feeling and what we were doing just before we entered recovery, we can see that “just staying in recovery and going to meetings” is a major change. To be free from or addictive behavior, to keep a commitment to a program of recovery—this is nothing short of a total revolution in our lives. We have made a commitment t live, not to punish ourselves for not doing it faster and more perfectly.

“The meeting after the meeting” is not a waste of time. It’s important to get to know our peers in recovery. We can learn from one another, support one another. The changes we’re experiencing are mirrored back to us by others who are undergoing similar transformations. It gives us experience, too, at being with people without the “help of our addictive substance or behavior.

We don’t have to worry about wasting time in early recovery. It is a miracle that we can simply be.


Today, I let myself be.
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"Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason....!"
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:38 PM   #112
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"If You Want What We Have"
Sponsorship Meditations
by Joan Larkin

-----92 ----
To be alive at all is to have scars
JOHN STEINBECK


Newcomer
At a recent meeting, I heard someone sharing as if she’d solved every problem she’d ever had. She was smiling the whole time she spoke, talking about how great everything’s is. I don’t know why, but I felt angry afterward. She sounded so glib and self-satisfied and know-it-all. If that’s recovery, I don’t know if I want it.

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I can identify with your anger. I, too, sometimes find it irritating to hear someone chattering about his or her happiness and success, especially when my own life seems to be full of messy problems. But it may not be the contrast between her situation and your own that got you upset. Perhaps you intuited that she may not, in fact, “have it all together.” Few humans do. I love hearing people talk about the ways this program has helped them, but recovery doesn’t make us perfect.

It won’t help my own recovery if I judge the quality of someone else’s. I know, though, that when I hear people sharing at meetings, I’m drawn far more deeply to some sharing than to others. Oddly enough, I sometimes get more spiritual sustenance from hearing someone who is having to cope with immense difficulties that from someone who appears to have none at all.

Recovery doesn’t require perfection. In fact, perfection isn’t possible.


Today, I have unconditional love for myself,
whatever my scars or difficulties.
I extend this unconditional love to all those around me.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:13 AM   #113
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"If You Want What We Have"
Sponsorship Meditations
by Joan Larkin


---- 93 ----
When you get to the end of your rope,
tie a knot and hang on.
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT

Newcomer
Initially, I was excited about recovery. I felt better for a while. I hate to say it, but now that I’m not at the beginning any more, everything seems worse. I feel more cynical than ever.

Sponsor
What you’re experiencing is part of the process of recovery. Many of us go through a “honeymoon” phase in early recovery. Our craving may feel miraculously lifted. Change feels easy, and hope replaces despair.

Then, life feels difficult again. We may perceive ourselves as having gotten worse, but that’s not accurate. What’s really happening is that, though our addictive craving has been treated, we still have our old problems, habits and states of mind. We may be getting through the day, showing up for work responsibilities, attending meeting, but not having much fun. We may wonder if what we’ve heard is really true—that “our worst day in recovery is better than our best day of active addiction.” We may wonder whether recovery really is the answer, after all.

Our doubt makes clear to us that we have to do something. Staying where we are is too uncomfortable. We can attend a Step meeting and read program literature to begin to familiarize ourselves with our next Step. For spirits in need of healing, Step work leads to the next phase of recovery.


Today, I have the courage to move forward
in my journey of recovery.
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"Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason....!"
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:49 PM   #114
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"If You Want What We Have"
Sponsorship Meditations
by Joan Larkin



---- 94 ----
Try this bracelet: if it fits you, wear it;but if it hurts you,
throw it away no matter how shiny.
KENYAN PROVERB

Newcomer
I hear some people in meeting who talk about having strict sponsors and doing everything "by the book." There are others who say that they follow the suggestion more loosely. I hears on person say that she "sort of got recovery by osmosis" - she's only dimly aware that she's been applying a particular Step to a situation in her life. I don't know if all this diversity is such a good thing.


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Diversity is a fact of life in recovery. We come in many shapes and sized, and from many different backgrounds and histories. It stand to reason that our paths in recovery aren't going to be carbon copies of one another. We share the desire for recovery and the willingness to work at it. Though we do have addiction in common, methods of recovery may vary. One size definitely doesn't fit all.

Some of us crave a great deal of structure and feel insecure without it. Some feel safer being told exactly what action to take, when, and how. Others rebel against overly detailed directions, feeling safe only if we sense we're being given room to make our won mistakes. We're intuitively drawn to people who have what we want, whose paths offer the combination of sportiveness and challenge that feels appropriate to our own needs. If our preferred way hasn't been working, we may need to try switching for a while to a stricter or looser approach.


Today, I trust my experience and gut feelings about what will strengthen my recovery most effectively.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:50 PM   #115
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"If You Want What We Have"
Sponsorship Meditations
by Joan Larkin


---- 95----
Through prayer we may lose some of our
arrogance and resistance.
OH SHINNAH


Newcomer
I’ve struggled with this addiction for so long. I think I’m finally ready to defeat it. I really want to do it right this time.


Sponsor
The program saying “The war is over” comes to mind when I hear you talking about struggle and defeat. In my experience, addiction doesn’t respond well to force. In fact, it counters force with a force of its own. Addiction is stubborn. When we approach it with “white-knuckle” discipline, confusing willfulness with strength of character, we may be setting ourselves up for eventual relapse.

The alternative is an attitude of surrender. I begin each day acknowledging that I have a disease. I ask for help in living with it, not acting on it. I use the tools of the program and the support of the fellowship, replacing old habits with new ones that help maintain recovery. I used to keep the paraphernalia of my addictive life around me; now I keep reminders of recovery around me. I approach recovery with enthusiasm, gratitude, joy. If I feel the urge to fight, I know it’s time for a meeting. Recovery is a journey I pray to continue, with the help of my Higher Power—one day at a time.


Today, I humbly ask for recovery to be given to me.
I don’t have to do it alone.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:19 PM   #116
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"If You Want What We Have"
Sponsorship Meditations
by Joan Larkin


---- 96----
…and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own.
OH SHINNAH


Newcomer
I’m royally confused. At one meeting I hear people say how important psychotherapy is; at another, I hear people say that it’s bad—all you need is the Twelve Steps. A speaker I heard mentioned antidepressant drugs and how they’ve changed her life; meanwhile, the man next to me was muttering that that’s not a sober thing to do. I’m wondering what I should do. Maybe I need more than just this program


Sponsor
The program doesn’t offer professional or scientific advice. Instead, we share our experiences: What got us here, how we’ve stayed clean and sober so far. Once we’ve established new habits in place of old ones, it’s perfectly appropriate to assess our individual needs. Some of us have medical, financial, or legal problems. A few have severe emotional problems. Some of us choose to seek professional help. For me, just plain recovery—staying away from substances one day at a time—had to come first; without it, I couldn’t begin to address the ways I’d neglected my health and well-being. Surprisingly, some of the decisions I struggled hardest with eventually became clear and simple.

As your process of recovery continues, you’ll gain confidence in your intuition and judgment. Many questions that are causing you to experience conflict today will resolve themselves easily in time.



Today, I set controversial questions aside
while I learn to stay sober.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:58 AM   #117
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"If You Want What We Have"
Sponsorship Meditations
by Joan Larkin


---- 97----
Surrender sooner.
SAYING HEARD AT MEETINGS


Newcomer
I’ve been working so hard to do everything I’m supposed to, in recovery and in the “real” world. But something in me wants to slow down, cry, and scream, maybe even collapse. The timing couldn’t be less convenient. I should have waited to come into recovery.

Sponsor
How much choice do we really have about timing, about when we enter recovery? Hitting bottom is a spiritual crisis; like any other crisis, we have to address it when it occurs. We don’t get to negotiate the terms. Similarly, we don’t get to negotiate the terms. Similarly, we don’t’ get to choose the nature of timing of the emotions we experience. We can stop our tears, but not our grief. If we don’t try to resist or block feelings, they flow through us surprisingly quickly.
Falling down doesn’t mean we’ll never get up again. We may need to let some things fall apart before we can move on. Those of us who were brought up to believe that we should be able to manage several things simultaneously, ignore our personal needs, and come through every crisis with a smile may have trouble letting go of our old ideas. It’s okay to be imperfect in our recovery process. The sooner we let go, the better.



Today, I accept my Higher Power’s timetable for me.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:07 AM   #118
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---- 98----

Never take anything for granted.
Benjamin Disraeli


Newcomer
What is a “dry drunk”?

Sponsor
This expression may have first sprung up in AA. It’s used to describe one of us who is abstaining from the use of alcohol but isn’t thinking or behaving in a way that is sober. If we’re full of self-will, if we constantly blame and rage at others, if we’re controlled by our fears and resentments, we are probably “on a dry drunk”. Certain attitudes and behaviors come with the compulsion to numb ourselves with alcohol.

A “dry drunk” sometimes focuses on others and their problems. Gossip, blame, argument, manipulative behavior, obsessive worrying, neglect of responsibilities—these are some common “dry drunk” behaviors. We may not be abusing a substance, but our attitudes and behaviors qualify us as “dry drunks”

Today, my participation in AA helps me to maintain physical, mental and spiritual recovery.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #119
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---- 99----
Other people don’t always dream your dream

LINDA RONSTADT

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When people at meetings use the words “control” and “controlling,” the tone is always negative. What’s so bad about control? I’m glad that I have more control over my life, not that I’m not active in my addiction. I grew up hearing about “self-control” all the time. I assumed it was a good thing.

Sponsor
There are different way in which people in recovery use the word “control.” One of them, in the phrase “controlled drinking” or “controlled drugging,” describes a state that’s neither drink nor sober. It’s an attempt to use and addictive substance or behavior only in carefully measured amounts—the “I can handle it” approach. Those who engage in it cheat themselves both of the oblivion of addictive behavior and the joy of recovery. I can’t imagine a grimmer form of denial; it means never being free of obsession with a drug.

We also use the word “control” to name the illusion that we’re responsible for all the outcomes of our actions. The Serenity Prayer makes a distinction between things we can and can’t control. It helps me to remember that I have control over my actions, but not over those of others. I can control what I eat, but not how my body processes the food and what I weigh. I can choose my words, but not how people will respond to them. We may expend a lot of energy trying to manipulate others to feel and behave as we wish. It may even seem to work sometimes—but that’s an illusion. I don’t deliberately do things that I think may offend people or hurt their feelings; but what they feel, do , or say in reaction to me is not the realm of my control.

Today, I accept my powerlessness over addictive substances and my powerlessness over other people’s thoughts and feelings.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:52 AM   #120
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"If You Want What We Have"
Sponsorship Meditations

by Joan Larkin

---- 100 ----

I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.
DIANE SAWYER

Newcomer
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I often sit in a meeting just looking at everyone’s shoes and trying to decide which ones I like. Or I may be sort of half listening while looking at what people are wearing or how their hair is cut, trying to figure out whether the same thing would look okay on me. I guess I sound pretty superficial.

Sponsor
Sometimes the intensity of recovery feels overwhelming. We drift, thinking there’s something wrong with the meeting or with us. Our thoughts are elsewhere, racing a mile a minute, or else we fall asleep. The problem isn’t that we’re easily bored or unwilling to concentrate. More likely, we’re trying to get some relief from feelings that are surfacing within us. A lot happens at meetings. Some people are sharing stories that remind us of our own, and some are sharing their experience of a new way of life that challenges beliefs and habits we’ve held for a long time. It sometimes feels like too much. The experience itself of sitting in a room with other people uses mental and emotional energy, and may raise anxieties for some of us. It takes getting used to. The good news is that in time we do find it easier to be fully present.

Today, I gently let go of concerns about my rate of progress, as I remain consistent about attending meeting and working the program.
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