A quote from an AA member, who was asked to share some good advice with those who are trying to get and stay sober.
“It is crucial to surround yourself with people that are up to what you are up to in your new way of living. There is joy in sobriety; you can bring that out in each other as you spend time with friends in recovery. Stay engaged, stay outside of your head, and appreciate the new things you can learn from new friends.”
For me, the primary person who is “up to what I’m up to” is my sponsor. She actually teaches me a lot during our calls and emails.
When I am depressed and following one-track thinking, she may hop from subject to subject, sometimes absolutely dragging me where I don’t want to follow. I didn’t see this as deliberate. I just thought she was easily distracted! Now I know better.
Or, I would reach out to her to check in, and she would tell me about some really funny event. I would laugh, of course; but I’d also wonder, “What is WITH her? She is not as AA “tuned in” or spiritually “deep” as I am!” Now I recognize her laughter as the other part of recovery, the part I could have missed!
We always engage in some “small talk” — just a few minutes of news headlines, anything that might remind me there IS a world outside and I MAY want to be able to talk about it in a caring, interesting manner. She knows that my mind tends toward depression and self, and she reminds me I am part of a caring community.
When an Inventory or a Step is getting the best of me, my sponsor shines. I may be trying to figure out how I can find out the full name of a person I hardly remember so that I can apologize deeply and sincerely. I’m practically ready to hire a detective to show my sincerity, and my Sponsor says something quietly about “daily amends” or “everyday amends”… I turn my attention back to her. What? Learn the lesson and apply it daily, as if that person were here? Oh! Ok. Amends. I can live that. My Sponsor is so familiar with these AA things that are new to me, she helps me to get to what matters, and skip the drama. We pray together, learn together, share sobriety together.
I’m grateful to be “surrounded by” my sponsor, grateful that she cares enough to share her recovery road with me. I’m learning so much more than I ever expected.
Would you like to share what the opening quote means to you, OR share your greatest bit of advice with us?