When All Else Fails, Ask Directions

There is a pathology about arrogance. Rather than admit that we don’t know something, we will place ourselves in all kinds of situations which are to our detriment. Of course the classic example of this, is the refusal of car drivers (and without being sexist they were usually men) who refused to ask directions when lost. Multiple gas stations where the answer was at hand were passed because the driver stubbornly refused to ask directions. On some deep level asking directions was an admission of our ignorance and lack of perfection. Pride caused many a family to endure a half hour delay while dad tried to tough it out on his own. Thank G-d for the invention of the GPS.
The same pathology can occur in recovery. That’s why we have sponsors and friends in the program. Life is really not designed for us to fly solo. We are a fellowship because Bill W. and Dr. Bob understood the power of one alcoholic (or drug or food addict) helping another. The only thing is that we are not mind readers. When someone from the program needs advice, it’s their responsibility to ask for help. We encourage them to get beyond the shame of admitting their ignorance. Once they do, we are more than happy to share our experience, strength and hope. Asking directions also includes turning to our Higher Power for council as well.

Personal Reflection: Have I been holding back from asking directions about something?

Another Friend Of Bill W’s

So you’re at a party or some type of social gathering. You’re holding a club soda with 2 slices of lemon or 2 stirrers sticking out of your glass like you always do. You make your drink unique looking so that you won’t by mistake reach for one that has alcohol in it. This has happened to many of us and we don’t want a repeat performance. You begin a conversation with the person standing next to you. Within a few minutes you feel very comfortable talking to them. We’ve all felt that sense of connection sometimes with people we have just met. Then, they say something that peaks our interest. Perhaps they will say, “one day a time”, or “easy does it” or some other slogan from the program. Now of course these days, many of these slogans have become part of our lexicon. You know you feel connected to the person and would like to find out if they’re in the program. At the same time, you want to ensure both your anonymity and theirs. We have a great way of doing that. We say, “are you a friend of Bill W? If they say “Bill who”, you’ve received your answer. If they say yes, you probably have even more to talk about.

Personal Reflection: How do you expand your sober network?