You Can Carry The Message But Not The Alcoholic (or addict)

From the outside looking in, program members at times appear to be very harsh. They might say something to a newcomer like, “you can have your misery back any time you want”. At first blush you might think that members should be soft and gentle and understanding with fellow addicts. The reality is that 12 step program is designed for people who really want to recover. We have found that trying to convince a person to stay sober ultimately doesn’t work. Sobriety is something that the addict or alcoholic really needs to want for themselves. It needs to emanate from a very deep place, where they are able to “admit that they are powerless over their substance of choice and that their lives have become unmanageable”. Once they are able to make that kind of admission, then the fellowship will be there for them 100%. Whether they need a ride to a meeting or need to vent over the phone to another member, someone will make themselves available. We can’t rescue you, but we will do all in our power to support your recovery. 

Personal Reflection: Can I do more to support other’s recovery?



Carry The Message

I recently heard a member tell the following story.
I had been arrested for my 3rd DWI. The district attorney wanted me to serve a 4 year sentence. He was not open to negotiations with my attorney. During this time I had entered a treatment program. When I came before the judge for a hearing, the district attorney once again pushed for 4 years. The judge hearing the case told me that he had faith in me since I was in a treatment program. All I had to do was stay out of trouble for 3 months until sentencing and he would give me a suspended sentence with 5 years probation. The sentencing date came and sure enough I received a suspended sentence with 5 years probation. However, the judge also sentenced me to 6 months of weekends in jail. My attorney was outraged. The judge had gone back on his word. I was overjoyed. Over the last three months I had immersed myself in the program. I wanted to carry the message to others. Over the next 6 months the guards at the county jail thought I was nuts. Every Friday I would bang on the door of the jail, shouting, “let me in, I want to carry the message to other alcoholics”.

Personal Reflection: What lengths do I go to to carry the message?