Take Other People’s Inventory Until You Can Take Your Own

A newcomer doesn’t need a sign around his or her neck to be identified as one. Usually they’ve taken a seat in the back of the room. They are the ones who often bolt out of the meeting as soon as it’s over. If they do stay for the meeting after the meeting, they often begin to assess the other people who were present. They might judge how a person dressed or spoke. The newcomer might also freely express his or her judgment about what was said.
Usually though, no one corrects the newcomer. Yes, it’s true, they are taking other people’s inventories. Experience has shown that if we criticized the newcomer, it might turn them off to the program. Even if they accepted our criticism, they really aren’t ready to grasp the idea of taking someone’s inventory. They probably would say they are just expressing their opinion.
As they gain some time, that newcomer will begin to take their own inventory. When they do so, their eyes will be opened as to their own character defects. They will learn that we need to keep the focus on ourselves. As they work on their fourth step, they will suddenly stop judging other and begin to keep the focus on themselves.

Personal Reflection: Do I still take other people’s inventory?

We’ve Been Waiting For You

A member recently shared one of her initial experiences in the program. She had walked into a meeting in very early sobriety and someone had turned to her and said, “we’ve been waiting for you”. She looked at the speaker in puzzlement. She had never seen or spoken to the gentlemen in her life. She thought that quite frankly it was a strange thing to say, or maybe it was just a case of mistaken identity. Years later, whenever she sees a newcomer, she also says, “we’ve been waiting for you”. Now she understands the deeper meaning beyond that simple phrase. We in the program, truly understand what the newcomer has gone thru with their drug of choice. We understand, because we had to walk through those doors once too. We know how difficult it was to admit utter and total defeat. We want you to know that we are here for you. We will pick up that phone when you call us in the middle of the night. If you don’t have a car, we will make sure that you get a ride to a meeting. It will be with great joy that we share in sobriety celebrations and anniversaries. We were waiting for you because someone was waiting for us.

Personal Reflection: Do I make the newcomer feel welcome?