Thanks; especially to the women I called a few years ago.


First of all, thank you to everyone who responded with kind words about my last post. It feels good to know that there are other people out there who wish me well. It means a lot.

I got a phone call a few weeks ago from another woman in recovery, a stranger to me. Like many others, I’m on a phone list that’s distributed by a central office. I don’t get many calls from that list, but I do get a few. And I have a lot of empathy for the women who call because I’ve “been there, done that.”

So let me take an opportunity to thank the women who took calls from me a few years ago. I was hurt, confused, and absolutely miserable, and you helped me.

One of you let me know that your acting out behaviors had also gotten worse when you first started trying to get sober. But you stuck with the program and by the time I talked to you, you’d been sober for 2 years and your life was much better.

When I was driving myself crazy wondering if I’d lost my sobriety or not, one of you gave me some really insightful words of wisdom. You said that I didn’t sound sober, but that since I hadn’t physically acted out you could understand my confusion. You told me that it didn’t really matter one way or another because if I wasn’t mentally sober, it was only a matter of time before I’d lose my physical sobriety. You sounded gruff and kind of mean to me. After I hung up the phone I burst into tears and called you a bitch. I hated this program! There’s no way to win when you have to be careful of what you think. But two days later, I’d lost my sobriety for sure and my group sponsor pointed out that I was spending a lot of time and energy fighting rather than just accepting reality.

I’ve tried to pass this wisdom on to others. Some people like the image of the addict fighting back, like the first woman did. I prefer to say that change is difficult, and changing life long compulsive behaviors is very difficult. And worrying about your sobriety is just not a productive thing to do. Your job (my job) in recovery is to do the next right thing. That’s all. Staying sober is not my job. Right living and right thinking is.

Like a farmer, right? Planting and harvesting is a farmer’s job. Growing is not.

Last week though, I got several calls from women who left me feeling used. They dumped, preached, and then when they’d gotten what they needed, they left. Of course, that’s what sick people do — but I need to develop a better coping strategy.

There’s a point where a remembered hurt can develop into a resentment — or it can morph into a springboard for learning and change. I definitely want to change how I manage myself on the phone with other women in recovery. I’m grateful that nobody else has called for awhile, because I would hate to be guarded with the next person because I’m still smarting from feeling used by the woman before her.

And the whole dilemma about whether to stay connected with my 12-step program? “That’s not something I need to decide today.” A direct quote from my first sponsor.



  1. I just want to thank you for your blog. I’m very new in sobriety (3 weeks now) and you gave me sort of a pre-recovery glimpse into what sobriety can be like. I remember thinking ‘wow, she can do normal stuff’ and what a relief that was. I also have attended other 12 step programs for years and have a bunch of time clean and sober, but never really felt ‘clean’.
    I can’t say that I know what happens to other members with time who leave meetings, but in my other programs, I’ve seen them come back humbled and wanting connection again, whether relapsed or not. I rarely went to those meetings in the last 4 years or so, I’ve just switched addictions and been stuck in that. So my personal experience is that yeah, I’ve stayed clean from drugs and alcohol but my life is just as insane and I’ve starting attending those meetings again with a whole new willingness and honesty.
    I was also wondering why you chose SAA as opposed to SA. What it just a matter of only have SAA in the area? Was it some fundamental issue(s) you had with it?

    Just curious. And again, thank you for your honesty.

  2. Just sending a shout out to say I am thinking of you and I hope that today is a day when you can look out your window and see something beautiful. After a day of sunshine, I’m looking at a blue sky streaked with beautiful pink ribbons. Life is not easy, but it has its moments.

  3. 🙂 Overcomer, you did thank me! And I’m glad I could help! You were a pleasure to talk to – calls like that are energizing!

  4. I don’t know if I ever thanked you for taking my calls, but if I didn’t please accept my heartfelt thanks now. You helped me through some really bad days. I hope I wasn’t one that left you feeling used. I pray you are blessed! I know you are atheist, but I am not so I’ll pray if you don’t mind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s