- Unexpected but inevitable?

Unexpected but inevitable?




Expect the unexpected... or discovered the unsuspected?

Unexpected but inevitable?

Postby garden variety » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:30 am

Friends,

I need to share a couple things - maybe just to see if my head is on right and fully tightened down.

Recently I spent a lot of "up close and personal" time with a friend of mine who has about the same amount of years sober as me. It was harder for me than spending time with a new man who thinks he knows it all. This friend is on the brink of going back out - I can tell. This person has been feeling like drinking at least 3-4 times they told me about last week.

Now the person goes to meetings, and sponsors a couple folks, and most of the time talked about sobriety when they talked with me. But lately, it's been "all about me" and how the world and God have turned against this friend. Also it seems like a couple big resentments that I thought got took care of in the 4th step also started coming up. Lots of negativity and an attitude that is "fatalistic" as my sponsor would say.

Well it's got to the point that I don't want to be around this person any more. I catch myself almost feeling guilty waking up and welcoming a new day when this person is going through what they're going through. I try to talk about the program and keep on trying to help the person stay focused on just one day at a time. But it just seems like this is a train ready to have a major wreck.

Its one of those times where everything inside me is just telling me to back off. But the person is a friend, and it is getting real hard to keep on being a friend. If it were a guy I was sponsoring, I'd give him a twenty, and tell him go on and get it over with for crying out loud - if I was acting this way that's exactly the way my sponsor would do me. Maybe the way to say it is this person still counts on me as being a friend, but they are trying their hardest to push me away - out of their life.

But here's the trouble. When I back off, somehow some spiritual inspiration happens, and this person is back square in my path. Then when I help this person, which I no longer have any desire to do whatsoever, I see in short order that by being there, this person is helping me - and I'm not saying that to be "parroting" what everyone in the rooms say. I mean I actually see where my sobriety has been made stronger and more effective by helping this person.

I can't say if I've ever been a part of anything like this that has been quite as painful. On the one hand I'm heartbroken because I love this person and they are not the same person they used to be. I keep hoping and praying they will come back around. But on the other hand, it takes everything inside me and more (probably from God moreso than me) to keep from getting nasty or to retaliate when they get real stupid and personal with me - which has happened too many times already. I mean this person got mad at me and went ballistic when I caught them taking my change jar out of my house. But they apologized and tried to make it right after blowing up at me.

What I'm seeing as I post this is that I'm "burning out". That's how it feels - like I'm burning out.

The thought that keeps crossing my mind is why isn't this person working the steps? The spiritual principles in the steps can help this person overcome the adversity they are facing. Yet if I suggest something like that to them, they get all sensitive and I end up feeling like I'm taking their inventory. It would be a different story if this was a protege'. But its not - this is a friend who got sober with strong sponsorship and by taking constructive action before we knew each other with different places and with different people.

I don't know what to think or how to act anymore. I wouldn't go out and try to find friends like this - I don't want friends like this in my life because they are so negative. I'm really at a loss. I'm not even sure about how I should be feeling. "Love and tolerance" or "Here's a quarter call someone who cares"?

So there it is - what would you do if you were me? By the way, the person is a female, but there is no relationship things going on - and I don't have any wishes or desires for that to ever happen.
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LET GO AND LET GOD !!!!!

Postby ccs » Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:56 pm

probably not what you want to hear I know its so much easier said than done but sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is absolutly nothing!! even when it really really hurts its her story not yours we all had to go through what we did to make us what we are today at the end of how it works it says that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves. maybe in another reading of working with others something might jump out and hit you between the eyes like in your post thank GOD for nothing I am a woman just remember one thing about most of us we know how to manipulate men and make them feel guilty and sorry for us harsh but true GOD BLESS cessie
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Postby Dallas » Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:15 pm

Hi Paul, thanks for sharing your experience.

CCS's answer hit the nail right on the head -- the answer is in Chapter 7, "Working with others" -- and also in Chapter 5, "How it works."

We are not-God. We are not in control. We are imperfect. We are powerless. There is a solution. We are not the solution. We are simply a story-teller and a messenger -- telling our story and how the solution (the 12 Steps, and the program of AA, and the Fellowship of AA, the Big Book... and God) worked for us. And, that's the deal. Just about all that we can do -- is to "carry this message" by being the best example that we can be -- of how it has worked for us.

You want to help him because you are a compassionate, loving, imperfect-person, that cares deeply about alcoholics and about all people, and you feel a sense of responsibility and duty, and you want to help, much like Dr. Bob expressed about himself and his experience.

It probably won't harm you if you continue to try to help the person. When the person writes an ending to this phase of their story -- your efforts to help may help you more. And, it probably won't harm you or him -- if you discover that you have to let go of your efforts to help him/her and move on to another alcoholic that is suffering, but willing to work with you.

Best wishes,

Dallas B.
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Postby garden variety » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:32 pm

Thank you Dallas and ccs for your replies.

I want to be clearer on this, if I can be clearer. I know that I can't control another person or the way they respond to life. I also understand about "Letting go and letting God". I guess maybe it's just my feelings getting mixed in with reality.

I've made it my business to pretty much remain neutral with this friend. My conscious mindset is like AA, I don't have an opinion on her troubles and it wouldn't be right for me to judge. I'm also careful not to "promote" the program. She is well aware of how it works and it's not my job to "try" and help her.

My job is for what I am responsible: that is "whenever anyone anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA to be there." So whenever she seeks my help, I am available for her. But I don't go the other way and ask her if she needs me or wants me to help. The problem is that helping her when she reaches out is like scaling down a bottomless pit. I don't want to help anymore because each time she's needed help, I've been there, and it doesn't matter how much I help - again when she asks for it - it doesn't seem like it helps her. So I pretty much dread getting calls from her.

But when I do help, I ALWAYS get something unexpectedly positive in return that ALWAYS helps me. Usually it's not from her, but I might get an insight into something somewhere totally unrelated to the situation. Then when I'm through helping her, I take that insight to the problem that was troubling me, then whammo - my unrelated problem is resolved. Or I avoid a problem that might have happened if I wasn't busy helping her. Its totally uncanny - I don't want to help - I realize this seems like a bottomless pit - but I help because it's my responsibility - then I end up getting helped. This is how it happens every time.

My hands are not on it - if I did what I "willed", I wouldn't help her. But instead of doing "my will", I do what I believe is the next right thing which is what I think is God's will, and it has always worked out to my benefit. Just like when she walked away with my change jar and I caught her - she got mad and called me a few choice names. I walked away without fighting. I go back to confront her on what she said, and before I open my mouth, she promptly admits she is wrong and tries to make it right.

Then I think I make a choice, and it's looking like I should just keep my distance from her, and I try to avoid making contact with her. I go tend to my life, do my business and everything is fine and who knows where she is? Which is fine, and I don't care where she is. Either that day or the next morning, I'll pray for her as I normally do, then there's a knock at my door. She shows up the exact time I pray for her. This has happened more than once. Either that or she'll call me on the phone right as I'm praying about her or for her.

I don't ask for this to happen, and I'm trying to avoid her, but this weird spiritual phenomenon keeps on happening, and I end up helping her because she really needs it - and again, I don't want to help - but it seems like it has to be God's will or else she would not be making these appearences. If I were to ask "where am I going wrong", it's always in making myself available to do God's will. But doing God's will isn't really something I'm doing that's wrong. It's just something I don't want to do, but I end up doing it anyhow because He seems to know that I'm willing even though it's not my favorite idea.

And it works the other way around too. Just when I'm about ready to lose my temper with her, some bizarre thing happens that prevents me from doing what I want to do - which is to get mean or nasty with her. I reach my limit, and I'm ready to blow a fuse, and sometimes I'm even walking fast toward her, "itching" to confront her. Then something happens that takes me completely off guard, and I don't confront her. And after everything is all said and done, I know that confronting her would have been the worst thing for me to do.

This whole thing really has me in a place where I don't want to be - and I see today that place is a place of humility. I don't want to be humble. I want to be unavailable. I want to be mean-spirited. I want to tell her off. I want to give her a piece of my mind. What ends up happening? I end up being forced by circumstances or situations into the "trusted servant" role, and I'm humbled. And the miraculous thing is that nobody gets hurt or is worse off on account of it. I usually end up looking or smelling like a rose. Now how is that for God's will and my irony?

So that's where I am today. My best choice is like ccs said - that's to "Let go and Let God". Or like the traditions say, I don't have an opinion about her, or the way she is living. I know from my recent experiences that if I did have an opinion about her, it would be wrong.

This is crazy how it's playing out - like we were talking about spirituality here, yesterday. Geezus! The best way for me to understand the spiritual forces at work here is to not understand at all. It's a Great Mystery to me today, my brother - I only wish I could say I'm content with it. The only thing I can say today is that I'm not content - I'm pretty uncomfortable (like a sow trying to wear silk tie). But at the same time I'm not discontent or unhappy either. I'm just right there in the middle like AA. The only opinion I can afford to have today is to not have an opinion.

This is one crazy set of rules to live by - I tell you what!

Please pray for my friend - she's in a real bad place. God loves her like He loves all of us alcoholics. Lord have mercy.
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Postby ccs » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:29 am

so you say you dont want to help you dont want to know but every time you do something good happens? you used the word uncomfortable . well I know that GOD has taken me out of some comfort zones to help me grow and build character ( theres the big- big book that I read you may be familiar with it aswell ) it says to rejoice in our sufferings because they produce perseverance and that produces character and that produces hope :) Romans 5:3-5 so there may be some character building going on here :lol: ( she`s lucky to have a freind like you) you`re both in my prayers GOD BLESS
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Postby Dallas » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:31 am

:wink:
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Is this a roller coaster, or what?

Postby garden variety » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:57 pm

Well friends, I reckon I need to follow up in this ongoing "drama".

I really and honestly thought after this long, the "roller coaster" rides would be smoothing out and the "drama" would fade away.

For the most part, that is what happened. Life has been pretty calm and serene. But this "friend" and her near relapses got me a little bit "agitated" -- stirred up you know? Maybe not quite "disturbed", but I been having a few emotional moments that I haven't had in a while.

Anyway, the other day I left my phone at work. I was just cleaning up after I actually cooked myself a meal - something I hadn't done in a while. My friend unexpectedly just walks in the door, the dogs don't even bark, and she looks at me and smiles. She had that "look" back - that look of contentment that you see on the faces of folks in the rooms. Guess where she was coming from? A meeting.

Guess what she did while she was there? Well she has been in the process of moving and living all over the place, and she had left some belongings out on my counter probably a week or two ago. I didn't know what they were there for. She picked up some boxes of her belongings that she left a while back when I let her have a room in my house. But she did something I hadn't seen her do since a long time ago. She was acting the way I used to know her.

She had a handful of tupperware dishes, I mean not the cheap stuff either, that were mine that she "accidentally" took with her. She returned them, along with a couple towels that were also mine. Then she said she left the stuff, it was cookware, out on the counter to give to me because she had extra and wouldn't be needing them. So what she ended up doing was returning my things that she had taken, AND she gave me things that were hers because she knew I needed them and she didn't want me to go out and buy stuff when she had extra stuff she didn't need.

She sat and we talked a little bit, and she was in better physical and emotional shape than I seen her in a month. She was smiling, and she wasn't asking me to help her, or mooching. She was "giving back". What a change! I was really glad to know that she didn't go back out drinking either.

Who was it in this thread that said "let go and let God"?

I guess it's moments like that that make me realize that helping another alcoholic is something that always "saves the day".

Another saved day - for many of us.

Lets give it another 24 hours, both you and me.
garden variety
 
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Postby ccs » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:16 pm

I`m so happy that things are getting better for your freind and you too!!!

IT WORKS!! IT REALLY DOES :D :wink:

Isnt It just AMAZING!!! to see people transform !!!!


GOD BLESS
Cessie
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