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Regurgitating Advice: Being Independent in a World of Demands

The following blog posting is from a San Francisco friend of mine, Mitch. He’s got loads of sobriety time, has always been a good friend, and is a total wise guy. In fact, he and another friend of ours got sober around the same time. Our other friend has since gone out and is spiraling down through his addiction to meth. It’s sad, and I wrote about it for quite some time in the Summer and Fall of 2010. I’d write more about it, but the same old story will be told. He’s just further along.

I asked if he wanted to be a guest blogger on Pat Moore Foundation’s site, so here is he blog.

Hi, I’m not sure how to start this blog posting thing, but I’ll start like I do in a meeting. Hi, my name’s Mitch and I am an alcoholic. (Now you all chime back with, “Hi, Mitch!”) Good, now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to tell you I am far from perfect. In fact, I am far from working a perfect program. I am probably the last person anyone would want to follow. I am not a role model for anyone. But, I have 19 years of sobriety, just like Rob here. Guess I might be doing something, right. Right?

Why am I far from perfect? Well, I am far from perfect because I am human. I don’t do what my sponsor tells me to do, even after all these years. Of course, I do it, but I take his advice, absorb it, and then regurgitate it and do it my way. I do it the way which works best for me. Let me just give you an example of what I mean.

I was told to do 90 meetings in 90 days. We’ve all heard that one. I even give it as advice to my sponsees, and they take that advice. They do everything exactly as I tell them to do it. I, on the other hand, do not. I regurgitated the advice my sponsor gave me and said, “I can’t do that.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Well, the last advice you gave me was to “keep it in the day,” and “one day at a time,” so by doing 90 meetings in 90 days, contradicts that. (You’re probably thinking I am wise guy, or that I should have been a lawyer. Maybe I am a lawyer.) “But,” I then added. “How about if I do a meeting whenever I would have normally drank?”

He shook his head, sighed “Which is every day, right?”

“You’ve heard this before.”

He nodded, smiled. “Yeah.”

What’s the point of this? Well, thanks for asking. The point is that you can do the program your way. Listen to advice, and if you’re uncomfortable following it then don’t. BUT, find a way that makes sense to you, and makes you comfortable. This is your program, you ultimately decide what works for you. It’s your sobriety. Do it your way, but keep it simple.