Posts Tagged ‘90 days of sobriety’

 

itchyscratchy2Unfortunately for this drunk, 90 days of sobriety usually signified both an achievement and the beginning of the end. I got quite a few 90 day chips in AA, it was what came after 90 days that was the problem. I’d start to feel better, mentally and physically and I’d start to get things back that I’d lost in the latest episode of screwing my life up. My job would be going good, my son would be spending more time with me or I’d decide to date again. In fact, when I think about it now, I realize that when I started thinking that I knew what was best for me, it was a sure sign that things were about to go to shit.  

When I’d first get sober, I’d eagerly go to meetings, get a Sponsor and start on the 12 Steps. I called my Sponsor every day, took time to read the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book and developed a network of friends who were in the same boat as me.  But, as the weeks went by and things got better, my life improved and I found that I got busy, I went to less meetings and I lost momentum in my recovery program. I was working on the 4th Step and it was just too much fucking hard work to write all my resentments down, after all I had a job to go too, a son to look after and a boyfriend to keep, all this other stuff could wait. Besides, no one was making me do the 12 Steps, it was up to me and I’d decided I was well enough to make it on my own. I didn’t need all this tedious recovery crap anymore.

It’s amazing, how when I adopted this viewpoint my life came undone very quickly. You’d think I would learn from making this mistake one or two times but I went through getting 90 days sober four or five times before the penny finally dropped. Finally, I learned that my way wasn’t working and the last time this happened I decided that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED, no matter how great I was feeling at 90 days, I was going to continue working my recovery program.  

So, as the dreaded 90 day itch started to rear its ugly head, rather than succumb to what my disease was telling me, which was the usual, ‘recovery is boring, your all better now, there’s so much more to life than this, you don’t need this shit’,  – I  worked harder on my program, finished that ‘dreaded’ 4th Step and before I knew it I was way past another 90 days and still sober.

These days, if I continue to do what I’m doing and work on a program of recovery, I’m hopeful that I won’t have to do another 90 stretch again. In fact the only time I really think about those days is when I’m explaining to my Sponsee how I continually fucked up because I thought I could ‘handle it from here’. My Sponsee is at the ‘I’ll take it from here’ point and all I can do is point her in the right direction, tell her what worked and didn’t work for me and the rest is up to her. 

easyI started working with a new sponsee two weeks ago and she has about 45 days of sobriety. We have been going to meetings together, talking on a daily basis, reading the big book together and fingers crossed, this weekend she’ll complete her Third Step. Last week (after we’d been working together for only one week) she happened to blurt out that she  really wanted to get started on her amends because there were people who were waiting for her to make things right. I asked her what had prompted this and she said her adult son knows someone who is a recovering alcoholic, they work in the same office and the man told her son that he had 90 days sobriety and he is already writing his amends letters. Her son went on to tell her that the man he works with said this is where his mom should be at too.

Needless to say, I was exasperated, because not only is she getting advice on working her program from someone who isn’t even in the program himself, she’s was also being told by a family member who was being told by another person who has 90 days sobriety. It doesn’t bug me that the person with 90 days is telling someone else where they should be in the steps (he doesn’t know any better and probably thinks he’s helping), it’s that my sponsee’s son is taking what this person says and running with it, putting pressure on his mother to make amends, way before she is spiritually fit to take that on. She is living in a sober housing facility, struggling to pay rent there, trying to get a job and all the while she is still in a fog from the booze and scared and apprehensive about the future. It’s a little frustrating when a sponsee who is already under a lot of pressure and anxiety because she is so new to recovery, feels pressure to rush things because she wants to make her family happy. 

All I could do was explain to her that she is right where she needs to be. We are not rushing through the big book or the steps; we are reading and concentrating on the step she is on until she has a full understanding of it. We had only briefly touched on the rest of the steps after Steps 1, 2 and 3 because there is no need to worry about those until we get there.  I tried to explain to her that by completing each step to the best of her ability, will better prepare her for the next step and so on.  

She really wants this, she wants a life without booze and she is doing the best she can, working the step she is on, listening to suggestions, developing an understanding of her Higher Power and taking it one day at a time – that’s all any of us can do. If she can concentrate on working her program and not have other people tell her how she should be working it, hopefully the rest will fall into place.