Good intentions AND length of sobriety ALONE are NOT enough.
They are better than NOTHING but they do NOT remove (or diminish) th e short OR long term risk of untreated alcoholism getting the better of the suffering alcoholic (Sponsee) in question.
'We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough'. p82
'My friend was much more than inwardly reorganized. He was on different footing. His roots grasped a new soil.' p12
'Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition.' p122
This is why I always say Quality NOT quantity. I have met LOTS of long time AA's whose sobriety I DO NOT WANT. At ALL!
I've also seen VERY promising new people that I KNOW will have GREAT recovery in 10 years time provided they sustain the effort and thoroughness they are applying from the start.
I think it's REALLY difficult to tell unless you get to know a bit about them. Put it this way, I do NOT make 'favorable assumptions' about people based SOLELY on length of time sober. Just like I TRY (not often very successfully!!) not to make UNfavorable assumptions about people who are new around. I get it wrong ALL the time. All I know is that I DON"T know.
Another benefit of being sober a longer time is that its VERY hard to be idealistic or put ANYONE on a pedestal. I know too much about the terrible weakness we ALL have!!
I am DEEPLY Unimpressed by length of time ALONE. I look for completely different things.
Having said that, yes, THOSE WHO USE THEIR TIME IN AA TO GOOD EFFECT, ARE able to enjoy rewards of peace of mind that others, who by virtue of luck or choice, have Not made such 'skilful' use of heir time in AA. So time CAN be an advantage, BUT IT IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY AN ADVANTAGE.
Just like LACK of time CAN be an DISadvantage, BUT IT IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY A disADVANTAGE.
I really do think length of time ALONE means VERY LITTLE. There's a LOT more to it than that. In my opinion.
If you look in more 'structured' (as opposed to 'arbitrary') style AA meetings, generally you will find more accountable AA members.
I have to say, I am mostly VERY disappointed with what I hear about the general quality of sponsorship out there, even though a LOT of it is well meaning. Good intentions aren't enough unfortunately!
- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Quality NOT Quantity! Good intentions AND length of sobriety ALONE are NOT enough
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I am 23 years sober. The very best sobriety I had was from 4 to 8 years. Circumstances, opportunity, location and scheduling all played a huge role in that. Since 8 years sober? I wound up in a rural location for work for an extended period of time. Very little meeting or twelth step opportunity. Then from 12 to 16 years I was back in the city. the quality of my sobriety increased dramatically. Lots of opportunity and availabilty for service work and twelfth step work. Hospitals , Jails, Rehabs, newcomer meetings all afforded good twelfth step work. Meetings allowed service and carrying the message. From 16 to 23 years sober? I'm in the suburbs. The meetings here are frequent but the quality is very low. Nobody talks to anybody on any dep level. There is alot of parrotting and chanting. The meeting completely disperse two minutes after the closing prayer. I tried numerous times to get others involved in twelfth step work. Almost nobody tried. Worse yet the few who did? Relented preached, lectured and belittled the new people. Horrible. When i asked why? The said, "Thats how I was reated in the beginning." Wow! Bottom line? You get out what you put in. No free ride. Time really doesn't matter. If you work a good program you will have good sobriety. If you half measure this? You will get nothing.
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