An open letter to a sponsee

We had this discussion a couple of years ago during a halftime of our home group. You had and looked like you still do have this bad habit of self-destructing and ending up camping down by the river. After having seen you do this twice in less than eight months! Myself; my sponsor and a couple other people our home group decided that it was time to do what’s happened in home groups since there were 12-step meetings. You were taken aside, and the proverbial riot act was read to you, for good reason too.

It went something like this. You have this bad habit of self-destructing. The fact that you managed to stay clean through them doesn’t excuse the fact that you put yourself in a situation that requires you to start from square one again. So you need to be making an effort, and you need to make your recovery work. Because if you don’t, you’re either going to have to go into long-term treatment to deal with this constant problem you’ve been having. Or I will have to cut you loose.

Is that a cruel thing to say? Maybe some of the people that read this will say so. My personal take is this. I have an active life. I have a limited amount of time to devote to helping people in recovery get their lives together, I’m not a drug counselor, nor do I work in or at a treatment facility. Hell man I’m not even all that much into being friends with people. Not to mention that there are scores of addicts coming into treatment every month some of them are serious. SO if you want my help and support, then you had better be willing to do the work required to get it. Yes, there are these wonderful people that will continue to be your sponsor no matter how many times you choose to relapse and well good on them for doing so!

I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!!!

You have to understand something, and I’m likely revealing a not so well known fact about 12-step programs here. The old timers you know the men and women like me with decades of clean/sober time like me when anyone new comes in.  I can usually tell within the first 5 or 6 meetings whether you’re serious about recovery or not I suspect that most of the other old timers can too! Yes, sometimes I judge wrongly after all I’m only human, this is one of those situations where I’m actually happy and pleasantly surprised to be wrong too. You know what though? This rarely ever happens, I can count the times on one hand when it’s happened to me!

So what does this mean to you? Your actions over the past few months had relapse written all over them. I hadn’t seen you a meeting in at least three months; you called me maybe four times in the last six months and even then those calls you never really got down to brass tacks with me. And I did try to get you to open up as well. And with my life being the way that it is, having to go out of town to work for weeks at a time. I wasn’t in a position to be sitting outside your door making sure you were doing what you needed to do.

So it was painful for me to run into you on Valentines Day in the state you were in!

Not only was it painful for me but it this relapse was over a woman that’s an active drug user to boot! It’s tough for me to see this especially given the fact that you know that I’m a Men’s Rights Activist.  I’ve run sponsees through recommended do’s and don’t’s when it comes to dealing with women. But one of the big ones happens to be “Don’t get involved with women that are active drug users.” I know for a fact that women are told to avoid this exact scenario too. You see this is what a sponsor is here for they’re the one you call and discuss this before you decide to take the plunge.

I get it man you were lonely, it was Valentines day and in a situation very similar to me. You focused on what you didn’t have as opposed to what you had. The process of recovery only guarantees you a freedom from active addiction and that’s it! Doesn’t guarantee you a girlfriend, nor does it guarantee you the White Picket Fence and a House out in Burbsyland. These things don’t get handed to you on a silver platter; they didn’t happen to me either.  It was because I was so full of self-pity that I couldn’t see how far I’d come. You know what I did though after I had discovered I’d manage to dodge what would’ve likely been the bullet that killed me?

I went to a meeting the next day

You haven’t done any such thing, you haven’t called anyone, you haven’t been to any meetings nor have you returned any messages sent by me or anyone else at this point.

It pains me that I didn’t get the chance to sit down and discuss this matter with you. That sword cuts both ways though you chose to not call me either. To see you potentially lose everything you’ve worked for over the last three years. I’m pretty damn sure that going down to camp by the river isn’t something you’ll be enjoying especially in February either. But if you don’t do something soon you’ll end up there and, after all, the time you put in going back to that…Well let’s just say it’ll be something you won’t enjoy probably

You need to go into long-term treatment, you need to address those relationship issues and the feelings around them. If you’re thinking or believing that I can’t relate? I can it’s happened to me too and when it did I came a whole hell of a lot closer to relapsing then I realized at the time.

Your actions though have also triggered me and not in a good way either. I had to do some cleanup about some blunder I did last week because it brought up emotional issues with me that I didn’t expect.  I thought I’d put these matters to bed, turns out I hadn’t. I’ve been getting constant reminders that they haven’t all week, and I will be covering that in another blog. That’s my issue not to mention I also have an employment situation that needs to be addressed

What I’m saying is that I have to deal with you in a blunt, forceful and expeditious manner as much for my sake as for yours.

So here it is you need to go into treatment now! Not later you’re lucky you even lived and that I ran into you that night, I shudder to think what would’ve happened to you that night if I hadn’t! You’re not being possibly ready for this ISN’T an option for me though, not this time. I have to deal with the internal emotional issue this incident released in my head. That means dealing with in a way that sees you out of my life or getting help

Sorry it had to come to this! I have to do what I have to do to maintain my recovery and right now that means I can’t have you as a distraction. You know what to do, you got the e-mail and the phone call but unless you do something you’ll have to be cut loose. In this case for my own good.

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