View all:  Voices of Recovery

June 4

“It is a proven practice, handed down through generations, that recovery from addiction can only take place with others.”

“Getting a Sponsor”

In recovery, I have learned that sudden, flaring emotions are seldom about the present. Something now is triggering a past hurt. There have also been times when protective action was warranted, but my radar didn’t detect it. Fortunately, I’m in recovery and learning from experience.

Last month, a coworker said something disparaging and false about me at a team meeting. I was shocked but said nothing. I knew it reflected more on him than me, but my pain and anger did not subside. When he left for the day, I started following him to the parking lot. After only twenty steps or so, the voice of reason chimed, “Nothing you do out there will end well. Stop!”

I immediately recognized its truth. I turned around, went back to the office, waited, went home, and called my sponsor. My sponsor provided an active solution. It was nothing I would have chosen if I had been able to think of it, but it was appropriate and gave everyone involved a chance to be a decent grownup. The result was more healing than I could have imagined.

Many of my emotions belong to the wounded child in me. If I act on them, I may well be acting childishly. When I act as an adult, I provide a safe place for that child to heal. For me, that usually requires outside assistance.

I thank God for my sponsor and the generations of sponsors that make life with dignity possible for me.