That damn 1000lb phone.
Updated: May 28
I'll be completely honest.
It took me a reeeeealy long time to admit defeat. To admit that I was an alcoholic. To admit "that my life had become unmanageable" and that I was "powerless over alcohol". For a very long time, I sat in the rooms of AA simply as a bystander. I participated from the distance and safety of the very back row, nearest the door. I came late to the meetings and left before anyone could grab me up and try to convince me to "try their way of life one day at a time".
More truth. I lied over and over again about my sobriety date. Yep. I couldn't even be honest in the rooms of AA about when I took my last drink. Now, that's bad! Like, even for an alcoholic, that's bad.
When one alcoholic can't even be honest about their own sobriety to another alcoholic, you know she's really sick! And, I was.
More truth. I didn't want you to know the real me. The real me that was such a screw up. The real me that somewhere along the way had become so dishonest, didn't know the truth from the false. That was me. And, guess what that got me? Nothing. It certainly didn't keep me sober.
So, when people in the rooms started to wonder about me, I wanted to be even more invisable. Imagine my horror when a very sweet woman approached me one day and asked, "Maria, do you have a sponsor?" sh*t. sh*t. sh*t.
And there it was. The question I was dreading.
So, I did the only thing I knew to do. I lied to her.
This kind woman just wanted to help me and I lied. (OMG! Who am I????)
Eventually, saving my own life was more important than saving face. I wanted whatever it was this sweet woman was offering. I was completely out of options and I was "willing to go to any lengths" to try to save my own life. It got real. No more hiding. No more lying. No more.
So, she started with baby steps. "Maria, call me every day. I don't care what you have going on or how busy you think you are. I don't care that you don't know me. I don't care that you think your life is so uniquely special that no one could possibly understand. I don't care. Just pick up that 1000 lb phone every day and call me."
"Wait. What?! Why?" Why would I want to call this stranger every day? What for? What's her game? Why would she be willing to help me?
I didn't understand until I began to get to know her and she proved to me that her life was so much better than mine...and I wanted that. I wanted my life back. I didn't want to lie anymore. I wanted the old me back. The old me before alcohol had taken away who I really was. I wanted me to be happy again...and so did she.
So, I followed her instruction. I picked up that damn 1000 lb phone and I called her. Everyday. And, you know what l learned? I learned that I was worth loving. I learned that I could be honest with another person. I could trust again. I learned that she was totally sincere in helping me, because every time I dialed her number, I was helping to keep her sober, too!
I get it now. I so get it.
WE keep each other sober. WE do it together. WE are not alone.
It took me a while, but I get it now.
Gawd, I'm stubborn. I don't even recognize that crazy person I was six years ago. I hope I never have to see her again.
More truth. Your sponsor expects the same from you.
Call your sponsor!!