I Am Responsible: The Top 5 Reasons to Stay Involved In the Recovery Community
If you have been in the recovery community for more then a year, consider yourself a recovered alcohol or addict, have taken the 12 steps, helped newcomers and attended a gazillion 12 step meetings, WHY should you stay involved?
Isn’t It Someone Else’s Turn?
When I did all of those things above, my life got good. Really good! I got married in recovery, had a baby, got my white picket fence dream house, did volunteer work for my community and my church, had money and new cars, I was respected and became a contributing member of society. Why did I even NEED to continue helping drunks and addicts. Wasn’t it someone else’s turn? Hadn’t I done enough…? Occasionally those thoughts cross my mind, but luckily it doesn’t happen often, and thankfully I don’t listen to them and this is why:
Meeting Makers Make It, or Do They?
In 12 step recovery you often hear the old saying, “Meeting Makers Make It.” Is this true? Well, to some extend it is, but it’s only half the story.
The Rest of the Story
When I was a kid my mother used to listen to Paul Harvey (Letter From God) on the radio on Sunday mornings. He would start out his program with these famous words, “Hello Americans, I’m Paul Harvey. You know what the news is — in a minute, you’re going to hear the rest of the story.” Well, that’s what I’m here to talk about… the rest of the story about the old adage “Meeting Makers Make It.”
The Very, Very Beginning
Some of you may know the history about the relationship between co-founder of *Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson and Sam Shoemaker. For those who don’t here’s a brief account.
Dr. Samuel Moor Shoemaker was an Episcopalian priest, the rector at Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City. He was also a leader in the American Oxford Group. The Oxford Group is where the founding members of AA would meet before there was even an official group called Alcoholics Anonymous. AA adopted the 12 steps from the Oxford groups 6 tenets. Bill Wilson just took the loopholes out of the 6 tenets and when he was done writing them out, they turned into the 12 steps as we know them today.
There was a bowery style rescue mission attached to Calvary Church called Calvary mission. Ebby Thatcher (the man that 12 stepped Bill W.) was staying at Calvary mission when he made the call to Bill in November, 1934.
It was at the Oxford Group meetings held at Calvary Church that Bill met Sam Shoemaker. Sam became one of Bill’s early spiritual mentors and Bill credits Sam with teaching him the principles (6 tenets) that became the Twelve Steps as we know them today.
Partial history excerpt from Jim (anonymous) from SoberyRecovery forums
EGO is a Four Letter Word
You hear lots of reasons why people relapse in recovery. Which one is the worst offender? Sometimes you hear it’s resentments or dishonesty. Other times it’s a relationship or not going to meetings. Sometimes you can get a little closer to the truth when you hear it’s selfishness. I’ve heard them all and I’ve used them all too. So which one is the worst? None, because they all steam from one evil, ugly thing. The ego. That little three letter word causes so much destruction and we aren’t even aware it’s calling the shots. But how can all those reasons for relapse above be caused by the ego? Let’s look at some examples:
My Ego Tells Me I’m ALL THAT!
Resentments- Why do we get resentments. Lots of reasons but let’s focus on just 3:
- Judgement: I think I’m better than you (ego) or worse than you (ego in reverse).
- Hypocrisy: I hold you to a higher standard than I do myself. Ie: “You lied to ME!!!” Umm… You never lied to anyone? “You stole from ME!!” Umm… You’ve never stole from anyone? My ego tells me I’m ALL THAT!
- Fear: I’M not going to get something I want. I’M going to lose something I have. Umm.. Isn’t everything on earth God’s and He’s just letting you use it anyway? My ego tells me that I have to run the world (which is pretty scary). You can’t manage your own life and expect your Higher Power to do it too.