Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday Stuff

I am heading out of here in a minute for a bike ride with a swim in the middle of it! It is so much fun to start a day like this. And a glorious day it is, nice and cool. Tonight I have tickets to go see the latest Harry Potter movie with my daughters and one of my son's friends. We will miss my son, because we have gone to each of the movies as a group... but he will be home soon.

So I have a question. How much time to spend helping someone who wants what I have but is not willing to go an inch to get it? A woman I used to sponsor and has since used and drank called a couple of weeks ago in dire straits. She wanted my help. I talked with her and spent some time with her. She has since decided that she doesn't want to go to AA because we cuss and we don't all believe in God (as she understands him). Her church has been kind enough to assign two women to help her out. On good days, she believes these women provide all the help she needs. However, when the s*** hits the fan, she calls me.

Yesterday she left me a message. She is a mess (again). She asked me to please call her back because she really needed to talk to ME. I never got hold of her yesterday. But I wonder if I am really being helpful at all. My ex-husband used to talk about people who wanted to "second-hand" recovery. They don't want to do anything to get it themselves, they want to get MY recovery - by osmosis. It doesn't work. Part of me thinks that I should cut this woman totally loose - and tell her to call the church ladies when she is in trouble. Maybe if she were totally cut off from what AA offers, she would realize she needs it - instead of doing a bit of a cafeteria approach - she'll have some of the fellowship, but none of the responsibility... like jello without the green beans.

I'm just thinking... I haven't got it worked out. If you have thoughts on this, please share them.

"If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to take certain steps." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58


dAAve said...

Send her the forms for the correspondence course in AA. Or else she can pick 'em up at the nearest watering hole.

Jello with green beans?

Kathy Lynne said...

MC: I spent a lot of time avoiding AA. It seems to me that what you have to offer her is the AA program and if she doesn't want it that's her choice. Instead of talking to her, maybe you could offer to meet her at a meeting and if she chooses not to go then... I know easier said than done. I like what you're husband said about second hand recovery. I think I tried that when I lurked around the online AA groups but didn't follow through with the work. And that way does not work.
Anyway, my kids went to the midnight show last night for HP (interesting initials:) and loved it. Lucky they can drive because I can't stay up that late.


Scott W said...

If he is not interested in your solution, if he expects you to act only as a banker for his financial difficulties or a nurse for his sprees, you may have to drop him until he changes his mind. This he may do after he gets hurt some more.

If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to read this book in the interval. After doing that, he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on. He should not be pushed or prodded by you, his wife, or his friends. If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.

If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience. We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us. But point out that we alcoholics have much in common and that you would like, in any case, to be friendly. Let it go at that.

~Page 95, Alcoholics Anonymous

Of course, you would want to substitute she for he, etc. I will pray for this woman and all the others that suffer from this disease.

Clarity said...

Hi MC- I agree with everyone else's advice re: your ex-sponsee. I tried to do the correspondence AA course for a long time, it just doesn't work. Maybe that's why she is having such a problem staying sober? What does she have to lose from trying to stop drinking the AA way for a couple of weeks?

sober jen said...

I agree. Offer to meet her at a meeting. If she won't do that, then you know more about her level of desire and commitment.

Syd said...

It seems that she hasn't had that dark night of the soul. Or she isn't willing to go to any lengths. At any rate, she seems to not really want what AA offers.

Shannon said...

shoot, I go back and forth with that all the time. I sponsored 3 women like that all at the same time. Shit it was exhausting... and none of them are sober. I think if anything, it helped me.
But I think you may also be on to something that until she gets cutt off, she may not realize fully that she needs its. TO some extent she knows she does, because she keeps calling you.
Then on the other hand... I hate this, because this is what always makes me take the bait.. is maybe this time, she will get it. I dont know either. Trust your instincts on this one.
and thanks for stoppin by. I was startin to think you didnt like me anymore... LOL sooo just kidding I love you

Pam said...

Hi darlin'...ya know, you are just so tender hearted, I think you have trouble turning any one away, if you think there might be a flicker of hope that you can help them. She knows you understand things that the "church ladies" don't, and that's one of the reasons she's so drawn to you in times of trouble.
But I think that we are not so much here for the terminally we are for the "desparate...I'll do anything it takes" type. I think I would help her obtain more phone numbers of AA women, and encourage her to use them.

Scott said...

lol dAAve, good stuff there lol

I mean wow, cut her loose... that's tuff love for sure. I understand the frustration of your situation but I guess if it were me, and only since you asked lol I would probably continue to offer her my suggestions when asked. I probably wouldn't "do" anything for her or give her much "material assistance" but I would hit some meetings with her, pray with her, talk with her and look at the Steps maybe if she's willing...

That's just my 2 cents..

luv ya MC!

Mary Christine said...

It is late, I am grumpy, but I am going to put 2 more cents in here. I already tried to sponsor her... she doesn't want to be in AA. She doesn't make it to meetings - she says she will go and then doesn't show. I fired her after she kept not showing up at my house for our scheduled times. She doesn't like AA. She just wants the easy stuff out of AA, like ME!

Pam said...

LOL MC...what is your question??
she doesn't want to be in AA
She doesn't show up for meetings
You aleady fired her

Banana Girl said...

My sponsor warned me early on when she felt I was ready to be a sponsor that we need to be able to identify and avoid "spiritual vampires", those who pretend to want what we have and use the AA pledge to suck our spirituality dry. If she doesn't want to go to meetings because we cuss, then she is not willing to accept the fact that she will be in room of sick people. If she has her own conception of God which she feels is at odds with anyone elses, then although she has her right to establish a relation with God as she understands Him and so does every other AA and her lack of tolerance and love is a key to her inability to find her way to recovery. These excuses, while lame in the opinion of this AA, are real to her and only she can tear them down. You are not responsible for getting her sober. The greatest gift you can give her is the freedom to find her bottom. She is obviously not there yet. And if she recovers without AA, great. We acknowledge that this program does not work for everyone and especially not for anyone who doesn't really want it. I think her fears are running her life, not her faith. Let her go. Your own sobriety is at risk.

vetver said...

Isn't there a saying about us not wasting time on those who are not willing? It takes us away from those who are. If I might offer an observation, it seems your gut is telling you what to do. Let her find out what she needs to do. I have three young children: I don't waste time on those who are not willing to take the actions.