M(3), 5/11/15: Does Anyone Claim to be a “Phone Person?”

You’ve heard uttered, “I’m not much of a phone person.”  I’m just wondering if the reverse is true, does someone make the claim that they are, in fact, a phone person?

No one I personally know, although by action I absolutely know people who are “phone people.”  Now I’m going to have to ask them if they considered themselves “phone people.”  I’ll let you know what they say.

What, you may be pondering, is the point of this rambling about the phone, and phone people (this expression is starting to make me giggle, good thing only the dog can hear me)?  More importantly, what does it have to do with sobriety, recovery, and/or my Monday morning meeting?

Glad you asked!  The chapter covered in this week’s literature selection (the book is Living Sober) is entitled “Making Use of Telephone Therapy.”

The chapter eloquently describes the reluctance with which many a newcomer to the 12-step program embraces the idea of calling someone instead of drinking.  The notion here is not to pull out the yellow pages and start dialing.  It’s not even to call up your Mom or your best friend.  Rather, call someone who’s been in your shoes, who understands the feelings that come along with early sobriety, and sharing with them what is going on with you.  In most cases, the simple act of uttering the words “I want to drink, and here is what’s going on (fill in the blank),” is enough to dispel the urge to drink.

The chapter selection falls into the category “entirely selfish decision that winds up being good for the whole group.”  Maybe not the whole group (14 in all), but a good many of them stated that the topic was one they needed to hear.

It’s selfish on my end, because I am seeking the answer to the very whiny question, “But WHY do I have to call every single day?!?”  This is in response to the directive issued by my new and incredibly awesome sponsor that I call her.  Every.  Single.  Day.  No exceptions.

People who know me personally are gasping in horror and whispering, “Holy shit!  Her head is about to explode!”

Obviously, I am one of those people who have uttered the earlier expression I mentioned.

Your mind can be arguing two ways at this point:

1.  What’s the big deal?  If your sponsor says call, just call

or

2.  You’ve got over 3 years of sobriety, why on Earth would you need to call someone every single day?

Clearly I am in the second camp, and therefore I selected this reading to gather real world advice from my comrades in the Monday morning meeting.  Of the 14 present, 6 have more than 25 years sober, and another 5 have between 2 and 10 years sober, so a wide range of experience to uncover the hidden mysteries of the phone.

Yes, in case you’re wondering, my sponsor was present.  And yes, she now clearly understands my position on this directive!

The answers I received really surprised me, although they shouldn’t have, since my crazy mindset is generally shared by lots of people in the rooms of the 12-step fellowship.  Most shared that they experience the same anxiety in picking up the phone as I described, and most are reluctant to continue the practice much once over the hump of early sobriety.  Some admitted it was ego at play:  I’ve got this sobriety situation handled, I don’t need the help.  Some are reluctant to impose on others.  One person received bad one-on-one advice and is now hesitant to get involved personally with fellow 12-steppers. One long-timer said he never used the phone before, and now he feels like “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I could relate to all of the above (with the exception of receiving bad advice, that’s never happened to me).

I got the final answer I was seeking, unsurprisingly, from my sponsor herself.  She remembers well feeling that phone calls are unnecessary.  She had double the sober time I did, in fact, when her sponsor insisted that she make the daily phone call to check-in.  She had the usual litany of objections:  but I am not fighting the urge to drink!  I don’t have time for a daily phone call!  I will have nothing to talk about!

The answer she received:  it’s not about whether or not you want to drink, it’s about claiming your sobriety and acknowledging you can’t do it alone.  If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this simple task on a daily basis, then how important is your sobriety?

Last Monday, when my sponsor issued this directive my immediate response (after groaning):  can I start tomorrow since I’m physically speaking with you right now?

Today, after the meeting, I said, “I’ll be calling you later to claim my sobriety!”

Today’s Miracle:

That I’ll be calling my sponsor later to claim my sobriety!

or

The second class in my meditation series is tonight, and I can report that I’ve meditated each day last week!

Posted on May 11, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Thank you for these posts on Mondays. When I first read a few of your posts I almost didn’t follow you because I don’t use an AA group. Now I can’t wait to read them and hear the lesson and what the group has to say!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for this comment! You know, I should probably re-explain every once in a while why I even started this series, which is because even though I am a 12-step member, I find so much wisdom that extends well beyond recovery, it positively impacts every area of my life! So I write what I learn because, truly, I believe it helps all of, not just us choosing sobriety, or those interested in the steps.

      I really appreciate your reaching out!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the logic. I have always said that i need to do something everyday to acknowledge that I am a recovering alcoholic. But I think the important thing is that the whatever is done is done with another person – whether a phone call to a sponsor, a fellow addict, someone, or a simple conversation.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Untipsyteacher

    This is such a great way to look at it!
    Yes, my sobriety is important!
    I wish I could hear people on the phone! I have to text, which isn’t so good.
    (I am very hard of hearing, and deaf in one ear. My cochlear implant is not great on the phone.)
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wendy, I am so sorry to hear that, I’m sure that can be limiting. I’m telling you, though, a solid half the people in the room yesterday said that texting is just what they do now, so you are in good company!

      Thanks for the comment, Wendy!

      Like

  4. I’m such a hypocrite because I always want to text with my sponsor but I ask my sponsees to call me ;). Usually that’s just in early sobriety or if there is something major they want to talk about. Even though I resist it sometimes, there’s so much value in being able to talk either in person or on the phone as opposed to texting. Still, it’s better than nothing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I never called daily even when I was a newcomer…ego…lol. I admit I don’t talk to my sponsor very often. And hell, it’s been since Feb since my last mtg. But what I do have is daily convos with other alcoholics (and addicts) via Twitter, email and such. Every. Single. Day. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I am speaking recovery to someone. So perhaps I am not the best person to model after in terms of picking up the phone, but the overall message is bang on – claiming our recovery takes others. I *need* to talk about what is going on, and to pass the message to others. I have some friends online that have walked me of the (emotional) ledge many times. I have my step sponsor (who I am seeing tomorrow) and others that I will call at times. But I think you are right that ego can get in the way and sure as hell mine does still in many ways.

    Thanks for this – good reminder for me to ramp things up a bit 🙂

    Hope you’re well!

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      In case that intro was not clear, I am very excited to see a comment from you pop up! I think of you often, my friend, and I hope you are well!

      You are voicing the sentiment of the bulk of the meeting… they may not make the actual phone call, but they are committed to some form of communication every day.

      I am absolutely sure that this practice is going to be beneficial for me in lots of ways, not just for my sobriety.

      I keep forgetting about Twitter, need to jump back on there!

      Thanks so much for the comment, I am thrilled to hear you are well! I will be connecting with you soon via Twitter 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great post! Thank you. We can’t do this program alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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