Health Magazine

Sobriety: How to Help Someone Become Sober!

By Sobrfit3
Written By:  Cathy Shuba
"Happy Thursday!"
Today, I wanted to talk about helping someone we know or love to become sober.  Today, I thought this topic is sometimes hard to handle for someone who wants someone else to get clean and sober.  I will try my best at sharing my experience, strength and hope with all of you on this topic.
When I was drinking helping someone else was out of the question unless there was something that I was going to gain out of it.  I would say, "What is in it for me?"  When I was drinking I never wanted anyone to help me, feel sorry for me or try to change me.  When I was drinking if someone tried to tell me I needed to stop drinking I would not listen.  I would no longer be friends with them.  I would would become angry at them.  I would resent them.  It would actually make me want to use more.  It would actually allow me to deny more of my problems.  It would actually make me feel rejected...which again, allowed me to use more.  It would cause me to no longer want to deal with anything.  I did not have a problem.  My friends telling me I have a problem were the one's with the problem.
When I chose to become sober the light switch when on!  I began helping so many people and sometimes too much where I had to balance it out so that I would not forget about my own needs in my recovery as well.  I have seen sponsors try to help new comers and even people who had been sober for a long time who ended up going back out drinking.  I have had friends that were sober for over 20 plus years and go back out drinking.  I would say, "How does that happen?"  My sponsor would say to me there are many reasons why a person goes back out but that is not our responsibility in knowing why.  Our responsibility is to help them come back...with boundaries, of course!  I have sponsored many since I became sober in 1993.  I have lost some by death and I have lost them because their willingness to stay sober was not quite there yet.  Today, I belong to AA and Al-Anon.  Thank God for Al-Anon it has kept me sober, balanced, willing to accept at all costs and mostly in check with the reality of my own feelings as opposed to others who are still struggling with recovery.  Now, AA helped me stay sober but Al-Anon has given me all the emotional balance I lacked and needed to stay happy, content and serene in my life today!
So the question is, "What do I do when a friend of mine is still using or is about to use again?"  I reach out, I listen, I try to understand, I do not preach, I do not tell them what they need to do or what they should do and mostly I give them my love just by being there.  I detach with love!  I understand how I felt when I was in there shoes.  I thank God for this humbling experience he has sent forth on me.  I ask God for his will not mine!  I realize that I have no control over it, I can not cure it and I can not change it.  I can only pray, be patient and know that there is a reason for this.  God's message is there regardless how much I may panic or feel the need to fix it, change it and control it.  I may at times became frightened and full of guilt if I did not work the program to the fullest by thinking I did not do everything in my power to get that individual help.  I know today that thinking in such way is distorted.  I know today that the program is there for people who want it.  Who cherish it.  Who believes in it.  Who are willing enough to turn there will and their lives over to a power greater than themselves.  I always remember that when I was almost at my bottom or perhaps I was not at my bottom...I always knew where to get help!  AA is not unknown.  AA is not a secret.  AA is not a mystery.  Then again, AA may not be for everyone but there are still other options out there for help so if the person is truly willing the help will not be such a struggle.  The help will not be such a job.  The help will be welcomed and motivating.  The help will work.
Today, I will run knowing I try my best to share my experience, strength and hope on a daily basis and know that when I do it is out of love and acceptance and not control, fear and guilt.  Do you know someone who is struggling in their recovery or has gone back to their drug of choice?  If so, try just being there to listen, to pray or accept the fact that no matter what you say or do it is up to them to get the help.
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Sobriety Fitness by Cathy Shuba is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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