White Knuckling Witnesses

Watching a newcomer struggle through the challenges of new sobriety without the helpful foundations available in the 12 Step programs can be very painful, as well as uncomfortable.  Some in the 12 Step programs call newcomers sliding by without the support available “white knuckling it.”  Those of us with some extended years of sobriety based on the 12 Steps or some other program that we use regularly (at least 2 times or more per week) see how using tools that work makes a difference.  When people only dance on the edges of what can preserve sobrietyand sanity and still continue the unhelpful, unhealthy behaviors that went along with the drinking, they are not in the solution.

There is a learning curve, and we DO what works to learn about it.  The 12 Steps give us a lesson plan so to speak, of what works.  And, a tool kit of solutions.  There are some other programs that do this too.  I don’t know as much about the other programs, but when people actively apply what all of these programs suggest on a regular basis, and actively seek out and use, through sponsorship, the support of others who’ve had success, it works.  They stay sober.  More importantly, they can show up as people they can be proud of, and make contributions to other’s lives as well.

Right now, a newcomer close to us seems angry most of the time.  It doesn’t seem to matter what the rest of us do or don’t do.  This person in their first year of sobriety wants to do it their way, and they don’t seem to be very happy.  Little blips of healthy results happen for them, but they don’t seem to be able to maintain themselves in a calm, serene and sane place.  They get angry and bully when people share honest feelings with them.  They over react and get defensive without cause.  A meeting a week doesn’t seem to be enough.  Not reaching out for support to others doesn’t seem to be working for them either.  We can see that they are suffering.  And there’s nothing any of the rest of us can do except take care of ourselves, and pray for them.  It’s not easy.  Their learning curve can’t be at the expense of others.  We care about them, and we can’t fix it for them.  We all hope that keeping our eyes on ourselves and staying in gratitude for our blessings will give our newcomer the space to start making choices that work.  We are giving the newcomer to our Higher Power.  Detaching with love, attending Alanon meetings and working the Steps with our sponsors are what works for us.  Thank you God!

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am taking care of me today.”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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