My first few weeks back from treatment…no one would answer my phone calls besides my family who was worried sick about me. Everyone had written me off, it wasn’t their fault I would have done the same thing with what I had done to all my friends. I used, abused, lied, degraded, deceived and tore others down around me because I didn’t want to focus on the real problem. I knew I was sick with the disease of addiction but hell if I was going to talk about it, admit it or ask for help! What did I do instead? I burned all my bridges.
When I first started working with my sponsor I wanted to skip right to step 9 where making all my amends in 20 minutes and getting this “saying sorry” thing over with. My sponsor said because you want to do them now, you get to wait. Her reasons were sound but I didn’t like them…you are too early in recovery, you need to get to know yourself a little, you need to learn humility, you are emotionally all over the place and my head still wasn’t clear after so much time of using. Looking back I am so grateful my sponsor knew what she was doing. My sorry’s and apologies would have been empty and not nearly has heartfelt.
My sponsor saw me for what I was and habits I had learned while using…lying, cheating and deceiving…those aren’t character defects you get rid of overnight. I was 6 months into recovery and we were still on step 4, I was getting anxious in my recovery and wanting to do so much but she held me back. I couldn’t see at the time what she was doing but I do now. I was putting myself back together brick- by- brick, I was building a foundation, a life that showed of service and humility.
I was told once if you fix what’s right inside you mend relationships better, for me that was so true. One year I left a friend in a foreign country because I told her I would meet her there and I never got on the plane…how do you apologize for that? I started to see the shame and guilt I was caring around with me as I got further into recovery.
One year later I was on step 8 and writing down all my amends. I got to look back on a year of recovery with my sponsor, she looked at me and said are the bricks starting to come together, can you get over the bridge to meet your friends again? She saw what I could not early in sobriety…the bricks needed to be rebuilt for me to meet my friends. Talk is cheap and my sponsor knew that but actions…that was the key to a good amend. They got to see the product that came after a year in recovery which was much more impactful than “I’m sorry”. While I did say I’m sorry, I meant it and you could see that with the way I was living my life, putting it back together brick-by-brick! Written by a Volunteer of Myrecovery