Fellowship…A Product of Program

One of the greatest gifts that comes out of recovery is fellowship. In addiction I didn’t want to know your name. I’d rather sit in isolation with my pretend friends than to
take the time to let someone in. Why would I, wasn’t it always just about me.
Today, thank God I’m in recovery and I’ve learned to hold my head high, respect
myself and reach out to my fellows.
These are guys and gals from all walks of life. We each have our own story, but
we’re all fellows working day by day, one day at a time in our programs. We come
together as friends united in our love and support of each other. We call each
other, we share meetings with each other and mostly we share our joy with each
other. And when that time comes when we need a shoulder to lean on, we have each
other. “Fellowship” a blessing from our Higher Power to each other.

25 thoughts on “Fellowship…A Product of Program

  1. My comment this time is simple. I could not do this alone, I have only been able to do it with the support of other addicts who “get it”. Thank you so much for the blessing of this fellowship!

    • I can’t believe it is four years later since my response to this post. I have so much more than a fellowship now I have meaningful real relationships…. thank you SAA

  2. “Fellowship a blessing from our higher power to each other”. So true, so true. This program keeps AMAZING me, people geniunly care about me and not what I can give them or do for them. To get a phone call just to say, “hey how are you, haven’t heard from you in a while” that amazes me and it usually happens just when I really need to get a phone call, cause that 500lb phone gets to hard to pick up. Today I am doing well and today I am sitting in some serious gratitude, I wasn’t here yesterday and who knows where I will be tomorrow but RIGHT NOW I feel so loved and so blessed to be sober.

  3. Although I do not identify with your disease, I do identify with the fellowship of a 12 step program that without it, my life would NOT be as fulfilled as it is today!
    I am forever grateful for this gift that has been given me!
    The fellowship was just the icing on the cake!

    • The fellowship I’ve found in SLAA and SAA is what has gotten me this far. I thank God for it! Its my life line. I had friends before but due to my own choices, they never truly knew me deep down. There was a side of me that I never showed. The addict side, the side that would go to any lengths to get what that hit. They didn’t know about the sadness and the rage inside me. Hey, if I really let them in I feared that I wouldn’t have the same esteem and our friendship would dissolve, or at least not be what it was. So I hid. And when they found out that they never really knew me – things did change. I don’t blame them. Now I moved down here a year and a 1/2 ago, and for the first year, I lived in isolation in my addiction. I had no friends. I had colleagues and associates, but no friends. I had my acting out partner but even she didn’t really know me. Now, I have guys who I’m letting me in. Who are getting to know me. I’m still afraid. The fear of rejection is really strong. But I’m pushing through that. Because every meeting I attend, and every time I communicate with mt sponsor, I feel less afraid. I feel more strongly that this is a fellowship of friends and brothers that is stronger than anything I’ve had before. These are guys who will stick with me and support me, as long as I’m being transparent. And when I read my journal – as scared as that thought makes me – I feel confident that the fellowship of my “brothers” and friends, will get me through it, and I’ll come out the other end -after sharing some of the lowest points of my life – better off. And like a true brotherhood, when I’m alone – which is almost all of the time – I know I’ve got guys who are only a phone call or text away. What a great feeling. I’ve got to continue to grow in my willingness to let others know me and to let go of the ego, and let others in, and to ask for help when I need it. But that’s o.k. – because I know I”m going to. I’ve no doubt about it. What an awesome fellowship this is! Can’t wait for my next meeting. They continue to be the highlights of my week. Thanks to all the brothers and especially my sponsor – for the difference you have made. And hey – I’m just getting started.

  4. As I have just experienced, recovery is a team effort. There is no I in team. I can make the choice to be honest with the group, my sponsor and my higher power. But to work this simple program “I” must choose to do the hard work which includes reaching out to those willing to help. You fail only when you give up. Giving up is not my choice, recovery is.

    Thanks for reading.

    God love you.

  5. Fellowship is an amazing thing. One of my brothers in recovery described his faith tonight as faith in God, faith in the program, faith in the fellowship and faith in himself. I believe in what he was saying and I believe in the faith in the fellowship. I have a fellowship of guys around me from my treatment center that always seem to surprise me. They are not people that I hang out with everyday or even talk to everyday. But they are there when I need them. And this week I am stuck at home and they brought a meeting to me and it was awesome. It was special too because I felt like we had a special bond, not only our fellowship, but the fact that we went to the same treatment center. The topic was the 3rd step and turning our will over and everyone’s sharing was great. They may come back later in the week. I am just grateful to be in a program like this. And I am grateful for the fellowship. It is truly amazing.

  6. Today’s reading in Answers in the Heart states that we need support to overcome our shame, and also that wisdom gives us the insight to move out of our addictive behavior.

    The only way to attain this wisdom and insight is through the “support” of the fellows in the program. Truly, I had no wisdom on the subject of my addiction before turning myself over to the program. My lack of insight is evidenced by the fact that I did not understand how truly cunning and baffling this disease is.

    Wisdom and insight about our disease can only come through listening to the stories and advice of those who have dealt with these issues before us. The men and women in the program tell their stories and offer advice based on their own experiences. When you give yourself to the fellowship of the program and realize that you are no different than the other members, you also realize that the only way out of addiction is to do what those who have worked the program successfully have done. Once you let the fellowship in and feel the healing at work inside you, then you become open to the words of wisdom and insight from those who only seek to help through love and understanding. Understanding. What a word. A word that connotes wisdom and insight.

    Today I have the wisdom and insight to know that the members of the fellowship understand me, my disease, and what I am going through to become sober. As I seek the fellowship’s guidance and thoughts on how to fight this mortal enemy, I know I will attain wisdom and insight, and ultimately the gift of sobriety.

  7. When a man believes that he is alone in the world, despairing that no one who understands him would accept him, that he can never get his needs met honestly – that is a person who lacks fellowship. That person was me, and possibly you.

    Since finding that there are others out there who face the same challenges, who understand what the individual is going through, who care for him or her anyway, and who will help to diminish the pain and isolation of this disease, and help him or her reach the other side of it – peace and understanding and love. That fellowship is the like the tossing of a life preserver to a drowning man or woman.

    I am grateful for the fellowship that I have seen and experienced, and want to help myself and others reach that beautiful “other side”.

  8. Fellowship is a wonderful product of this program. Without it I would at times have nowhere to turn. I am grateful to have the fellowship for so many reasons. The fellowship has always made me feel welcome no matter what. I can go into any room and always feel like I below. I can share and know that I am understood. I can listen and know that I understand and that I am like the brothers and sisters in the room. Fellowship is knowing that I can be with anyone outside of the room socially even if I only met them that day or if I have known them for a few years. It does not matter. We are all the same and we share a common bond. And it is nice to share time together and know that we are not alone. So spending time together outside of the meetings and the rooms is always nice. But fellowship goes beyond that as well. It is picking up the phone when I need to reach out. It is calling people when I am in trouble. It is calling people when I am not in trouble. It is keeping that network
    going so that when I am in trouble I have people to call. It is using it like I did this past week to reach out and vent so that I can get things out of my system and not do or say anything that I may regret with my co-workers out of frustration or emotion. I can bounce things of my fellows in the program and they can tell me when I am being self centered or emotional or full of self pity and can help correct my direction and it always works. And I can proceed with the right focus. Thank God for this help because without it I would make mistakes that I would regret. I am so grateful that I have this as I said. Everyone should have this. But I am not everyone. I am me and I have it. And I will continue to work my program and be grateful for the fellowship that I have and provide to others, one day at a time.

  9. Fellowship is something I’ve not had a lot of in the last few years and to be honest I’m finding it hard to engage and/or accept it in recovery. I’m just used to being alone. I was alone all the time in my addiction and if I really think about it, I’ve been alone all my life really… as a child, in school, almost everywhere.

    I can see now that I used to feel loneliness when I was alone. I still feel that sometimes, to be sure, but it’s different now, my time alone is a lot more productive and creative.

    I love the fellowship at the meetings, it’s one of my favorite parts… the sense of belonging.

    • This morning I went to a new meeting. I always get nervous when I am going to attend a new meeting where I am not familiar with the people, the format, and the meeting. As I drove in the parking lot of the church where the meeting was located and saw others walk in, my heart began to race. I hesitated and for a moment I turned back. I then told myself “just do it”. Got out of my car and went in. There were awkward moments as I had arrived 30 minutes early thinking the meeting started earlier. I found myself introducing myself to complete strangers. And then there was the part of the meeting where they say “Not to embarrass you, but to get to know you better if you are here at this meeting for the first time, could you introduce yourself by first name”. I introduced myself and about 30 voices said “Welcome”. I had a great meeting and a great start to my day. I am grateful for the two powers greater than myself 1.) My HP 2.) The fellowship.

  10. The fellowship is something that has helped me in times when I really needed to have that connection and that feeling that I belonged. I can remember days when I just needed to go one moment at a time and I would go to my home group and then go out to lunch with the guys from the meeting. Those were some of the best times in my early sobriety. It was that fellowship that kept me going, that helped me learn more about the program and about how we help each other. Fellowship for me also shows up in working with my sponsor and my sponsees. It is for me any part of this program that is outside of the meeting where I am connecting with other people in the program. And for me that is critical. Because if all I did was go to meetings I don’t think it would be enough. I know that I could always stand to do more fellowship and I need to work on that. But I will say that fellowship has been a critical part of my program and will always be. It helps me feel a part of and is just one more tool for my tool box.

  11. It is very late and I want to post something but I don’t want to go to the next topic because I want to take my time with that one so I am going to share on this one 2 nights in a row to keep it brief. Fellowship is always good for me. Even tonight. I went to the meeting and was just going to go home as I always want to do. But I was asking if I wanted to get a bite to eat. I am always hesitant because I am such a stickler about my diet but I felt I really wanted to spend some time with my sponsee and so I let go and went to Wendy’s and just made it work. I had a nice time and I am glad I went. Fellowship always helps me feel more settled. Thank you program.

  12. I am starting to really feel the power of the fellowship. I love being part of this new group. But a lot of this has to do with me being willing to be part of the group. I am allowing myself to be known to the group, to pick up the phone and to talk to the other guys in the group. It is great to get to know them, to go out to eat with them and to have them care about me and my recovery. It helps me to have that extra accountability in my program and I feel that now that I am calling others in the program I might get to that point where I will call someone when I want to act out instead of after. I will pray that I get to that point because I want this life of recovery and all that it has to offer. I am tired so I am going to bed.

  13. “Fellowship” It is awesome to me that this is such a strong correlation to what is taught by God! Fellowship provides a way for us to not do life alone. Our addiction teaches the very opposite. Today I love, & even more, respect “Fellowship” for the value it has in my life. Particularly in the areas that I struggled in. I believe when I allow fellowship in the area of relaying emotions I do a much better job than I would if I “willed” my way through. Also when I allow fellowship in the area of surrendering my will, I allow myself to be helped & nurtured in a way that I never would have known but always sought with my addictive behaviors. I believe fellowship is very hard because it deals with people, it deals with us & none of us are perfect, but wow, the difference made when we do life together with people!

  14. I have been searching for “fellowship” all of my life. I have carried a profound sense of “lostness” and lonliness inside of me for as long as I can remember. My home life growing up was dysfunctional, chaotic and disconnected. My formative years were spent trying to be accepted by anyone and everyone to no avail. Very early on I began medicating my lostness and lonliness with my drug of choice…sex, primarily fantasy, pornography and masturbation.

    Even before I realized I had a problem with sexual addiction I tried every way I could think of to find fellowship, which for me is defined as love, acceptance, friendship/companionship and belonging. I tried religion – that didn’t work. I tried attaching myself to any person or group who would accept me, blindly adopting whatever they believed and stood for, regardless of its truth or morality, if only they would accept me and I could belong to “something”. Over and over I repeated this terrible cycle, never finding the fellowship I so longed for. And, as a result, I turned more and more to my sexual addiction.

    I remember even deciding that the answer to my “problem” was to find other sex addicts wherever they got together and join them in all the various ways they lived and acted out. “They can understand me at least,” I thought. To say that this insanity led to “pitiful and incomprehensible demoraliztion” (as the AA Big Book so aptly puts it) is a gross understatement.

    Just a little over 2 months ago I walked into an SAA meeting near where I live. Instead of finding other sexually addicted people to act out with, I found a group of sex addicts seeking a common solution to their problem. They welcomed me to join them and do the same – and, consequently, I finally found a “fellowship” and the “fellowship” I had been searching for.

    Today, I have many friends who want what’s best for me – my recovery from sexual addiction. They smile when they see me walk into a meeting. They shake my hand or give me a hug and say, “good to see you.” They answer the phone when I’m tempted or struggling with the problem we all share. They give freely of their experience and what has worked for them in their journey of recovery.

    Two months ago I was miserable and alone. Today, I am happy and my life is filled with friends and fellow companions all walking the same road together. Fellowship for me today is the remarkable gift my Higher Power has given me in the love and friendship of my fellow brothers and sisters in sexual addiction recovery.

  15. Fellowship is great. I feel closer to the guys in the rooms of SAA then friends or real family at this point. My fellow addicts know my story and they identify. My fellows understand me and don’t judge me or beat me down. I find sense of safety and companionship from the fellowship. At this point in my recovery I haven’t developed a network of friends outside of the rooms. So if I did not have the fellowship, I would be alone for my disease to do with me what it wants. Because I am able to go to meetings, make phone calls, and hang out with my fellows, someone always knows whats going on with me. And I have an opportunity to let go of all my secrets. My disease has an inability to survive in the light. If I keep my secrets to myself, well I am setting my self up for a relapse. But if I use the fellowship to let go of my secrets I have chance at this thing.

  16. I finally figured out how fellowship works in my recovery. It’s pretty simple but for so long it was elusive. It comes from showing up repeatedly, day after day week after week. I do my shares and I listen to others and slowly over time a bond begins to build. It’s not forced or planned, it just happens. I have to say it feels good, and makes me want to show up. There’s one other thing about the fellowship that I recently learned and I found it to be very powerful, it’s the only place I can go where all the people like me have been in a situation in their life where they were powerless to their addiction. This is the bond that everything else is built on. Thank you to my fellowship for being there for me.

  17. Being an introvert that prefers a recluse type existence, I struggle with fellowship. I’m not good at small talk, getting to know strangers, and hanging around before or after group meetings. I realize that fellowship is a component of recovery, and so it is an area I’m going to have to work on despite being out of my comfort zone.

    I do appreciate the nonjudgemental, accepting and caring attitude of the members that participate in the group I frequently attend. I remember well my first meeting, and was full of angst. I go to meetings and feel none of that. I am happy to shake someone’s hand, give a platonic hug, and give a warming smile at anyone. Contrast to months ago when I held my head down going into the building and sitting in the group. I believe in fellowship. I need to work it more. I could use help in this area.

    • I’m still struggling in this area; and last night my sponsor pointed out my isolation is a reason for my continued struggle with keeping out of my inner circle. I reread the share here, and am convinced I need to work in this. One wrote their addiction can not survive in the light. I agree. I also agree that having people to call upon when I’m feeling lonely, which is when my addict creeps in the most, will help.

  18. For so long I believed I was the only one that was like this that no one could understand all the darkness inside of me. When I went to my first meeting in Florida this July I was scared and nervous would I be allowed in would anyone like me would I find help and understanding. As soon as I walked in I was welcomed. I felt calm I felt a part of something I didn’t understand yet but I knew it was good. From that first meeting I have met so many people I have found a sponsor I have brothers whom I speak to daily. I have the sense of belonging without judgement to people who go through everything I do. I sometimes feel alone but not as much as before. Now when I feel that way I call I reach out and there is always someone there to help to offer a kind word to give me a hug. I can’t describe how much that has helped me stay in my recovery. And just the last two days some of my brothers have reached out to me and I have helped them I wanted to help I wanted to comfort it felt right and it brought me comfort to give back a little of what I have received from them I am so thankful for all of the love I feel. And to my higher power for guiding to my group to my fellowship

  19. the fellowship is one of the most important parts of recovery ,I was used to keeping to myself alot ,i have a few friends but i am generally a private person. for me it was especially hard to open up in front of people i just met and explain things i’m ashamed of .I have grown to be more social and get to know more name and faces that i meet in the rooms . over time i will try to make more friends with those fellowship brothers and sisters as they are just like me and know what its like to be out of control .The more i engage with members of the group the more likely that i will hear that one perspective that will have meaning or change a behavior .I am thankful to the members who continue to open their hearts up to me and support me .

  20. I concur with the general theme of fellowship. It helps to know that others are or have been in my place – and through the power of the program and the fellowship they have come to embrace the fellowship. I, by nature, tend to be more introverted. Right now – it is very difficult to work towards extrovert. Having the group to lean on helps.

  21. I can see and understand how one of the gifts of SAA is fellowship. However, I believe that, for some people, there is a presumption that everyone is comfortable being in a group situation – exposing something very painful – and expect to have them integrate you into “the inner group”. Being a very shy person, an introvert – making acquaintances – amongst other fellowship activities was and is very hard for me.

    I recognize that there is love and support, however, not everyone is an extrovert and can assimilate into a group.

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