Just Show Up

In my very first twelve step meeting eighteen years ago one of the very first things I heard was “Just Show Up”.  I was told nothing had to make sense, all I had to do was put down my addiction (for one moment at a time) and Just Show Up.  By bringing the body, eventually the mind would follow, and when the mind came the soul would start to mend and heal.  I think one of the hardest things to do in the rooms of SAA is to Just Show Up.  We have such a variety of bottom lines and acting out behaviors we are trying to change. Relapses and slips are a tremendous part of our recovery, they are our teachers. What is a major relapse to one may seem like only a little slip to another,  but still, we just show up for one another with unconditional love, compassion and understanding.  We are all trying to recover from this disease of sex addiction no matter its manifestation.  The only way that I know how to do that is to start by Just Showing Up to meetings.  Then as one of the previous entries said the 500lb phone gets a little lighter, and then maybe we develop meaningful relationships in recovery with our sponsor and fellows, all by Just Showing Up.  Before we know it we have grown and we are living a life in recovery one moment at a time, and suddenly, we are not only just showing up for meetings, but we are showing up in our own lives.


11 thoughts on “Just Show Up

  1. When I started recovery in early 2000, I too had a sponsor whose only direction was 90 in 90 and to call him every day. I was abstinent for a little over a year under that plan. Impatient for further direction, I asked him when I should start working the Steps. He was surprised to hear that I had not started. A newcomer doesn’t know what to do. He needs the direction of a sponsor. But, my sponsor’s direction was simply to get a Step guide and start a Step study. I did so with over 20 guys who also had never been through the Steps. This was stage 2 of my abstinence where I was relying on an unguided self-therapy approach to these Steps. Cumulatively, I accrued 2 years, 8 mos. and 10 days of abstinence. Notice I didn’t say “sober.” 6 mos. before my first slip I knew it was coming. The problem was that just attending meetings and the self-therapy approach to the Steps had not brought about the spiritual awakening that the Steps promise. I eventually had to find a sponsor who had what I wanted – a spiritual awakening as a result of the Steps. I had to ask him to show me what he did to bring that about. My point is that meeting makers don’t make it if that’s all they do. People who just call an accountability partner don’t make it if that’s all they do. What I need is to have a spiritual awakening. And to do that I need someone who has already had one showing me exactly what he did to bring that about.

  2. Just show up? Most of the time that is all I can do. Just show up to a meeting, hear what is being shared and try to be honest myself. More often than not I will hear something that I wind up using in the next 24 hours and if I am lucky I will share something that someone else needed to hear and later they tell me, hey thanks I needed to hear what you said.

    I am ready for the growth part; there is more than just showing up. But right now, usually that is about all I am capable of, just showing up.

  3. I agree, just showing up is not enough, but it is a good start. I think that what is implied in the first sharing here is that showing up leads to greater things if you are willing. For me showing up has meant being accepted regardless of my shame, hearing that I am worthy of the love and compassion of others, learning from others struggles, slips and victories, gaining a set of tools, and being encouraged and supported to do the work, starting with step one, to build a new way of life that will be my Recovery. Continuing to show up lifts my shame, strengthens myself worth, keeps me humble, teaches me to be selfless, and gives me hope and courage.

    • Yea…”just showing up” isn’t enough. You’re right. But sometimes its all I can muster. And each time you “just show up”, you build character and commitment. For someone like myself who has lived much of my life giving into my feelings – this is a big deal. I just showed up to do Recovery Monologue. Its not as simple as just logging on while sitting on the couch since I don’t have internet at home. Just the act of driving somewhere, often when I’m exhausted or as in today -been going non stop – and just logging on and posting – that’s a big deal for me. Just showing up is honoring my commitment that I made. That’s a big deal for me. Its showing integrity and building character. Every time I do what I know is right and what I know is promoting inner growth – that’s good. Heck – right now – as I write my journal for my 1st step – “just showing up” is all I can do. I never feel like dredging up the past but I made a commitment. There is nothing easy about this program. Its like working out for me. Usually – I don’t enjoy it. But I enjoy the results. I enjoy the inner satisfaction and the hope it brings. I’m on this journey and on it I will continue.

  4. “JUST SHOW UP” How true that rings in my ears.. This past Sat (12/13) I came close to just sleeping in having only had 3.5 hrs of sleep. I did not want to go to a meeting but wanted to go at the same time. WELL, I’m glad I did I was energized for the rest of the day and late into my work shift. I feel that meeting kept me going. With that being said “Just Show Up!!!!”

  5. Just Show Up – In the beginning that is all I could do. When I first came into recovery almost 4 years ago, I had no choice. I was brought to meetings on a van via a treatment center. I had to just show up. I then had 4 months to get used to the idea of meetings and the program of recovery in another fellowship. But then when this addiction started to come to the surface I showed up at an SAA meeting one day because someone told me it would be a good idea for me. I did and for the next 6 months I continued to act out. However, I continued to show up. I took 6 months of showing up for the program to sink in. I had to have that combination of listening to the program, sharing what was going on, and finally having enough pain, to finally stop my core acting out behaviors. Thank God. Today my life is completely different as a result of showing up. Although I am almost 4 years in recovery and over 6 months sobriety in this program, I still need to just show up. I cannot take anything for granted. If I were to sit back and not show up, I would start to lose the blessings that I have received as a result of this program and the promises that have started to come true would slip away. I do not want that to happen so I think I will continue to just show up.

  6. Just showing up means more to me than going to meetings – it means keeping recovery as a number 1 priority in my consciousness. It means going to meetings, seeing therapists, reading recovery books, and books that explain how sex addiction works. It takes trying to make what the books and the meetings tell you to do part of your daily life, alone and with your partner, your sponsor and your trusted friends. I know that if I don’t keep this disease uppermost in my mind by continually “showing up” that it will come back and destroy me. Showing up is also what will guide me to a higher level of living and happiness. It’s a bargain!

  7. This one I have lived. Just show up. Come to a meeting. Even if you don’t want to be there, or for that matter, even if you don’t feel like you are ready to take the steps for recovery, just show up. Why? Because you cannot help but relate to and empathize with the stories you hear at group. Just sitting and listening to the shares of others that are in similar situations can lead to understanding of your own actions and pain. In a group situation, you cannot help but relate to the pain and suffering of others, and this can stimulate your own desire to free yourself of your personal pain.

    This topic reminds me of the movie Yes Man. A man living a meaningless closed off life opens himself up to new experiences and love simply by saying yes to things he once said no to.

    This is the quintessential sex addict. A life of isolation shame and fear. We close ourselves off from the world because we fear judgment of our actions, and believe that we will not be accepted by others for who we are. This closed off world keeps us stuck in the addictive cycle, because that is all we know that offers us comfort.

    In group we learn that this is a lie, and we can learn to allow others into our lives so that we may begin to live life in all its beauty, not just our narrow vision of acting out.

    All we have to do is say yes and just show up.

  8. Suit Up and Show Up! Meetings have saved my life. At one point all I could do is go to meetings, then more meetings, and then more and more meetings. I gained a lot of peace, wisdom, and inner strength from all those meetings. When I was ready to work on the steps I slowly took off. First crawling, then walking, then jogging, and then sprinting. In the midst of all this, I had slips and relapses. The one thing that saved me, was I got back up, I Suited Up and Showed Up! The Step Work is the solution, but without the support of the fellowship, I had no confidence, energy, willingness, or hope to go to the 5,000lb pen and paper to work the steps.

  9. Because of where I lived there were no meetings. So there was no recovery for me just abstinence which didn’t last long then I fell off the wagon. I finally made it to a real meeting and then got a sponsor and now attend the online meetings 4 times a week. They are such a huge part of my recovery I can’t imagine my life without them. Actually I can and it won’t be a life it will be death. So I do the meetings never miss them and work my recovery. My sponsor told me that each RM blog is just like a meeting with the shares and the topic and he was right. So anytime I feel myself needing that meeting feeling I come here and just do it. I am so grateful to have this in my tool box and I will continue to use it every day or more

  10. Showing up is important because it is a start of work doen the path you need for recovery. If I show up I learn something and find some tools to use in my recovery.

    Of course it is not enough just to show up but it helps you meet with others with similar problems

    i feel joy when I show up and get into the meeting.

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