You Have To Give It Away To Keep It

My biggest fear was being alone.  In my active addiction, I made my fears come true.  Through my acting out and my addictive behaviors, I pushed people away and isolated and in the end I was alone.  If I was not alone actually isolating, I was alone surrounded by people because no one really knew who I was anymore.  Today I am not alone.  Even when I am by myself, I am not alone; I have my Higher Power by my side.  Today as a result of working this program I am not afraid anymore.  I am grateful for this gift that I have been given from my Higher Power and my sponsor and from many others in the fellowship who have been there for me over my journey so far.  Without them I don’t know where I would be right now.  But what I do know is what they knew: that in this program, “you have to give it away to keep it.”  They had to give it to me so that they could keep it and I need to pass it on so that I can keep it.  I need to give back what was so freely given to me.  Some newcomers wonder why I might do it and some feel that they might be a bother, however, they have no idea how much they are helping me.  They are probably helping me more than I am helping them.  They are helping me stay sober one more day.  When I work with a newcomer I ask for God’s assistance and ask Him to work through me and allow me to provide whatever He feels I need to provide.    I am there to listen and to carry the message of the fellowship and to help another addict.  In the end, if two addicts stay sober one more day, then we are successful and that is a miracle and for that I am grateful and for that I will continue to work with others as much as I can.

11 thoughts on “You Have To Give It Away To Keep It

  1. I should know better then to write when the kids are still up. All I know is I ALWAYS feel better when I help someone else and it keeps me out of my own head. I will post more later.

  2. One of the truest statements in recovery! I feel so blessed by my sponcees. Each one gives back to me a hundred fold compared to what I give them. It’s a blessing that I thank my Higher Power for each and every day. The same with this blog. I may have started it, but the gifts I get from monitoring it is worth more than gold or silver. I like to publicly thank all of you who have taken the time to post to this site. I have to say, “I love Step Twelve.” I know it is God’s will for me to help others with this program. I just never knew how positive a step is was going to be for me. After three and a half years of sponsoring I do know how positive it has been for me. My hope for all my sponcees is that they too, and some already do, share in the positive, enriching and loving experience that sponsorship entails. Thank you Papa. God bless you all! I’d also like to thank the author of this topic for such a great post.

  3. Bill Wilson, a co-founder of AA, said in a share that was once recorded that when he started to get depressed or to stray away from his program, helping another alcoholic was the surest way for him to get back on the right track. This is also my own experience, that working with another sex addict is the surest way for me to keep sober. I don’t know how or why it works this way, but it works.

    I too allowed myself to isolate from others when I was in my addiction. If I find myself isolating now it is a sure sign that I am vulnerable to my disease. The beauty of this is that all it takes is one or two phone calls, a meeting where I come early and stay late to talk with my fellow addicts, or working the steps with a sponsee. Isolation gone!

  4. Letting Go

    While I am enjoying my time in CO, i do miss the room and the “saneness” that it provides. My son and I decided to go tubing down the river in town yesterday. While I have rafted and paddled huge rivers like the Colorado and Salmon, I have never sat on a truck tire inner tube and let the current take me downriver. Here is where my need to control came in. A few seconds down the river and I’m paddling with my hands to try to go where I want to go, a totally futile effort, but I would not give up control. After minutes of frustration and second guessing myself for trying to have fun with my son, it occurred to me to “let go and let God”!! How quickly things changed, I began to see and appreciate my surroundings and experience the moment. I learned that I have to be one with the “current” of life, to give up control and not let my disease control me.

  5. lj–if giving it away will keep you sober than you can count on staying sober forever! you give so much to the program and to the rooms–you’ve been an inspiration to us and to me–i am grateful to know you and to have you share your recovery and your wisdom–when i give back in this program i feel useful and that (maybe it’s my co-dependency!) helps my perception of my worth– giving back is part of the cycle of my higher power in action that keeps this program working — when i give back i feel a part of something much greater than i am, that i belong to this wonderful fellowship and am a cog in its’ wheel so to speak–it is so good and such a privilege to belong to something so great and positive and good—janine

  6. Isolation is my worst enemy. I used to embrace it. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted. No one to answer to, what a life. Thanks to recovery I now know how isolation became a black hole of desolation that fed my addiction. Because of fear I was depriving myself of connection with others, reaching out to others, growing and building healthy intimate relationships with others. I was depriving myself of the nutrients that enrich the soul, the spirit within me that I have come to know is part of my nature and connects me with others, with all that is good in life and with my higher power. SAA fellowship is my tool whenever those feelings of wanting to isolate creep back. I am grateful for SAA, and the incredible, wonderful and beautiful people, my brothers and sisters who keep me on the gentle path to sane, healthy, and happy life. I have gained so much from all of you, it only makes sense to want to share it and pass it on.

  7. I am on my way to a woman’s 12 step meeting and wanted to write a personal view regarding sponsorship. I feel that sponsoring an individual, within any 12 step program is a gift to both sponsor and sponsee. I was always nervous and hesitant when the question “If you can sponsor please raise your hand” was recited at the end of every meeting. Being in recovery for 2 years now, I knew I had the information to give it away, but could I stay sober enough to sponsor? Having almost 5 months sober, I had many slips and falls during my recovery. That in turn, made me feel insecure about sponsoring and knowing what to say and how to relay the message. Sponsoring women in the SAA fellowship has been rewarding and inspiring. At first, I was nervous and it felt awkward. My sponsor

    told me to just be yourself and relay the message. That was all I needed to hear. Sponsoring is an honor. It is a very intimate, special and trusting relationship between sponsor and sponsee. I am truly blessed to have my women friends in SAA. There is a special bond between the women. We are cheerleaders for one another. We speak of such personal topics, that brings a trusting boundary within an initial meeting. Women in the SAA fellowship are so vital to the recovery of other women. I am so lucky to be sponsoring and my hope, is that the women that are working the 12 steps will eventually sponsor as well. Women of all races, nationalities, sexual preference, and marital status are affected by sexual addiction. Being a mom, a wife and a sex addict, I love that women are coming forward and getting help. Without sponsorship, recovery wouldn’t be the same. I also believe that working the 12 steps is vital in all of our recovery. Without them, we would have no directions or instructions.

  8. If by sharing I am giving it away to keep it then I will keep sharing. During my very first meeting, I thought to myself “How in the world will I ever say anything?” I was so emotional those first meetings. But after my first meeting it seemed like flood gates opening so I have no problems sharing. However I look forward to the day I can be a sponsor myself and really give back more… But, as others have said previously LJ you give so much of yourself with your experience, strength, and hope. You are wonderful person who deserves everything GOD has to offer in return. Your service speaks volumes of the person you’ve become and continue to be…. A true mentor in the fight in this addiction. Thank you and Thank God…..

  9. I haven’t been a sponsor yet, but I can feel from others who have, the power of giving of yourself to help another. I also feel it in shares in the meetings and on this site. LJ is always an inspiration, showing his care and sharing his knowledge. Someday, in the not too distant future, I will take the plunge and become one also, but for now, I have to still concentrate on sailing the stormy seas of breaking the addiction for myself, and finding God’s help to rid me of all the NEW character defects I learned since starting this journey!

    Let’s all keep on keeping on!

  10. Isolation was my mo as well. I would often just wish that my wife would leave me alone, so i would engross myself in a book or other activity. I used to hope that there was something else going on that would take the focus off me. I did fear being alone but I let my addiction almost made that fear come true. Thankfully, i found this program and all the supportive people, including my sponsor. My wife was able to get help as well through RCA and S-ANON, and i am very hopeful that i will be able to hold onto my family. I still have an urge to withdraw but am aware of it now, and actively re-engage. My sponsor has been an immense help to me and i hope i can pass it on in the future as well.

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