I was forced to remove one of my Program Participants from the sober living home yesterday and it had nothing to do with him using or drinking. The logic was based solely on the premise of horrible decision making (ladened with emotion) that put the entire house in danger.
The worst part about this incident is that he picked up a follower (another house member) and the two of them set out on a very stupid mission involving the “baby mama” of Program Participant number one.
Had either of them called their sponsor (s) prior to setting out on this particular action, they would have received an emphatic “NO” as instruction. (One of those sponsors would have been me). I am baffled at the lack of foresight and thoughtfulness these two exhibited. It is selfish behavior and consistent with an addict and/or alcoholic behaviors, i.e. shortsighted, self-centered, indulgent and destructive.
Program Participant number two (the follower) told me later that he asked number One if he called his sponsor and he said: “No, it’s better to ask for forgiveness”. What absolutely horrible logic for someone new in recovery and/or living in a sober living home! I cannot make this point any more clear…….. question your thoughts!!
Your best thinking is what landed you in a rehab center, detox, meetings, sober living, jail, the hospital, etc., etc.. Why on earth would you assume that within 90 days of recovery you have any sound logic or vetted quality life decision skills. I strongly suggest that you take limited liberties and bounce most of your ideas off of a couple of people (including your sponsor) who have some good and elongated time in recovery or responsible life in general.
In time your sponsor becomes more of a trusted friend whose opinion you may not hold in such high esteem but the trust will continue to grow. In the early stages, however, they can be a valuable resource in day to day decision making and save you a lot of trouble as you attempt re-integrating back into your family and/or society.
For many of us, there are existing relationships that we must return to and deal with; kids, family members, friends and all other sorts of dynamics that will require much attention and consultation. Be careful as you address these things. Proceed with caution in these matters and seek counsel as much as you can ESPECIALLY BEFORE TAKING ACTION.
Emotional Control and self-mastery are learned practices and I understand how difficult it is in early recovery but that’s why we lean on the program and surround ourselves with fellowship. Not drinking and drugging is only part of the battle. Making good decisions in life, all around, is a huge part of recovery and our growth Spiritually, Emotionally, Mentally and Physically. Hastiness in decisions (and actions) while drunk on emotion can have incredibly devastating consequences. When in doubt… call your sponsor. If he/she doesn’t answer, have a list of 10 people behind that number and if they don’t pick up call the AA hotline or drive straight to a meeting. Question your thoughts and do not act on them alone. Consider your mind like a dangerous neighborhood for the first 90 days (do not go there alone for very long).