Monday, November 24, 2008

what to do.

I ran into a fellow last night that was part of my first year of sobriety. He sobered up about the same time I did, coming back from one of the lowest bottoms I've heard of. After his 1st year, he went back to drinking for what ever reason. A pattern he's followed for the past twenty years. I remember how dismayed I felt when this occurred. So in this past month, I've met him at meetings a couple, three times, each time drunk or hung over. Each time he's asking for money, not hiding the fact he's gonna buy booze. Using possible seizures from detoxing has an excuse. Promises that he's going to detox the next day or the next few days.

To me, his stories sound plausible. I've met others who had siezured while sobering up to fast. Non the less, each time he asks, I say no. And then I'm filled with guilt for a couple of days. And I'm wondering if I did the right thing. Am I harming him or helping him? I don't know. Am I doing God's will in regards to my actions with this man? I don't know. Am I representing A.A. when I say no? I don't know.

When he sobered up the same time I did, I watched another human being take responsibility for this mans life. His sponsor did everthing he could to keep this guy sober. Got him to detox, got him to meetings, cleaned out his trailer, cleaned up the clothing, did so much. I was wondering if that was the level of service that each A.A. member was required to go to. But as the sponsor started to ween his sponsee, things started to go rougher and within a few months the man was drinking again.

I use this to justify my stance. That this poor drunk will never truely sober up until he takes responsibility for himself. I was thinking of the b in the abc's. "That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism"

I would really like for this guy to get sober. To get his life back from the hell that he's in. I don't know what to do. Don't know what to believe.

His best chance is when he comes to believe in a Power greater than himself. The hand of grace extended. My first sponsor taught me to pray that God's will would be done in this mans life. Nothing more, nothing less. This sponsor also pointed out that I'm not God.

I love the way my first sponsors words come through my head. It's like having a mini sponsor permamently embedded, the words coming out when needed.

Thanks for listening.

Photo Credit: Netream


Shadow said...

i can imagine your feelings of guilt. and probably frustation? but yes, he's gotta do it his way, as each of us have to do it our way. hard but true.

Indigo said...

You can only be there to help pick them up, when they fall. You can't stop the fall itself. In those cases of having a fellow AA'er who needs money. I've always brought a bag of groceries, bus tokens, an offer of a ride to the nearest food pantry. In their embarrassment of realizing they are not getting cash, they go along with what they are given.

In time they sometimes see the gift for what it was, a means of suriviving, the hand that didn't supply the drink. Sometimes they don't come back. I've discovered in order to help someone, they have to want the help and to help themselves first.


Pam said...

Most times I say no.
Sometimes I get a "feeling" and I say OK.
I just don't think there is a hard and fast rule. I'm always praying for that intuitive thought.
I have certainly given money and booze to the homeless alcoholics under the bridge in the dead of winter....they surely will die without it.
I think I would rather hand the number to a detox place to a man who is not living on the streets.....yet.

Cat said...

My husband has someone who entered the program at the same time as he did - took him to his 2nd meeting and then - the next week went out and relapsed. He ocassionally will attend meetings but my husband has said that he felt guilt on his anniversary date that this other guy did not have the same success.

Everyone does what they do in their own time. When people are ready to come around and live life - then they do it.



I think your first sponsor had it right. I think the best thing we can do is pray for another alcoholic. And I'm not anyone else's God.

Rather than give him money to detox on, I would offer to take him to detox.

AlkySeltzer said...

My first, second, and third, and fourth sponsors, all gave me to believe that if someone is really 'down and out' and hungry, take them to lunch or dinner, or invite them home for Thanksgiving meal, or something.

We have NO obligation to be "enablers" by giving out money to one who is in active "drink" or "addict" mode. But HANK, you knew this all along. Right?

It is still GREAT to see people out of our past recovery history, but even GREATER if they're doing well, have a job, look cleaned up, smile--even a littl--and are sober.

God is in charge. We ALL know that.

You write good stuff. Thank you, H!

Just Another Sober Guy said...

That is all we can do.... pray for God's will to be done in our lives and that of those around us. If we can help we will know how and when. Nobody can keep me sober if I wanna drink. Desire and willingness are key! Thanks for sharing.

big Jenn said...

I worked with many, many people like your friend as a counselor. This is my take on him and others like him. He is not only an alcolholic, but a victim. It is a stance that many people take. If he never sobers up, he is never responsible and so the cycle goes, on and on. Some people cannot live with the pain of there reality when they sober up either. Their own lives are too big of a waste or a burden to them. Alcohol is sweet oblivian. There's no reason for you to feel guilty about not giving him money. Offer to buy him something to eat, offer a ride to detox if you must. He is still able to make his own choices. Definately say a prayer.jeNN

dAAve said...

Nothing will get this guy sober unless he WANTS IT. Right now, he just wants money and attention.

Findon said...

It's down to him. I'm responsible for carrying the message and practising the principles. I've told my wife, that if I ever drink again, to get as far away from me as possible. I'm responsible for practising my sobriety. Go easy on your self. Pray for your friend and take note of his example. Its the most powerful lesson there is for us.