Lead phones. That's what it feels like sometimes, phones heavy as lead.
I went to my home group this evening because it has been a few weeks since I'd been there. And yes, I know - not a good thing for those in recovery. Meetings are vital to people in recovery. I don't mean just the anonymous type, either. I mean any type that embraces self-health.
As we opened up the meeting, I kept thinking to myself, "I should tell the group what I went through on my trip." I didn't want to, though. I mean, the dust of it all has just settled, so why kick it up again? But I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to say something to them.
When the chairman asked for a topic, I suddenly found myself tattle-telling on myself! I've heard some of the long timers joke about how we would eventually do just that! It seemed stupid at the time, but now - why was I saying anything?!
But I spit it out. I mean, I didn't go into all of the details, because it would have taken too much time, but I certainly explained a lot more than I had intended to!
I sat there, quiet and nervous, thinking, "Well, that was a stupid topic! No one even knows what to say to such a dumb thing." And then, the flood gates opened.
There was talk about how meetings were helpful to them, how much they enjoyed the meetings, what they would do when they were out of town, etc.
That's what I was looking for. However, what I wasn't expecting was, "Don't you have a phone list?!" Not just from one of them, but almost ALL of them, in one form or another. I was either asked or scolded for not making a phone call to **somebody.**
I know. I've been writing on talking just recently, haven't I. It's true.
I won't speak for alcoholics/addicts as a whole, but I will attest to my own experience:
When I was in the mental state I was in on my vacation, the thought of picking up the phone and making a call never even crossed my mind. Not once. I have no excuses, though. I have never had so many people to talk to in my life before. I can count up at least fifteen people I could have contacted, not counting family members, who would have GLADLY taken a phone call from me at any time of day to help get me out of that state of mind.
Funny thing is - it never occurred to me to make a call. It never occurred because I have never done that. I've never done that for so many reasons, I couldn't count them all. Want to know a few of the excuses have I come up with in the past, just to avoid the phone call? "I don't want to bother them." or "I will wait until it is something important." or "Maybe they're asleep/at work/eating dinner/taking a crap." or "Maybe they were just being nice when I got their number." C'mon! They get it! That's why the phone list is there to begin with!
The phones can be so damn heavy, that we can't lift it to our ear. The reality is, that if we don't - we may not have another chance. And if we do make it through the bout (which I thankfully did this time), was it really worth the suffering and the fight? (Short answer: NO!)
It boils right back down to practice. There's a reason a sponsor or mentor asks us to call them, even over stupid stuff. Just to check in, just to say "Hi," just to give them the number of pages we've read, even if it was "None."
Bodybuilders don't just pick up the heaviest weights the day they decided to start lifting. They practice. As should alcoholics/addicts that have decided to start recovery. It's not easy to do, but it is something we need to do, so that when the time is right, that damn lead phone isn't so damn heavy.