5 Suggestions for a Newcomer Pt. 2
THE 5 SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEWCOMER: PART 2
The recovery industry has many levels, starting at detox and funneling all the way to a sober living facility. All have merit and value. The focused goal is the same for all: recovery. Substance treatment centers whether iop treatment or outpatient treatment center often handle the clinical healing while preparing and assisting the client to peruse a 12 step fellowship to address the spiritual healing. Both are needed. Somewhere along the line of the pipeline of the industry in most drug treatment programs outside 12 step meetings are brought in. The learned suggestions must be practiced. The different forms of transitional housing like a halfway home, sober house, men’s sober living, or women’s sober living are where a recovery program for a true sober life can be fully practiced. The following is a can’t fail system to ensure 12 step emersion of anyone seeking a solution that doesn’t miss. Share these with any loved ones in need to increase their odds of success exponentially.
4) PRAY: The two most important things we need to know about prayer as a newcomer are:
IF YOU ARE NOT PRAYING, START!!!
IF YOU ARE PRAYING, CONTINUE!!!
(Prayer is like oxygen for our recovery. Learn to breathe, please.)
It doesn’t matter what we do or don’t believe. Prayer alters the nature of the prayer, not the nature of God. We sometimes as newcomers can get some time clean without prayer or a spiritual defense. There always comes that day that we can’t. We never know if today is that day. The conscious acknowledgment that today, just maybe, that day is the admission of powerlessness and surrender required needed to be correctly positioned spiritually. We start every day with prayer! Here is the suggested minimum.
Suggested Newcomer Morning Prayer: “God (Or even, “To whom it may concern if you’re there…”), please remove the obsession to drink and use drugs from me today. Help me get through the day clean and sober.”
Suggested Newcomer Evening Prayer: “Thank you.”
5) The 3 M’s daily: Meetings, Meditation & *Medication
Diabetes requires daily treatment for its remission. So does addiction/alcoholism. We already discussed that regular meeting attendance is imperative in the beginning if possible. If not, as many as possible at least in until the foundation of spiritual life is built.
Meditation: This may be the least commonly applied spiritual practice of the12 steps. There are many ways to do it. None are wrong. From guided meditation to breath and posture-focused, there are thousands of ways. Let’s suggest an easy starting point. The Christians meditate on words. It’s a meditation practice that focuses on the contemplative aspect, to concentrate on something deeply. Why not use a recovery based reading to focus on a new pattern of thought to combat the existing thought pattern that doesn’t serve us kindly? DAILY READINGS are perfect for this! Get some new information, add an original view or attitude and soak that up with our morning coffee and cigarette (I’m not suggesting to start smoking if you don’t!). Below are four different styles of reading that can be accessed for free if you have a smartphone.
*Medication: Mental Illness and recovery topics will be coming shortly. For now, let’s say they are two separate illnesses that need to be treated separately and together. It’s a paradox. Just know if you have a mental illness diagnosis that requires medication, the taking of your meds is literally apart of your “recovery routine.” The symptoms of mental illness and addiction cannot even be distinguished at times. So we treat both as if our lives depend on it because they do! Doing all of the recovery suggestions and not taking your meds still falls under the category of “half measures.”, and we all know what that avails!
It’s our responsibility to push through those people and not take the obstacles of this part of the process personally while sidestepping our judgments that detract from the primary goal. If we went to a dealer and he didn’t have what we were looking for chances are we wouldn’t stop searching. Same idea here. Let’s assume in a full week of daily meeting attendance we got one person’s number a day. Of the seven numbers collected, four are people who don’t even take or return our call. One person you reach is absolutely crazy, and another is a jerk. That leaves one person that practices the program, is responsible for taking and returning calls, and we are moderately comfortable talking with.
We usually can run up to pretty much any stranger at any time and ask if they have drugs or know where to get some when we are using? Oddly asking for a number and actually using it when it comes to saving our lives is a whole different story. Ironically it almost seems impossible. It’s not! We just do it! We learn to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
When we get the potential support member on the phone, we often won’t know what to say. The most important thing is that we have made the call! A simple “Hey, I’m not even sure what to talk about. I’m just trying to get in the habit of making calls to build a support group.”, will be fine. From there a few details on where you are from and where you are in your recovery will be more than enough to spark a conversation. Usually, the sober member will take it from there, and we have done the hardest part. Congratulations. This is huge! Here’s why:
Let’s do the Math:
1 meeting/day x 1 phone number/meeting = 7 numbers called/week 7 numbers called – 4 unavailable people (subtract) = 3 numbers left
3 numbers – 1 “unkind person” = 2 numbers left (subtract)
2 numbers – 1 “kinda NUTS (Not Using The Steps) individual” (subtract)
That leaves 1 solid support for your sober support per week!
4 weeks’ /month x 1 solid support = 4 solid supports in recovery
Your sponsor will come from this group! You’ll know when you know. When the student is ready, the teacher always appears!
The BS Factor: Everyone who shares the solution in a meeting doesn’t necessarily apply that outside the meeting. We call this “forked-tongued”, speaking one way and acting another. Make sure someone that talks the talk is also walking the walk. This can be challenging but should never be used as a deterrent from the goal: the betterment of our lives!
Be diligent and kind to yourself! You deserve the rewards of both! Anything added to these suggestions is icing on the cake! Most of us like frosting.
NA Just For Today