Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The path

"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path." from Alcoholics Anonymous

I like being reminded that the path to recovery has been blazed by others before me. Those individuals who began AA and Al-Anon wrote down what worked for them. And they passed it along to others, countless others, the most fortunate of which have learned a new way to live.

Occasionally in meetings, I hear someone ask if they can sponsor themselves. In Al-Anon, the word sponsor is used quite a bit. It is strongly suggested that those who work the steps get a sponsor who provides guidance on working the steps. Frankly I found that I needed the support
or perspective that only a sponsor could provide.

I found that the path to recovery wasn't treacherous. I trusted my sponsor to be a guide for me. He helped me around the obstacles that sometimes seemed insurmountable: trusting a Higher Power, letting go of control, learning to love myself. I didn't always see a clear path. And often I preferred to try the blocked path over and over, rather than look for a clear passage.

I have marveled at how fish, such as salmon, are able to find their way back to their natal stream. The going is rough and with miles of rapids and even waterfalls to leap. Yet, they persist in trying to find the stream where they were born. Sea turtles have a similar drive to lay eggs on the beach of their birth, and may swim many thousands of miles to reach that goal.

I'm glad that I finally found a clear path. It is sometimes uphill. I see how difficult it is for others to trust that the way is clear if one can persevere. But I'm glad that I did.


  1. Thanks Syd for stopping at my blog and leaving a comment. I like this post, because, how you know, I am about to ask somebody to be my sponsor. I am not sure what is waiting for me in the AA program and what it means to "work the steps". But I hope I'll find out.

  2. Powerful post... and great comparison to salmon! I love that imagery!

  3. Just saying hi, Syd. I'm glad you persevered, too. You seem so at peace. I am happy for you.



  4. Hi Syd!

    I'm glad that you persevered, too!

    And, now, with all your blogging, you are giving away so unselfishly what was given to you. This is the gift of Al-Anon! "In order to 'keep it' I must give it away."

    Hugs to you!
    Anonymous #1

  5. Yep. Thanks! If something does not work, put it through the Alanon ringer. I hear this at home.


  6. sponsor myself? I have never heard of that. No, I don't think I would be a very good sponsor to myself....

  7. "Rarely have we seen a person fail." I paid a lot of money to rehabs only to be told about AA and Al-Anon. Nice post.

  8. I would rather live in the world of your blog today than the world of my blog - can I just move in?

    ...I was afraid not...

    Blessings and aloha...

  9. Inspiration is all around us when we look and listen..such as this blog or somebody who shares courage along their own paths.No matter where it comes from,program or not,sharing truly encourages others to trust their own paths.
    I love your blog,Syd.


  10. I am so grateful to have my sponsor. It is a blessing to have someone to lead the way down paths I have not walked - that she has.


  11. Remember,
    A tree that fills a man's embrace grows from a seedling -
    A tower nine stories high starts with one brick -
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
    Lao Tzu

  12. i am grateful for my sponsor, and my entire network of women i use. today was tough for me, i chose not to pick up that phone, a lot of my issues were with communicating with wes. i did talk to him and he actually gave me a different perspective about what i was feeling with the girls, that if i had not heard it from him, i probably would not have gotten from my sponsor. so for that i am grateful for my open mind.

  13. Ha! Sounds like something my son would say (sponsoring himself). I am hoping he will open his mind to NA. He thinks its not for him (just for the millions of others its helped). This reminds me that IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT! Thanks, Syd!

  14. I hope one day to find that path.
    Thank you for the inspiring post.

  15. Even after 20 years it has been a challenge for me to let go of my own control for myself. I can give it to others easy enough if I trust them but for myself, I have a hard time letting go. I have to self evaluate constantly and realign what needs to be done for me to get on track daily. Love you rinsight. Hugs.Tammy

  16. i wouldn't want to sponsor myself, i am too judgemental plus i'm biased...

  17. I guess that since our brains are different we return home only in the spiritual sense. I hate to think I had to go to Clarksville, Indiana to get sober!

  18. Thanks Syd! I have a friend, Trapper, who likes to say,

    "Thoroughly have we seen a person fail who has rarely followed our path!"

    That makes sense too somehow.


  19. tremendous --
    the clarity and serenity around "freedom to choose" is something that comes slowly, but oh so at the right time.

    what freedom.

    never ever thought I'd see the day!


    and stayingsoberwithsam.blogspot.com

  20. "A sick mind can't heal a sick mind", a saying I heard in response to WHY we needed a sponsor. I'm so grateful you kept coming back until the miracle happened.


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