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      My experience consists of twenty five years of active research in the use and abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs, inflecting pain and suffering upon myself, my family, and anyone else around me. I had to become as desperate as a dying person could be, in order to accept and surrender to my disease, my attitude, and my concept of life as I knew it.

      I also have over twenty four years of continuous sobriety, by living our program, as suggested in the " Big Book" Alcoholics Anonymous and in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve traditions found in any public library, having in all forty nine years of experience in this field.

      My wife of over twenty two years is also in our program of recovery. We sponsor and co-sponsor many people in the fellowship, professional as well as lay people, are among these people we have been working with as there sponsors in this recovery program. We have been guiding them thru our twelve steps, helping them to build greater self-confidence and self-esteem, to look for solutions to their problems, instead of living in the problems.

      Because of the confidence, trust and unconditional love we have shared in recovery, we as there sponsors believe we know these sponsee's better than anyone else in their lives, or in their recovery. We have daily contact with them, in person or via telephone. We have helped them thru the pain, fear, anger, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness, and confusion of their past, thru the apprehension of the holidays and other special events, in times of distress or agitation.

      Thru all their turmoil, most who follow the program remain clean and sober, accepting God's love and hope for a prosperous future, with our support in the fellowship of recovery having a close inner circle of friends, who are willing to help in case of any emergency, any time day or night. The resolve of these sponsee,s to follow the principles and traditions with consistency in their actions makes them, honest, trustworthy, and responsible today Its true slips are quite common in early recovery these often are caused by a physical craving, or an allergy to alcohol or drugs especially when the body secretes alcohol or drugs into our blood stream, this happens about every three to six months which can set-up the compulsion to drink or drug. When this does happen if the alcoholics guard is down, or they are in a depressed state of mind, their disease may take over before they even realize what has happened.

      The alcoholic usually feels overwhelmed at this time filled with guilt, remorse, and shame. They may react by seeking professional help when they realize they had a slip. Fear of loosing everything they worked for usually makes them want this kind of help at first. Also old behavioral patterns emerge sometimes the familiar seems less threatening in times of change.

      Some times, sponsee's will stay with their sponsors for a brief time until they can get back their daily routine of meetings Fortunately most realize what happened and stop drinking and using immediately. They soon learn that although they did slip, they still have the months and sometimes years of experience they had when they were sober, but they did lose their sobriety date.

      In my opinion these people were honest and truthful with themselves about their disease and are also honest and truthful with those who they have learned to trust, confide and believe in. There is no way this slip affects their ability to provide for themselves. In fact if anything it will make them stronger in their resolve to remain clean and sober and remain the loving kind and carrying people they have become in recovery, the past has a profound roll in the way we learn normal behavior patterns.

      Faced with drastic life style changes anyone can be overwhelmed, recovery is an on going process that requires making a decision to live in a completely different manner. Living one day at a time gives us the opportunity to make drastic life style changes, in just twelve manageable steps.

      Some of the people we sponsor have been victims of many unjust conditions since early childhood, some have never known the real meaning of love, as most normal people see, feel, and give love.

      Some have been physically, mentally, and sexually, as well as spiritually abused, to the point where they believed this abuse was real love, they became victims of their caretakers and hence thru the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs became victims of themselves in that their instinctual tendency is to deny their responsibility for most conflicts in which they find themselves, these emotional twist can warp their personalities and will alter their lives for the worst, with out a lot of help from other people.

      In early recovery these people are still walking thru a life time of physical, spiritual, and emotional abuse, stark raving terror, and total rejection, because they still blame people, places, and things They still hold the shame placed on them by caretakers who committed outrageous offenses against them, such as rape, assault, battery, abandonment, and continuous verbal abuse, they were trained to accept this guilt, remorse, and shame to keep these secrets as well as their own secrets real or imaginary.

       Deep with-in some of these sponsee,s were much to terrified to assert themselves, their fear let family and so called friends have complete control of them. Total exploitation of their every action gave these people power over their lives. They became to terrified to resist, nothing could ever interfere with what these sick people wanted from them.

      This lead them into a state of apathetic demoralization and total humiliation with a sense of absolute hopelessness. Some of them ran away because they felt safer in the streets than in the sick and abusive homes and foster homes they were placed in. Alcohol and drugs helped them to forget were they came from, how hopeless and helpless they felt, and how alone they were

      Pride ego, self-justification, rebellion, stubbornness, and hatred especially self-hatred are woven into the very fabric of their existence. These character defects allowed their self-centeredness to make them victims of themselves and helped keep the focus off of the terror and nightmares of their past, most of these people needed these defects to survive.

      Many well intent people, such as social workers, the judicial system and welfare systems have tried to help these people in the past, by ordering counseling, but they always put conditions on their actions that will cause these types of people to doubt their motives. It's virtually impossible to trust or confide in someone if they are going to give a report of their findings to a third party for review.

      No person I have ever tried to help could do this, honesty and truth come only when you can learn about yourself thru sharing your feelings openly and freely. Counseling should be used only to help the individual in need, it should be kept personal and in absolute confidence in order to be of any real help. Any reports or evaluations should be approved by the clients before being released to anyone. We believe there has been a very profound change in our sponsee's personalities, their demeanor is improved which helps carry their message of experience, strength, and hope to others in recovery, by sharing at meetings and getting active in our fellowship. Today they are not walking alone, we who are in recovery, are walking and sharing with them on a daily basis, helping them to face the fears in their lives sensible, and at times courageously.

      Most are making positive adjustments and are learning useful skills, having started a life long journey to clean-up the wreckage of their past, holding back nothing, sponsee's start sharing all the secrets of their past, in order to remain clean and sober. They are starting to trust completely in their sponsor's and are enlarging their spiritually by reaching out to their Higher Power, whom we choose to call the God of our understanding, in the fellowship of recovery.

      We try to help our sponsee's by building up their self-awareness, self- confidence, and self-esteem, no one can fail if they keep working on these attributes and always remember to be thankful to God for what He has giving them, in their new life.

      Trust is the largest obstacle in the way to recovery usually non existent in abused people, we find sponsee's becoming more honest and willing to learn the truth about life, more open minded to change, as our twelve steps of recovery show them the way.

      They on longer need to defend or hide the secrets of their lives, or the secrets of their families lives, these people are willing to accept their part in their past and are willing to clean-up their devastation and make amends to all for the turmoil they left in their wake.

      We cannot change our past, we can not undo even a single act we perform, nor can we erase a single word we say, nor can we change a single mistake or blunder we made. We must live in today where we find we can survive the struggles of just one day. Constantly having someone adding the afflictions of our past can only serve as a punishment and will invariable bring back the bitterness and remorse of a yesterday gone forever and a fear and dread of what tomorrow will bring. It has been proven many times over anyone can recover if they have the willingness to reach out for help, are honest enough to seek the truth, open minded enough to change their lives, and accept a power greater than themselves, who will restore them to sanity.

      Only God knows the secrets of our hearts, we all have turned our pasts over to His care, and He has forgiven us, we in the fellowship of recovery have also forgiven others and are helping them to walk forward into Gods light. Its time the hypocrites and bigots learned love and forgiveness, least they shall not be forgiven for their own mistakes, Always remember to err is human, to forgive is divine, let God do His work.

      Some people have a despicable value system given to them by their caretakers, in early childhood and are now being ostracized because they have tried on their own to change their lives in the past and have failed most people like this have been reduced to non-family status, have been shamed, and demoralized into accepting what a certain group of people have decided is an acceptable family value system for others to live by. What is acceptable too some individuals may be considered inappropriate to most other people. Our families lives depend on the right definition of family values, some peoples value system is predicate on family and other peoples lies.

      So be very careful when you exclude people, especially if those you exclude base their values on anything less than, love, trust, honesty, and a commitment to a God of their understanding, these are the principles and values we learn in the twelve steps of recovery in our fellowship. Fear, is in my opinion, the most debilitating of all our emotions. To many people have lived in constant fear of reprisal for most of their lives, please help us take that fear away, so they can progress steadily thru life as people with faith in a Higher Power and confidence in themselves, give them the prospective to help build character and spiritual values, some people have been conditioned to believe the horrors of life instead of the wonders of life.

      Please give them a chance to prove how good a person they really are help them to heal the past and work on the future. It's time to stop punishing and to start with the healing. we know that's what the God of our understand wants. there is a

quote by Herbert Spencer

" There is a principal which is proof against all information which is proof against all argument and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance" that principle is


10-8-97                           written by LT                     design by LT