12 Step, Blog

Should You Really Trust Yourself to Think Think Think?

Think think think? I think not! I’ve got to get real about my own great ideas; they suck. And, here’s why:

 Look, we were given brains to use. And I’m all for using them there brains, once they’re straightened out. But, the truth of my experience is that my thinking has been altered (to my detriment) by years of self-centeredness, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity—not to mention drugs and alcohol. 

Before I cleaned up, my very best intentions landed me at rock bottom, got me gently placed behind doors with no knob on my side, bunking with people I feared may kill me at any moment. (Makes for a light 16 or so nights of sleep.) When I first sobered up I was suffering from a major case of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and my best intentions were definitely insufficient, given that I could barely muster up the courage to get out of bed or brush my teeth. Left to my own devices, I would have stayed in bed and cried for the first two years of my recovery.

Now, listen, when I say “best intentions” I’m not mocking you or myself, my friends—I actually did have good intentions most of the time, and meant no harm. The problem is that my thinking was so skewed, it was impossible for me to see how my best thinking was actually creating my problems. Good motives coupled with an alcoholic mind still left me with less than the desired results. Unless I was actually interested in living in remorse, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and terror… In that case, it could be argued that I was doing a darn good job at running my own life!

It was, in fact, my sponsor who told me that she didn’t care what I thought, how I felt, or what I wanted to do—I had to get out of bed. Then I had to brush my teeth, and call her to let her know I had done so. I’m certain I’m not the only person for whom these simple tasks were pretty much impossible to perform without aid.

 All that to say— until you are certain you can trust your own thinking 100% of the time (good luck with that!) then it simply can’t hurt to run your ideas past somebody who has your best interest at heart. And if you look around and there’s nobody around who has your best interest at heart—go get somebody! Get a great therapist, a minister, an old family friend, or somebody who has been walking on a spiritual path and practicing those principals for a solid amount of time. I’ve saved myself a tremendous amount of pain by practicing restraint of pen and tongue (especially when I get excited about that great idea!) until I’ve prayed, meditated, done some writing, and talked with my sponsor. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite practices is waiting for 72 hours before making any major decisions. I practice that, even today, with a little time under my belt.

Now, what makes me the expert? Not much. But I am telling you the truth— from my experience. And I do have quite a bit of that. Oh, and I’m the host of my own show, which automatically makes me an authority, right? God, I hope so. 

Speaking of the show– it’s already time to plug that sucker! I hope you’ll join us on www.BagheadSponsor.com for some ridiculous recovery videos, including this article’s companion video on “Think Think Think?!”  It’s almost as if decent and hilarious commentary on the 12 step program of your choice is just a mouse click away. Until next time… do the next right thing, take it easy, and whatever you do– don’t drink, drug, or try to off yourself. Oh, and think that good idea through– all the way to your sponsor’s house.

Xoxo, BagheadSponsor

www.BagheadSponsor.com

Saving lives. One episode at a time.

12 Step, Blog

Welcome to Crazy Town!

Welcome to Crazy Town!
By BagheadSponsor

People ask me, “BagheadSponsor, you sure seem put together. Don’t you ever
get crazy or off the beam?” Heck yeah I do!! Big G knows I’ve been
through some crazy times in recovery! I mean, who hasn’t? Right?! The
great thing is that it’s just so easy to get back to safety. Let me
explain.

May I metaphor? Thank you. What I’ve noticed in my seventeen plus years of
walking this path is that if I intend to walk the path of recovery, I need
to keep my feet on the path of recovery, which was laid out for me by my
predecessors. (Thank you!) I keep my feet on the path by keeping my eye on
my destination (Recovery City) and by checking in to make sure that the
steps I’m taking are going in the right direction. Sounds simple, right?
That’s because it is!

So, why do we find ourselves in Crazy Town, when we were headed for
Recovery City?

Thanks for asking! This is what I think happens: In my experience, I can
see times in the past when I would be doing the work on a regular basis.
We’re talking regular, if not daily, written 10th steps, prayer and
meditation, being of service, going to meetings, doing step work with
others, meeting with my own sponsor—all of it. So I’d be feeling pretty
darn good, of course! As a result, I may begin to slack off on a few
things… The thoughts probably sound a little like this: “I don’t feel
resentful, so why would I do a tenth step? I don’t have anything to
write!” Or… “I feel connected, so I probably don’t need to meditate
today.”

Eventually, my thoughts begin to shift from being of service and doing the
next right thing, to something along these lines: “I probably don’t need
a meeting today, after all.” Or “I don’t even really know that I miss
talking to my sponsor. She always answers her phone, and I don’t feel like
listening to her chatter right now. Maybe I’ll just send a quick text to
let her know things are good with me.” And on and on… So, I’m taking a
little break from walking on the path, you know? … kicking the shoes off
for a bit… taking a look at the scenery. You get my drift?

Do you see my drift?

I’m already beginning to drift off the path a bit—I mean, I may be
following it generally, but it’s likely that I’m in the grass next to the
path, or in the bushes, at this point. This is what is commonly referred
to as “working MY program” rather than “working THE program.” The bottom
line is that I’m focused more on my own ideas than I am on walking the
path that was cleared for me by the people who know what they’re doing.
Then, because my eyes are no longer on the Path of Recovery, I find myself
interested in… something glittery over there in the trees! Maybe it’s
money, or my career, my deep inner issues, a gloriously justified
resentment, or some new Somebody Special. Whatever it is, it’s certainly
sparkly! (If I look closely, it probably has something to do with the
satisfaction of my instincts.) Before I know it, because I’m paying
attention to my newfound shining interest, I’m headed for the woods and
away from Recovery City. This is also pretty simple, eh?

Here’s what sucks: Alone and deep in the woods, I see the sign, “WELCOME
TO CRAZY TOWN! You made it! Our town motto is ‘Crazy Town: where instincts
run high and satisfaction runs low, there’s no one to help and nowhere to
go.’ Enjoy your stay!”

Not much of a vacation spot, if you ask me. Especially because we’ve all
been here before, there’s just nothing new about this place.

Here’s the cool part: No matter how long I’ve been wandering around in the
woods, or in Crazy Town, I know the shortcut back to the Path of Recovery.
I’ll let you in on this now– it’s always going to be a combination of
telling the truth, getting to a few of the 12 step meetings of my
choice, calling my sponsor, working the 12 steps, and being of
service to my fellows. Essentially, you could look at the 12 steps as a
high end GPS system. Again, super simple.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “When will I ever reach Recovery City?
I’ve been walking this path for X number of years already!” Ha! I’m sure
you’ve heard the expression “The journey is the destination” right? Yes. I
thought so. So, we may as well enjoy walking the path! This is it! It’s
awesome. And it’s a good walk.

So, that’s that, ya’ll! Do the work. That’s pretty much my message. Hope
you like it. And, if not, do the work anyway and call your sponsor about
your feelings on the matter. I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear from ya!

Now, what makes me the expert? Not much. But I do have my own show, and
it’s dang funny.

Speaking of the show– it’s already time to plug that sucker! I hope
you’ll join us on www.BagheadSponsor.com for some ridiculous recovery
videos, including this article’s companion video on “When Crazy Returns!”
It’s almost as if decent and hilarious commentary on the 12 step program of your
choice is just a mouse click away. Until next time… do the next right
thing, take it easy, and whatever you do– don’t drink, drug, or try to
off yourself. Oh, and enjoy your walk.
Xoxo, BagheadSponsor
www.BagheadSponsor.com
Saving lives. One episode at a time.

BAGHEAD SPONSOR BIO
BagheadSponsor is the main host of BagheadSponsor.com, America’s favorite
clean and sober video blog- a free and hilarious online show that airs on
BagheadSponsor.com covering all things recovery, including all kinds of sobriety gifts and such. It’s
fun! If you or your clients are interested in exploring recovery topics
with a serious sense of humor, please visit the website
www.BagheadSponsor.com or email BagheadSponsor directly at
Baghead@BagheadSponsor.com

12 Step, Blog

Will AA Meetings Online Keep You Sober?

Will AA Meetings Online Keep You Sober?
by BagheadSponsor
Now, this is a tough one and I’m no expert. Although I do have my own show, which is pretty awesome. So, let’s just say this…
Let’s face facts here—the world is moving online. You can watch TV, movies, even live a second life on your computer. AA meetings online as well as NA meetings or Any A meetings online are helpful. Matter o’ fact, they very likely save a life or two every now and then. And that’s awesome. I mean, that’s what we aim to do with every episode of the BagheadSponsor show that’s online 24/7, and I think we do a decent job.
Online meetings are an amazing tool if you’re traveling to a foreign country, and you want to hear some AA speakers, NA speakers, or Al-Anon speakers sharing the solution in plain ole’ English. They’re also useful if you’re going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere for a while where meetings are hard to come by.
But, here’s another fact– there’s something incredibly powerful about sitting down face to face with someone while you tell them the truth about yourself. And you just can’t get that online. Now, I’m not knocking meetings or recovery online one bit. But, the idea behind our show is that our videos will compliment a solid 12 step program—not replace it. And that’s what I think online meetings and recovery networks are good for—a supplement to a solid program that happens with real, live people, in person.
So, let’s boil this down, party people. Will online meetings keep you sober? Maybe. But, I’m interested in something a lot more than staying sober. I’m interested in shaking the hand of the new person, sipping on a cup of bad coffee, and sharing in the laughter and camaraderie that happens when I have my butt in a chair next to another person with their butt in a chair. In my opinion that experience is worth the drive.
So go hit a meeting of your choice! If you hit one today online, hit one tomorrow in person. Hey, it can’t hurt.
Xoxo, BagheadSponsor

12 Step, Blog

Gifts of Sobriety. No, like, buying sobriety gifts.

Sobriety Gifts!
by BagheadSponsor

So, you’ve got a friend who is coming up on a big day; 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc and you want to get him or her a gift. I understand! We want to make sure our friends know how much we value their recovery. Be it sobriety gifts, clean gifts, still alive gifts, or I want you to get sober gifts, I’ve got some good ideas for you right here:

*Give them a flower for every day/month/year they have off the junk
*Get them a notebook for their daily 10th step work
*How bout a personalized t-shirt? Ex 1: I’d rather be here than cleaning up my own vomit. Ex 2: Someone in California wants me to get sober. Ex 3: I did it my way; that sucked.
*Send them a link to one of our BagheadSponsor episodes! Now that’s fun!
*Write them a letter about how much they mean to you, and the progress you’ve seen in them.
*Buy them a BagheadSponsor coffee mug or t-shirt for a real celebration! (Check out the “store” page)
*Get them something from our growing list of recommendations on the site, like a meditation pillow, prayer CD, journal, or great recovery book!
*Get them a year’s membership to a coffee/tea club.
*Throw them a surprise party.
*Give them a brand new big book of alcoholics anonymous. Never can hurt!
*Show up in comfy clothes, with cleaning supplies, ready to clean their house for them. (Feel free to swing by here on your way out.)
*Give them a great big ole’ hug.

Now these are just a few ideas… Food for thought, if you will. Will you? Thank you.

Hey, listen, we have hilarious recovery episodes going up all the time, so we’ll see you soon! Until then, don’t drink, drug, or try to off yourself.
xoxo,
BagheadSponsor

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