In the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, I’ve learned many things. One of them is that you can’t force change on other people, though I knew this myself, cause no one can force it on me.
But you can help other people. Like Range, my sponsor, he’s sponsored probably at least 50 guys in this program in the eight years he’s been clean. Until I came along, every single one of his sponsees relapsed before making one year clean.
He likes to tell people that I broke his perfect streak of failure. But he never stopped trying, always making himself available, trying to help the newcomer. He taught me that we try to help other people, we make the effort to help them help themselves, but if they don’t do the footwork, we can’t carry them. We carry the message, not the addict.
So, he always cautioned me against getting attached to the results of the people I now sponsor. That I should just make myself available, and try to guide them along the path. And every sponsee that I’ve ever had, has relapsed before he’s had one year clean.
At first, it was kind of difficult, because I had formed an attachment where I shouldn’t have. I should have only been concerned about the effort, my effort, and not someone else’s results. It’s much less painless that way if they choose to go back out into the storm.
This is the same guy that tells me that “expectations are merely pre-meditated resentments.”
But, tonight, my sponsee makes one year clean. And while I’ve been careful about not becoming too attached, I am very happy for him, and for me, because I get more out this process than anybody I’ve ever helped, though they’d never believe it.
And I’m still not smoking.