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In Need of a Friend

Everyone needs a friend that they can relate to and with.
Those of us in recovery need an extra-special kind of friend.

"A friend in need is a friend indeed" is an expression I heard more frequently as a child than I have as an adult. I'm not sure where I heard it the first time or the circumstances; my grandmother, perhaps? I do know that it never made sense to me until I began working the 12-Step Program of Recovery as set forth in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous

According to the experience of the "one-hundred men and women" who first recovered using the method they delineated in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, they learned that the buddy-system ("one alcoholic working with another alcoholic") worked better than trying to go it alone.
9  Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT2) 

Now I'm speaking strictly from personal experience here, and I understand that not everyone agrees with the methodology of
Alcoholics Anonymous and the suggested program of recovery. I have found it most helpful. For I believe that God (as *I* understand Him, of course) used the manifestation of my alcoholism to awaken in me an awareness of my need for Him, which I might not have become aware of, or felt a need for, otherwise.

There is much that I could and probably should say here about my early days "in the rooms" of A.A. and my coming to understand my predicament and the solution being offered. The meetings were most helpful in the beginning, but more was needed, and God had more to disclose to me. So He brought my attention to a man who would not only help me take the steps but would also help me gain an understanding of God and His desire for me that I never had before. 
Whether you are implementing the 12-Step program or seeking recovery some other way, it is good to seek out someone who has already gone through the process and is willing to help guide and support you on your journey in recovery.  But be very careful. We all need "a  closed-mouth friend" who won't tell anyone else what you have told them in confidence. Additionally, avoid picking someone whom you can see yourself drinking and partying with. Pick someone who has changed so much, you find it extremely difficult to picture them as a former drunk or whatever because recovery is all about transformation. 

Naturally, this can be a scary and challenging process, but it doesn't need to be if you plant the seed of faith you were born with and allow it to grow within you. Let God's spirit guide you, but be sure it is really God's spirit and not your own! 

Don't expect everything to start working out for the better right away. It is natural to want to get through the process as quickly as possible. But remember, we didn't become a mess overnight, and we're certainly are not going to be able to clean up our mess overnight, either. It is a process. A LIFETIME process. There are bound to be some rough patches when you will need to regroup, say a prayer, and take some deep breaths before you'll be able to proceed.

Take each day as it comes. Remember your past, but don't live in it. You're bound to have good days and bad days, because life is like that, even in sobriety. Watch your mood swings. When you have victories, don't let your emotions get too high, and when you have setbacks, don't let them get too low.  Always, always, always seek to ENLARGE your spiritual life, for it is central to getting and staying on track in your recovery and in all other areas of your life as well.

Learn the truth! Learn to live with it and learn to live in it. In the end, it will SET YOU FREE!!!


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