A friend of mine had a sponsor when he first got sober. When my friend got thirty days, his sponsor said, “Thirty days? That’s really great. But we lose a lot of people between thirty and sixty days. You better double up on your meetings. You gotta take this thing more seriously.” And so my friend did.
When my friend picked up his sixty day chip the sponsor once again said, “Sixty days? That’s great. But we lose a lot of guys between sixty and ninety. You better double up your meetings. Take this thing a lot more seriously.” And so my friend did.
When my friend picked up his ninety day chip the sponsor once again said, “Ninety days? That’s great. But we lose a lot of guys between three months and six months. You better double up your meetings. Take this thing a lot more seriously.” And so my friend did.
It turned out that regardless of the time my friend would acquire, the sponsor always responded in the same manner. “A year? That’s great. But we lose a lot between one year and two years. You better double up your meetings. You gotta take this thing more seriously…”
A couple of years ago, my friend passed away, but up until that point, every birthday meeting, no matter who was celebrating or how many years they had, my friend would speak the warning his sponsor spoke to him.
I like that no matter how seriously I take this thing, I could take it more seriously. I could understand my disease and me more. I could know the book more. I could help more, sponsor more. I can work the steps more. And with that, I can grow more. And be spiritual more. Live in the now more, have faith more. The idea pleases me.
I like the idea of doubling up on meetings. I think it is easy to let life become life-ish. We get spouses and homes and kids and meetings are harder to make. But meetings are where the miracle happens. Meetings are what keeps this thing fresh. Meetings are where we hear new ideas and thoughts, struggles and heartache and triumph. In meetings I get to simultaneously hear of the places where I do not want to go, and the person who I wish to be.
And I think my friend was right. We do lose a lot of people. There were many people around me when I first got sober. My entire halfway house, women in the meetings, friends, and friends of friends. We all had roughly the same length of sobriety. Now there’s not so many. In fact, there’s one. One of my friends still has her original sobriety date, eight years later.
Eight years. We lose a lot between eight and nine. I better double up. I better take this thing more seriously.