In sobriety we build a support group and make friends that we take things to when we are not certain what to do, I would ask , say, a person in my support group about relationship issues never caring or even noticing that her longest relationship was 6 minutes long. She would give me advice and it would fail horribly and I didn’t understand why. I had gone to her to get advice or maybe it was to get the answer I wanted to hear but either way I had expected good advice from someone who could not give it.
Another example of a time when I went aaahhh haaaa was when I would pick people who were emotionally unavailable to befriend and get angry when they would not respond to my friendship. I felt as though I was being a good friend for them and why weren’t they being the same for me … again going to an emotionally unavailable person expecting them to offer emotional support … THEY WEREN’T ABLE TO … it wasn’t that they were bad or good it was I going to the the hardware store AGAIN.
Today I lead a very examined life on many levels. One of those levels is that when I ask advice on something going on in my life I go to someone who has experience with the particular issue. I find that experience is much more valuable to me than advice. I don’t show up at the hardware store and get angry when I can’t find milk; I find the grocery store where experience shows that they sell milk there, so to speak.
I also use that example in reverse … when a sponsee asks for my advice on something that I have no clue about I can simply say I don’t know but we can find someone to help you that has experienced or gone through that. This is a huge change for me. I always wanted to run your life when in truth I couldn’t even run my own. I ask myself have I any experience here to offer or is it just advice on something I haven’t even gone through. Recovery is about sharing our experience, strength and hope with each other …. not my advice on how to run your life.
Photo By absentmindedprof