Am I Still Working My Program?



In our age of Covid 19 and Quarantine, sometimes I feel like I’m not working my program. I don’t know about you, but when I finished treatment, I was determined that I was going to do this thing right. I knew that there was a right way and I was going to get to perfect if anyone could. I was given suggestions and structure. I needed structure.

I bought a pretty folder at Target. I bought a set of 150 gel pens, some with glitter. I had all my meetings picked out for the upcoming week every Sunday. I never left anything to chance. I wrote out my gratitude list every morning along with all those affirmations I didn’t believe. Each evening I did my 10th step inventory and tried to find at least 3 good things I had done that day as well. I called my sponsor. I called women in my recovery network. I was working it!

For 5 or more years, this was my standard. Right or wrong, this is how I evaluated “working my program”.

What I have realized during the past months of Quarantine is that face to face meetings are what kept me energized in recovery. Seeing my friends in the fellowship, hugging their necks, sharing a laugh, these moments kept me focused and moving forward with my daily individual activities. My meetings kept me growing and excited to be in recovery.

In talking with my sponsor, she pointed out that flexibility is the key during uncertain times like these. (There goes my structure and my comfortable plan). We decided that I would look for opportunities to energize my recovery program! Here are some ways I have done so:

  1. I meet with a small group of ladies in my recovery network weekly. We sometimes meet in a zoom format, phone conference, or socially distanced. We are doing a workbook together.
  2. Podcasts! I can listen anytime, driving, before bed, or while taking a walk. Two of my new favorites are:
    1. “The Confessional” Nadia Bolz-Weber
      Nadia calls her podcast a “Carwash for Shame”. It’s wonderful.
    2. “ACA Tuesday Toolbox”
      This podcast has speakers who share tools for living with the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family. We’ve all got that, right?
  3. Go through the steps again! (With a sponsor or a fellow traveler). Pick any fellowship that resonates with you at this time. I have found that I have grown since the last time I went through the steps and my Higher Power has readied me for the next adventure in living.

So, in summary, if you feel like something is missing, don’t despair. If you are flexible and look at your recovery with fresh eyes, you will most likely see as I have, its still there, still structured, and still exciting and full of growth!

……a grateful dentist in recovery