A definition of the word sponsor published at a time when the A.A. program was in its infancy states: “Sponsor - One who assumes, or one to whom is delegated, responsibility for some other person.” Webster, circa - 1936
Thanksgiving weekend 2019 brought 17 inches of heavy wet snow to northwestern Wisconsin, a special place where our family cabin sits, on the Minerva chain of lakes. As I looked out into the yard this past Sunday morning, I was startled by the sight of our many pine trees – white, blue spruce, and jack pine, all sagging towards earth with heavily burdened branches carrying the weight of nature’s winter storm. Concerned these trees might topple or at least suffer the damage of broken branches, I donned Sorel boots, jacket, hat and gloves and set out intent to remove some of the 17 inches of ice crystals these trees of ours were carrying.
I woke up this morning and my wife sent me a post that she had shared/read about someone who decided to not let drugs and alcohol numb them, to not just say that they are fine when things are really upsetting them or they are having a hard day. I told her that honestly that was the same reason that I decided to get sober so many years ago because I was numb for so long and I really like feeling all of the emotions good or bad that come with life and it makes me feel strong to face them everyday and not give up.
During the past several weeks we all have been thrown into a sea of unknowing, with no knowledge of the shore- where it is, when it will rise in our vision, when we will rest knowing it’s popping up in our horizon.
While we are all hunkered down and sheltering in place, we thought some good old fashion humor might lift your spirits. Here are some humorous thoughts from one of our blog contributors – Maj. Donovan, U.S. Army, Ret.
At the beginning of April 2020, I’m writing this blog at home. I am on a leave of absence from The Retreat due to the Covid-19 virus. I’m not sick, but I’m in the ‘high risk group”. I’m 71 years old and have long term asthma that is easily activated. My wife, Priscilla, who almost never gets sick, may have had an incredibly short case of this disease. She ran a fever for less than a day, she was confused, had aches and pains, and slept. In one day, it was gone. She’s 81 years old.
Just a little backdrop... Recently, I have experienced what some might define as significant losses: My last surviving parent died in October; I ended a long-term primary relationship in November; My darling dog of 10 years was put to sleep in February. I am an empty nester, living in a new home in rural America. Despite these losses, daily life was fulfilling and meaningful. I had a job I adored, good friends, a busy social and volunteer life, and, most importantly, a wonderful AA community that grew and deepened every day!
As The Retreat continues to respond to this rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, as always, our first priority is the health and safety of our staff, guests and community. We are closely monitoring updates on COVID-19, and continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations issued by the CDC as the public health community learns more about how this virus is contracted, spread, and most effectively treated.
Johann Hari stated at the end of his viral “TED Talk” that… “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection”. This comment was received as a landmark and almost heretical statement in the field of addiction treatment. It sent shock waves through the recovery community. It was a new and innovative way to view addiction and address recovery.