By: Marilyn L. Davis
Their Advice and Suggestions Worked for Them
“Rule of life. If you bother to ask someone’s advice, then bother to listen to it.” ― Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic
I was in line at the grocery store the other day, and the woman in front of me was on her phone. Not eavesdropping, but I heard her say, “Well, that worked for them, but it wouldn’t work for me.”
And how many times does a newcomer say the same thing? In my case, I said or thought it a lot 32 years ago when I first got into recovery. What fueled my reluctance even to try a suggestion were fears:
- I don’t know if I understand what they mean – fear of appearing stupid.
- What if I don’t do it properly – fear of failure.
- What if I do it and don’t get the same outcomes – fear of the unknown.
- If I follow this suggestion, will they expect me to follow all others – fear of success.
Stop Arguing When You Haven’t Tried the Suggestion
Repeatedly arguing about whether something has value before you make an effort to follow a suggestion is both arrogant and foolish. If you have never done something, you have no reason for the argument.
You do not know the outcome, as you have never even tried the directions. Would you please try what has worked for countless others before deciding that something won’t work for you or that the suggestion is “stupid” or wrong?
If They Have Time, They Have Experience
“The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.”― Douglas Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story
If you think about this logically, why would anyone give you directions or solutions that did not have a history of working for others? Providers of treatment, families, sponsors, and others in meetings all have reputations. Do you think that any of them want the reputation of those who give “stupid assignments” or directions?
Does it make sense to give wrong directions? Not at all. So, trying what someone suggests is probably in your best interest, especially if you don't know how to do something. Click To Tweet
Furthermore, it serves no purpose to give inaccurate advice.
No One Wants to Look That Bad
It would be a waste of time and ultimately harm their reputations and participants. People in 12 Step and Other Recovery Supportive Meetings are genuinely trying to help you change your life. In general, they will not give directions that will make them look inadequate or offer suggestions that they do not think will help to improve your life.
Therefore, your attitude about what people suggest you do to change your life needs to be as positive as possible. Even if your attitude is questioning how a suggestion or solution might help your situation, do them anyway and then assess the results. You may be genuinely surprised at the outcomes for you.
Maintain that Positive Attitude When You Have Time in the Program
Early treatment or new in recovery is not the only time an individual’s attitude and commitment become the focus; some individuals become complacent or unconcerned later in their treatment or recovery.
Having and enjoying long-term recovery, a positive attitude, an authentic commitment to remaining chemically free, and making appropriate changes must become a life decision, not simply done to satisfy a treatment provider, family, or court.
Writing and recovery heal the heart.
Marilyn L. Davis is the Editor-in-Chief at From Addict 2 Advocate and Two Drops of Ink. She is also the author of Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate and Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook. Both are available at Amazon, Books A Million, Indie Books, and Barnes and Noble.
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