Sunday, March 14, 2010

Let It Begin With Me

Hubby and I got home late last night, and so this morning when the phone rang I felt a little tired.

I knew it was a program call because the caller asked to speak to Kathy M.

"Yes, this is Kathy," I said.

The caller's name was Sylvia and she spoke with a heavy Eastern European accent. She was a new volunteer at the local information center and my name was on her list. Could I help take home calls in April?

I started to tell her I was pretty well committed. Three sponsees, prison service, commitments with my home group and, well, life.

I started to say those things.

Then I remembered that in my line of sponsorship we don't say "no" without a good reason. I remembered that I said I was willing to go to any lengths for my recovery. I remembered that God knows better than I do. I remembered the Al-Anon Declaration: "When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, let the hand of Al-Anon always be there, and Let It Begin With Me." I thought of the commitment she had made to fill all those night.

"What do you need?" I asked.

Sylvia said she needed someone to take home calls on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

My home group meets on Mondays, and one Monday a month, I'm at the prison.

Tuesday evenings are when I have my regular call times with my sponsees.

I wasn't available every Wednesday night in April, but I was available for a couple. I said I could fill in a day or two. She suggested two dates. I was free. I told her to sign me up.

I remembered what my sponsor said every time she took yet another sponsee (she has 14). "My God has a sense of humor," she said.

As I hung up the phone, I had to laugh.


  1. Wow you are really going to be busy!! You are doing a wonderful thing but don't forget time for YOU!!

  2. Thanks for the reminder that we usually get asked to do things for a reason, either for us or for someone else. Glad you found the time!

  3. You didn't just say no, you checked out the dates you would be available. You did good!

  4. I don't know about 14 sponsees.. unless one is retired..

    My mentor/friend said not to stretch oneself too thin...

    Balance. And learning how to say NO. But it seems you have it under control and just agreed to 2 days.. ((hugs))

    You'll know if you are doing too much..

    Phone calls ..and phone bridges are not the same as face-to-face people. i used to do some outreach and some of the people that called me how problems that were totally not suitable to deal with via the phone.. and more than just al-anon issues... way more. (and on a lot of medication; etc). I had to not do them outreach anymore.. talk of suicide etc). I'm better off doing face to face service...

    You'll find what is right for you as I did.

    I'm not even going to secretary the phone bridge meetings; too many with too many issues...way too many. People via the phone have more issues and can be passive-aggressive more than in face to face meetings.

    They say some are sicker than others.. sad - but true.

  5. Just make sure to take care of you:) Thanks for giving back so much.

  6. I think that you handled that beautifully!

  7. Kathy this is a wonderful example you have shared from your life. Inspiring. ♥

    PS I bought myself a new copy of co dependent no more for my birthday. It is already helping me to not spiral out of control so much.

  8. Well... you are allowed to say no. LOL
    Its a fine line, isn't it, between saying yes to everything and saying yes to the right things.

    I think they are lucky to have you.

  9. what a great post~ you made a good point about yes or no not being all or nothing. you didn't say yes to every day she wanted, you found out you could say yes to some extent.

    and i love that you found the humor in it all~