by Joshua Hoe
One of the hardest things about recovery is getting outside yourself by sharing. In other words, it is often hard to make the call.
Before I found recovery, I had some real problems with communication.
I remember being in long relationships and noticing as they progressed that I was collecting tens or sometimes hundreds of things that I really wanted to talk about or address with my partner.
Yes, I almost never talked about them.
Silence about anything I was deeply feeling was my norm.
You are only safe if you keep your feelings inside.
So the distance grew, the relationships drifted, and ultimately fell apart.
Isolation is safety.
And so I lived in fantasy, alone, but safe.
Whatever that means.
The Phone Call
In my experience, the sobriety phone call operates in much the same manner.
I can only guess at how many millions of excuses I have made up not to call when I know I needed badly to call someone (my sponsor or someone on my call list).
“Oh, I will be okay”
“They are probably busy”
“They won’t want to be bothered”
In my whole time in the program, I have never had one person act put out by a phone call, why, because we all understand.
When people can’t take my call, they usually call back the minute that they can.
Whatever the excuse, it is probably an extension of the same personal code of Omerta that destroyed so many of my relationships.
It is why, in the area of our addiction/s, we can’t trust our own guidance.
It is why our literature tells us to call not just when we want to, but when we don’t want to.
I know I have my own rule here – there is never a good reason not to make a call.
There might be a good reason not to make a call to one particular person, but never a good reason not to make any call.
Silence seems like our friend, but it is really our worst enemy.
Silence only protects us from having a real life, and real joy.
It is the sharing the things we don’t want to say that ironically frees us to have meaningful intimate relationships.
Do you struggle making calls? What tools have you used to overcome your problems with phone calls? Let me know, leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!