From Courage to Change of January 06;
Between meetings, I need to keep in close touch with other Al-Anon members by telephone. Like may who have been affected by alcoholism, when I came into the program I was tremendously overburdened. Lots of patient listening at the other end of the line continues to help me get these burdens off my chest.
Sharing Al-Anon recovery by telephone allows me to reach out to someone else for support. The person I am talking to is not my counselor, confessor, or problem-solver. Nor is he or she obliged to sit and listen to all my sob stories.
Instead, this person may help me reason things out. Sometimes I’ll be reminded of an Al-Anon idea or tool that will enable me to gain some perspective on my situation. I am not given advice about what I should or should not do — that is for me to decide. By the time the conversation is over, I’ve usually found some relief from the problem that had seemed so enormous while it stayed trapped inside my head.
It is my responsibility to solve my own problems with the help of the God of my understanding. Since God often speaks through other people, when I reach out and make an Al-Anon call, I become willing to receive that help.
“We cannot climb up a rope that is attached only to our own belt.” ~ William Ernest Hocking
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I think it is important to update this idea of communicating via telephone to include chatting via computer. This will be helpful, I think, to those in the program who are introverted. I personally despise talking on the phone, and only use it for conducting business. It is my least genuine form of communication. If I get a chance to think about what I am going to say, I can search for that elusive and hard won honesty and for me, this is better achieved via the written banter of computer chat. If I am in an urgent situation and I need to find some source of immediate help, using the phone is a good path to take. Some people are able to conduct real exchange via the telephone, but not me. It has been rare for me to find it personally beneficial. Face to face conversations are better because the full spectrum of communication is in place. Body language, facial expression, and contextual clues all add to the discourse. Yet I understand the benefit of having the greater frequency of contact and accountability found in technologically enhanced communication. I must build a web of interaction to remain connected.