The 400 lb Phone


The telephone, whether a cell phone or a land line, is an essential tool of recovery.  Too often I need to reach out to my sponsor or to someone else in program.  The time we spend on the phone is like a meeting in miniature.  We know the steps.  We share our experience, strength, and hope, and then we get on with the day.

Paradoxically, it’s hard to reach out, either to ask for help or even to say hello.  We call it the 400 lb phone for a reason:  it’s hard to pick up the receiver.  It’s like that day I was on my way to the gym but didn’t want to go, and I was in tears from my torn feelings:  do the thing I need to do, or do the thing I want to do?  But just getting to the parking lot of gym made it easier to go inside, and being inside made it easier to do the workout, and going the first time made it easier to go the second time.  So, picking up the phone, dialing a number — small steps toward the goal of reaching out.

I received a call today from someone in the program, and it was great.  The caller was trying to get out of his/her head, and I needed someone to talk to for a moment.  Someone made the call to help him/herself and ended up doing a service (another of the tools of recovery), and thus we did Step 12 work with each other.

For all the crud that happened today, that unexpected call was a bright spot.  And that tells me that maybe I need to reach out not only for myself but to see whether I might be someone else’s lifeline.