WHDD Radio, With Janina Kean, August 18, 2015


I’m newly sober and I just got out of rehab last week. I was there twenty eight days. Now I’m back at home and I’m just feeling really down. I’m feeling alone and lost. I’ve been doing a few meetings, but I’m just not connecting with people. . I just don’t know. I’m just feel really unsure and I feel really uneasy about it. I’m very timid and I feel like I’m not connecting with AA. I don’t really know how to change that or what I should do.


Marshall:         Well right now it is time to bring in Janina Kean from Higher Watch Recovery Center in Kent, Connecticut, with Sober Spotlight. Janina joins us every Tuesday morning. Of course you can call in as we open up our telephone lines at 1-855-747-9433 and 860-364-5141. It’s nice to have you back from vacation.

Janina:             It’s nice to be here. I missed you both.

Jill:                   It is that time of year where I can’t see anybody. I can see the road.

Marshall:         All right. Well we do have somebody who has been patiently waiting on hold. Do you have a question for Janina?

Alley:               Hi Janina.

Janina:             Hi. How are you?

Alley:               Hi. I’m good. How are you?

Janina:             I’m well.

Alley:               Good. My name’s Alley. I just wanted to ask. I’m newly sober and I just got out of rehab last week.

Janina:             Okay.

Alley:               I was there twenty eight days. Now I’m back at home and I’m just feeling really down. I’m feeling alone and lost. I’ve been doing a few meetings, but I’m just not connecting with people.

Janina:             Right.

Alley:               I asked this woman, who I don’t really know, to be my temp sponsor. I just don’t know. I’m just feel really unsure and I feel really uneasy about it. I’m very timid and I feel like I’m not connecting with AA. I don’t really know how to change that or what I should do.

Janina:             All right. Let’s back up a little bit. How old are you?

Alley:               Twenty two.

Janina:             Okay. How old were you when you started using?

Alley:               I was twelve when I started drinking.

Janina:             You were twelve years old.

Alley:               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janina:             All right. For the last ten years of your life … Childhood into adulthood. You’ve been using alcohol? Is that correct?

Alley:               Yes, I’ve been drinking. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janina:             Okay. Drugs? Maybe?

Alley:               Yes. Drugs as well.

Janina:             Okay. When you had interaction with other human beings for the last ten years, meaning even moving into your adulthood, were those many times under the influence?

Alley:               Yes. They all were. This is my first time ever being sober.

Janina:             All right. Substance was a lubrication for your interactions.

Alley:               Right. That’s the only way I could really talk to anybody or feel like I was worth talking to.

Janina:             Now we take away the lubricant right?

Alley:               Right.

Janina:             What do you feeling?

Alley:               Scared and alone.

Janina:             Not worth talking to.

Alley:               Exactly. Yeah. I just feel like I have nothing to say that’s …

Janina:             Right. This has been the issue for your life.

Alley:               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janina:             Of your fear of interacting because you’re not worth talking to.

Alley:               Right. Yeah. I’m scared. I’m completely scared. I wish it would just change, but I don’t know.

Janina:             I want you to frame it this way. I want you to think about it this way because this is really the way it is in twelve step work. Okay.

Alley:               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janina:             When a new comer goes to twelve step program i.e. alcoholic anonymous, narcotics anonymous. They pick a sponsor, meaning someone one who has gone before them who knows the ropes. In other words, knows how to do life on life’s terms being sober.

Alley:               Right.

Janina:             When you asked them to help you, what really is happening is they’re helping you so that they stay sober. That’s what it means to carry the message in twelve step rooms. It’s a privilege that you ask them because they now can teach you something. In doing so they remain sober. When people sponsor people in AA, they don’t sponsor them for them to get sober. Although, you will get sober if you listen to somebody who’s gone before you. The spirit of sponsorship is so that they remain sober. You’ve actually done her a favor by asking her to help you. Does that make sense?

Alley:               Yeah. It makes sense. She tells me to call her everyday and I just feel like I’m bothering her.

Janina:             Do it anyway. All right.

Alley:               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janina:             Move through your fear because you’ve got to connect to get well.

Alley:               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janina:             You don’t have a choice. Okay. As you’re calling her everyday remember that it’s the spirit of helping her in the end, is what you’re doing.

Alley:               I’m helping her stay sober also?

Janina:             Yeah. That’s what you’re exactly doing. That’s exactly one hundred percent what the spirit of sponsoring somebody’s all about. I want you to keep that as your foreground for yourself as you have to pick up that phone and you’re terrified. All right. I want you to think, “Ugh all right.” Janina said, “I’m doing this to help my sponsor stay sober so I’ll … Because you may be able to go into that telephone conversation or into that interaction, if you keep that as the foundation for going into it.

Alley:               Right.

Janina:             Rather than going into it because I need help.

Alley:               Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janina:             All right.

Alley:               Yeah. That makes sense because I always constantly talk to myself and say, “Oh she doesn’t want to hear from me.” “She doesn’t want to talk to me so-

Janina:             Yeah. She does because she wants to stay sober. That’s why she wants to hear from you and that’s why she wants to talk to you.

Alley:               That definitely makes it easier, thinking if I’m helping her.

Janina:             If in fact as you do that you get sober, that’s wonderful. Her agenda is about staying sober herself.

Alley:               Okay.

Janina:             Okay.

Alley:               All right.

Janina:             Try it. Just go through it just for a day. Don’t think about you got to call her everyday for the next month and a half. Just think that you have to call her today.

Alley:               Today.

Janina:             Only on day at a time. I only have to call her once today.

Alley:               Okay. I’ll hopefully get through that fear of …

Janina:             You’ll get through that. Right. The more you call her a day at a time, the easier a day at a time it’s going to be to call her.

Alley:               Yeah. I believe that. I do. It’s hard at first.

Janina:             This is the piece of work sweetie pie that you’ve … Alley you’ve got to get over to get well.

Alley:               Yeah.

Janina:             Okay.

Alley:               I know. I just have to do it.

Janina:             You’re young. You have a whole, huge, great life ahead of you.

Alley:               Yeah. I want to stay sober. I do.

Janina:             Yeah. Okay. That’s how you’re going to stay sober. You got to connect to another human being.

Alley:               Okay. Well thank you so much Janina.

Janina:             Oh. You’re so welcome darling. You can do it.

Alley:               Thank you.

Janina:             Just go a day at a time.

Alley:               I will. I appreciate it.

Janina:             Okay. Bye.

Alley:               All right. Bye.

Marshall:         What you’re basically talking about is a chain that’s made out of links. There’s great support and strength when all of them are hooked together.

Janina:             Yeah.

Marshall:         You lose one and it breaks apart. I’ve never heard it put that way though. Like I said, I’ve had a lot of people with alcohol abuse in my family and one of my best friends who’s been sober for over thirty years. I’ve never heard it put that way where it really does help keep them sober as well.

Janina:             Right. Exactly. Actually the twelve step is have you had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps? We try to carry the message to other alcoholics and practice the principles in all our affairs. That’s middle part. We try to carry the message to other alcoholics. The purpose of carrying the message is so the person with the long term sobriety stays sober. Not the spirit of getting the new comer sober. Because if you start doing that with that as your principle of getting the new comer sober, you’re going to need to go to Al-anon.

Jill:                   Because you’re going to need your own sobriety.

Janina:             Right.

Marshall:         Getting the new person sober is a benefit of it, if passed. It builds strength.

Janina:             Right.

Marshall:         It builds out. In radio we call it building cume, where you build audience. This actually makes the network even bigger.

Janina:             Right.

Jill:                   You talked about those movies about paying it forward. In many cases giving is part of reciprocity and keeping it going because you’re giving and you’re receiving.

Janina:             Right.

Marshall:         All right. If people want to get a hold of you again Janina.

Janina:             860-927-3772.

Marshall:         We’ll see you next week. No?

Janina:             Vacation, but it’ll be my last one.

Marshall:         Okay. Well enjoy it while the weather’s good.

Jill:                   I’ll remember. Okay.

Janina:             Bye everyone.

Marshall:         Bye. Regina Kean from High Watch Recovery Center in Kent, Connecticut. Of course, highwatchrecovery.com on the web.