[From Essay August 2020]

I do try to use the tools of the program in my recovery. But, on a given day, when it comes to actually sitting down and getting started, I can barely bring myself to do it. Overwhelmed by guilt and by the fear that my sponsor will fire me, I used to manage a slow start into Step work maybe once or twice a week. At this pace, it took me six months to complete the first column of my fourth step. When I finished the column, I sat back and thought to myself, it’s going to take me a few years to finish this Step at the rate I am going.  

I phoned an SA brother one day and told him about it. He told me that he too could hardly bring himself to sit down and get started into written Step work. We each admitted, one to the other, that we are very good at procrastinating; we spend hours at it; but always, the Step work ends up unwritten. Then, in the course of the conversation, we had an idea, which shows of course that what’s impossible for one on his own becomes possible when shared with others.  

The idea turned out to be very simple. We agreed to call one another every day at a specific time; then, timing ourselves for 15 – 20 minutes, we lashed into our written Step work: if the disease can defeat one of us, it can’t defeat both of us working together, at the same time. And we got into it, calling one another each day, putting the phone close by and getting our Step work done. 

Almost every fellowship has small Step study groups, which is a great tool. But, even though I could use them, I cannot get to them because my days are so busy. I only ever have the day in hand, and there’s only there’s only so much I can fit into it. But the fruits of this partnership amazed me. My efficiency at written Step work increased by a factor of seven. Whereas before, I would journal maybe one or two fears a week, now I manage to journal ten to fourteen without any loss in quality; quite the opposite in fact.   

My Step work is helping me greatly, making my life easier, more fulfilling, a day at a time. Accountability to my action partner and to my SA group, all united in our common cause, has been amazing. Every day now, I am getting written Step work done. It proves what I have heard so often that, alone, I can do nothing, but together with my brother, I can do a lot.    

Vladimir G., Russia