Fellowship Members....

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fellowship Insights from a new old-timer...

I must say that the more I learn about the Fellowship and the outpatient support the Fellowship gives to St. Joe's and St. Christopher's residents and alumni, the more impressed I get. I want to personally thank the Fellowship for accepting me into the Fellowship as an honorary member and the leadership for sponsoring me to the annual retreat. What an honor it is to be recognized by such an organization!

 As an old-timer in A.A. and a new honorary member of St. Joseph's Fellowship, I am impressed with the caring, commitment, generocity, and fierce dedication of the Fellowship members in continuing to support the residents in the centers, in aftercare programs, and alumni in early recovery.

I have been in recovery for 20+ years. I was taught right from the beginning the importance of getting involved in service and helping another alcoholic. I have always been involved in A.A. service of some sort, both in Albuquerque (where I got sober) and in Schenectady. I have been loosely supporting the St. Joseph's Guest House(s) in Schenectady since I got here. But, I really had no idea of what the Fellowship was all about until this last two years.

I learned quite a bit from attending the retreat and watching what the men had for support and fellowship amongst themselves. I and the other 5 women who attended had a wonderful and productive time of it as well. I, personally, got a lot out of participating in the retreat. Father John's perspective was quite refreshing for me, as I have pre-conceived bias about the clergy. Both the Friars and the Sisters impressed me with their service, perspective, and devotion to their service and for that I respect them, immensely. I came away with a new perspective on a personal matter and a growing enthusiasim for Service and the Fellowship.

Yours in Love and Service,
Patti G.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February Fellowship Note

    I am worried about a member. I am pretty sure this member is using and it just kills me that this is happening. The person first developed an attitude of better-than, moved away, got away from meetings and support network. Isolation along with an extended serious injury that required medication has created a state of mind that is susceptible to the disease and it's constant vigilance to find a weak spot in our defenses.

  We are only as sober as our spiritual condition allows. What have I done today to take care of my sobriety?  Have I prayed? Have I gone to a meeting? Reached out to another alcoholic? Do I work the steps in my daily life. Am I convinced that I am powerless and that my life is unmanageable if I pick up a drink or drug. Prescription drugs are dangerous. They are legal, just like alcohol, and should be taken only if needed and in the way prescribed by our physician.

   However, in my case, I do not always need the kind of drugs my doctor has wanted to prescribe for me. I once cut the tips of 3 fingers off with a hedge trimmer. (Not on purpose, mind you) I was trying to save some flowers and made an unsafe move.

     Was I upset at the sight of my own blood? No.

     Was I scared for my health and well being? No.

     On my way in to the house to call 911, I was thinking what great meds the doctor would prescribe for me because the injury would call for that.

     So, when I left the hospital with my script, I got scared. I called my sober friend to come and get me and help me to manage my script. Because I did not trust my own thinking with that medication in my hands or in my house. Within 2 days, my real need for the medication was over and my friend and I flushed away the rest. Motrin would be all I needed for the rest of my recovery from that injury.

  I am not judging our member, I am only stating that this could be me. By the grace of God, it is not. But, who am I to think that I have "got this" now that I have 20 years clean and sober. I HAVE NOT BEATEN THIS DISEASE!  I have merely been graced with a daily reprieve from the seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.  And I am grateful to have been given a second chance of life. I must act on that gratitude by taking care of my sobriety. I have the tools, it is up to me to use them...

May God bless our member who is in trouble. The Fellowship will be here when that person is ready to come back. And just as they say in A.A.: "For that, I am responsible"

Patti G.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How Unity in the Fellowship makes a difference....

St. Joseph's Fellowship is a non-profit organization formed to support persons leaving the Center upon completion of the in-patient services there. These folks are entering the next phase of recovery which include trying to integrate back into society while trying to stay clean and sober.  St. Joseph's Fellowship is comprised of former patients and honorary members who work to make the transition easier by offering support in many ways.