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My First 12 Step Call by Mark M

My First 12 Step Call by Mark M

I had had about 63 days clean when my sponsor called me late one night and told me he was on his way to my house. He told me to get dressed…and to find my Basic Text. I thought 11:15 p.m. was a little too late to be doing Step work, but before I could ask my sponsor what was up, he was already beeping his car in my driveway.

He said that someone had called our local area’s hotline number and needed some help getting clean. This was my first “12-Step call” and I was so nervous. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing…and what could someone with such little clean-time have to offer this person anyway? My sponsor gave me some great advice when I asked him what I should say: “Keep your mouth shut and listen.” So I did.

We met him and the night went on. Several of us addicts sat at this little table in the back of a diner and talked to this man. We told him about our recovery and how our lives had changed for the better since we got clean. We talked about the gifts that being clean afforded us. He agreed to meet us at a meeting the next night and we all left, hugging each other.

I never saw that man again, but many years later I found this (see below) in a box under my bed. I wrote it that night, right when I got home. That night made a big impact on my life and my recovery. I can only hope that it did, eventually, for that man.


I met this guy at a coffee shop His hands were shaking. Beaten down Said he couldn’t stop Couldn’t keep his eyes off the clock I used to be that man, not long ago Hidden voices whisper but never show Death can creep so very slow

But now the mask is gone The lie is dead There’s only one voice in my head And that voice is me I’m powerless, I’m free!

My conscience slept in vain, Living lies that I believed There must have been an angel That was watching over me Because he must have grabbed the wheel. As my life rolled off to sleep A higher power lifting, guiding Brought me to my home And whispered in my ear That I’m never alone

So I tore this house down to its core Let the broken glass lay on the floor Yet, in all those shattered dreams I left behind Were all the missing pieces I could never find

I’m human now. Not insane A resurrection beyond name Only to find me, surrendering To be

I was full of shame, Brought down to my knees There must have been an angel That was watching over me, Cuz I never hit the ground From the building when I leaped A higher power lifting, guiding Brought me to my home And whispered in my ear That I’m never alone

  -Mark M


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