Trusting The Process | Noah Bergland and Dennis Cockerham

The Process

Before we get to the process

Hey guys, Noah here.

So I had something come up in regards to my recovery program. I am currently attending two meetings a week. At these meetings, I get to listen to others experiences and I often hear stories I can relate to, I also get to share my experiences in hopes that somebody can get the same in return.

Sometimes when I am having a rough week, Monday can’t come fast enough, because it’s often in that meeting that I get whatever I need in order to get over what has been ailing me.

The two programs, one being a book study (Monday) and the other being an open meeting (Tuesday).

The reason I can’t say what the program actually is is to protect the anonymity of the group and the program. Because if I tie myself publicly to this program and then I get out of prison and I fail, someone out there reading my story might think I failed because the program failed and in reality, it will without a doubt be for a completely different reason like I quit using the program and everything I learned from it and lost myself like I have so many times in life previously.

So, back to the subject at hand, “The Process.”

I had a question for Dennis, my sponsor who also writes here, in regards to one of these meetings.

I have a class coming up that I have wanted to take for some time, the problem is it’s during the open meeting (Tuesday) I am currently attending.

These two meetings are the staple of my recovery and I was considering going to another meeting on Thursday that is provided here, even though that meeting is a different program with a different message.

I asked Dennis what he thought about my idea. I could tell he didn’t want me to, he told me that he had tried it in the past and that it didn’t work for him. Then he froze. He was thinking about something in his head and I could tell he was struggling to come with the appropriate answer.

He then tells me that even though he doesn’t want me to go, it’s not for him to tell me not to, that is ultimately my decision that I have to find out on my own.

He said it didn’t work for him because the blurred message between the two programs didn’t work for him, it confused him.

He wasn’t able to relate to the material and because of the language barrier and the way he was supposed to talk he felt like he was lying and that he was a fake when he was present, something he didn’t want to portray himself as. So, he stopped going.

But just because that was his experience doesn’t mean I will have the same. He told me he would look into for me, he said, “Before you make any decisions please let me show you “The Process.”

I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about but, I knew Dennis and for that reason, I knew I would know soon enough.

By the following afternoon when I came home from work, I had a packet of paper on my bed.

The Process – Page 1  – Dennis Puts His Feedback and Thoughts into Poetry

Please Read (Highlighted)
Noah (Highlighted)
‘The Process’ (Underlined)

In my confusion

Which I have come to see
Through this program

As one of MY most
Strongest defects
And triggers

I reached out

Phone calls and e-mails

To those that have gone before me
To the tools of this program

The strength
The support
The unity
That saved my life

Is my message to them
And some of their responses

One more member
That I included


I prayed
I held conversation

The following
Is the reply

I have found MY path

It got ME out of MY way

To see
To touch
To feel
To communicate
With God
As I have come to understand him

Who would I be
To tell YOU

Where to
How to
Find YOUR OWN path
YOUR OWN understanding
Of this same entity

That would not be
What I call
A sponsor

As I know him
is not so small

He is huge
Can be found

Using this process

My discernment

His will
Not mine

The confusion is removed

Seek YOUR truth
Seek YOUR understanding
Seek YOUR recovery

I will be here
For you

Support you
The whole way

This is the way
The message
Of MY program

I hope to live that way
Show that way
To you
By this example

I now
Give to you
What was given to me

Love: Dennis C

The Process – Page 2 – Dennis Asks for Help from the Outside

From: Dennis

To: David, Tamara, Ina, Janelle, James, Brent


We have three meetings a week here.
Our program meets Monday and Tuesday
Another program meets Thursday

Noah goes to both of our meetings each week, Monday and Tuesday

We also meet every night from 9-10 pm
We are working the steps

Now a class is starting and he will not be able to make the Tuesday night meeting.
So, in order to hit 2 meetings a week…he asked about him attending the other meeting, on Thursday.


I need guidance
And I ask that you send him some as well.

I did not say No or make the decision for him (not my job).
BUT that is me–and my recovery

Each addict has to find theirs
But if he came to me
And wants what I have
Then do what I did to get it
and DO NOT DO what I did not do…???

I also explained
How our material…speaks to me, like it was written for me.

Where their text does not, I do not relate.

1 program
1 disease
1 recovery

That is my message

Do I have the right to say that to my sponsee?


Love Dennis

The Process – Page 3 – Advice from the Outside Comes In

From Tamara (Dennis’s Wife)

To: Dennis

Good morning babe. Kind of like the conversation we had over the weekend everybody has their own recovery. It happens all the time out here that people go to multiple programs. Sometimes people go to different meetings because at the time that they need a meeting their meeting isn’t available. For me personally, I don’t like to go to other meetings, because first of all you’re not allowed to talk about your drug addiction at some of them and second if you are having a rough day and you need to talk about that you want to be somewhere where you’re able to.

I know that it is different in there hon, but look at it from another perspective and if he was not to go to this other meeting, what is it that you like him to go to to get his second meeting a week? It doesn’t mean that you have to work the steps differently or anything it’s just a meeting he’s attending so he gets two meetings a week.

I meet with my sponsor today at 3:30, I’m going to read this message to her and get her input as well and I will let you know what she says. I know that this is a very hard decision for you. Have you prayed about it? You always get your answers fast when you pray about things. I definitely would pray about it, honey. I love you, have a wonderful day.

The Process – Page 4 – More feedback from the Recovery Community

From: David (Dennis’s Sponsor)

To: Noah and Dennis

I will have to think a little about how to word my response to Noah because I only go to my program. My sponsor once told me to stand up for what I believe and not to be swayed by another because the message is blurred and when that happens the addict dies. Noah I do not like to send people to other meetings, but in certain circumstances it’s ok.

The Process – Page 5 – A Sponsor’s Perspective and a Friends Advice

From: David (Dennis’s Sponsor)

To: Dennis

DENNIS!!!!! I am inspired by your passion for the program, I feel the same way but we guide people, we do not force our sponsee to do or not to do things. You guys have a unique situation I sent my 1st response to both of you. I hope you guys can find another way to help Noah, we can encourage and support him in any decision he makes. Peace out my Brother.

From: James (Dennis’s Friend)

To: Dennis

That’s a tough one bud I would say since there is only a limited number of meetings available, and he feels comfortable going to the other fellowship’s meetings. It’s best left up to him. Do your best to be there and teach him about our message and about how not to blur the messages.

I’ve had sponsors that go to the other fellowships also. When we meet if they bring it up I steer them away from the talk on that because my message gets blurred. I have my own reasons for not caring for the other fellowship. Probably a resentment but more than anything I don’t identify with them. I try not to let that spill out even though it probably does some. And try to just focus on our program and our message. I tried to remember that everyone’s recovery is different and my way might not be the way someone else does it. And if it works for them I guess it’s okay. Even if I don’t like it or agree with it. For myself that is.

The Concluding Thoughts

After Dennis and I went through his process he ended it with a sentence that summed it all perfectly:

“Noah, you are on a quest to find YOU, WE are on a quest to guide YOU!”

Thanks for Listening!


Our Shared Freedom Dream | Christopher Warren

Use to Live | Dennis Cockerham

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