It was a dreary night and today was a dreary day. It rained. Enough rain to warrant carrying an umbrella, but when I got out there, it was just spitting rain, so I carried for no reason ! UGH. The snow is beginning to disappear.
They have been tearing up Ste. Catherine’s street the past couple of days, and barricades are up and the system of bus stops up the block have been turned upside down. People loose their minds when they loose access to mass transit at a major hub, as this one is.
The Sports Bar/Resto on the corner is almost ready to reopen the entire restaurant. A long time ago, all the tenants on the strip were evicted, and all the walls knocked down to expand the resto. The small (initial) space was open while they built the new space. They then opened the new space and closed the old space to renovate. They worked on the upper floors and are now bricking up the walls above the resto, and when I walked by on my way home, the new (old) space has all the monitors up and chairs and tables. The build is complete.
With summer coming, and the entire resto open, with a tiki bar in the back, which is open, and during the summer he opens a patio out front, which takes up an entire lane of traffic about 500 feet long, they will be bringing in Big Bucks this season.
The Great Big News that came today was that tickets for the West Island Roundup are on sale, and one of my gal pals is picking me up three tickets for me and my sponsees. This is a “Must Attend Weekend” of the year. May 17 and 18. New York is coming to Montreal once again, last year’s event was earth shattering and changed my life, so bringing new guys to experience a taste of New York Sobriety will be a treat for them.
I left early to run some errands and arrived to a very quiet church. Quiet is good. I can take my time setting up and I get to spend time reading. I cherish amounts of time that I can sit and read during the day, because I don’t do that at home. Reading time usually occurs before bed.
I have arrived at my 4th Step with my sponsor. And it is quite an undertaking. To lead off the step is an exercise to plot feelings and emotions that “happened” from the day I was born until today. (so on the way home I picked up a diary to write in, so that I can carry it with me) when I meet with my sponsor. I have particular memories in my minds eye, but not necessarily a year to correspond.
So I have enlisted my aunt to help me peg a few dates so I can complete the work. The assignment is 15 to 30 minutes, every other day for as long as it takes. Which is a 46 year assignment. Add to that the regular question and answer form that will follow, and then the actual writing of a 4th step.
We sat a fair crowd. More than we had expected. AND several folks came, who came for the anniversary last week. So we gained a few guests. The chair read from the Daily Reflections from March 1st. (March is the third month, therefore all the entries cover Step 3).
The reading is simply, “It works … it really does.”
The passage talks about finding faith, and coming to believe that a power greater than ourselves can work for us, and that we learn to trust it. And how do we do that? Three things … Go to meetings, find a sponsor, work the steps.
Once again the word STAY came up.
Our newbies are getting used to rooting at a home group and making it their own. Meeting and learning to trust the room and the people in it. To devote time to reading, working and saying a few prayers here and there. All this is on a steep learning curve. It all takes time to change old habits, and learn new ones. Coming to believe that a power greater than ourselves has our best interest in mind. You might not see that on the outset, but if you can trust others, and see how their lives change, one day, your life will change as well.
Getting sober a second time had its advantages. I got a Do Over.
Lessons I learned the first time, that I forgot, when I went out, came to bear. Without the specter of death hanging over me, I was free to focus on myself unlike the first time. ( I was wrapped in a death shawl for years waiting to die) and I didn’t.
I hit a ton of meetings that first year. I rooted in One Meeting and I stayed.
I did whatever I was told to do without argument. The right people came into my life and I depended on the folks at my home group like my life depended on it and that served me well.
Over the years, staying in one place for a long time had its perks. I got to watch other people come in, sit down, stay for a season or two or three, and get sober. There is nothing more gratifying than watching God move in people’s lives. I knew who God was, and he had already moved heaven and earth to get me here, so that was a no brainer.
But at St. Leon’s, I have said before, God likes that room. I’ve seen the light come and rest. I’ve seen people come in lost and find Him. I learned a great deal about people as they came down those 12 steps into the hall. I studied it like science.
That’s when I came up with the Neon Sign Theory.
We all have one, hanging over our heads. And it tells the world things about us, but we might not see the sign for a while, but it is there. And if you stay in one place long enough, you will begin to see them yourself. People who come, and come again and again, over the years, that sign changes depending on our moods and feelings.
It was that light that I was searching for. And God did not disappoint.
So if you are new, stick around until the miracle occurs.
It was a good night. Everybody is sober another day.
More to come, stay tuned …