Rafa gave me a special gift the other night. It is a chip that he bought at Dr. Bob’s house in Akron. This photo is on one side of the chip, A.A. #3 Bill D. On the other side the chip reads:
“If You and I are going to stay sober, we had better get busy.”
In my twelfth year sober, a man named Bob, came from New York to Montreal and the Dorval Roundup that year, May 2012.
I listened to every word he said and afterwards we spoke together and he gave me a challenge. In return, he promised me, that if I took the challenge and did exactly as I was told, that my life would change in ways that I would never have imagined.
Bob was not only an alcoholic, but he was also a drug addict, who at the time we met was almost thirty years sober. And he was gay as well. “Family”
This fact, which I had not thought about in its entirety, came full circle on Saturday night for me.
You see, I was twelve years sober, doing my thing, thinking that it was enough, when really it wasn’t, according to the Atlantic Group of New York City.
In time, the work I put in, began to see results.
Prayer … Meditation … Every day, Every night, over and over until you know all the prayers by heart and you have practiced saying them, and learning what they mean, and how they apply to you.
My “working with others,” muscles were being formed.
Funny, that it was a drug addict that came first. Then I was introduced to another. In time, I began to pay attention to my own drug addict story, that I really wanted to forget ever happened.
But today that portion of my story, has served the greatest number of people I have in my life. And that trend continues today.
I work with another young man who is “sober” now 13 months.
I was talking to my Maternal Sober Sister this evening before the meeting and I don’t know why some young alcoholics have decided on the cycle of pain and suffering, I’ve spoken about them a great deal in the past. They don’t connect, nor do they seem to want to. We are there week after week, like clockwork, and it is obvious that attraction, is not working for some reason.
When Bob promised me life changing results, it did not dawn on me that one portion of my life would open up and be fruitful, in the way that it did, and I only realized this the other night.
But, my entire story is important, because it is mine. I own it,
Lock, Stock and Barrel.
My people are willing and were willing to go to any length to get clean and sober. But I had to learn that I had a message, and be confident that I even HAD a message, and little by slowly, it worked its way out of me, into the world.
My work, is “solution based.” Yes, we identify, but there needs to be certain “solution oriented” hope. What I share is an amalgamation of many people I know, and how they work with others.
A kind of, “best of,” everyone kind of method.
It works, because my guys have all grown up so much in the time I have had them in my life. We work towards Rigorous Honesty. And that has been a work in progress for everyone involved.
Over the last year, I’ve worked my steps with my sponsor, going on three years. I’ve not only worked my steps, they have materialized in earth shattering ways for me and I’ve learned so much about myself and the world around me.
Over the last year, and the two years prior, I watched friends come INTO my life, and I’ve watched them walk OUT OF my life. I’ve watched friends get angry for one reason or another. Usually based on some article of truth that rose, that was unpalatable to themselves.
And today, One friend, whom I loved and respected a great deal, a man I trusted with my life, turned into a vengeful, angry and resentful man, who will not deign to speak to me, but comes to my home group and pontificates about how sober he is, yet under the surface, he treats his friends like shit.
And said as much as I took my chip tonight, in open community, in front of everyone sitting there. Rigorous honesty they say, even if the truth hurts. Because how often we ignore the truth because it is more painful than acknowledging it.
My sponsor, may not have been pleased I said this, because he scooted right after the prayer, and he mentioned that he wanted to do dinner, and that did not happen. or just maybe he wanted to get across town to his home group that met at eight, where we ended at seven thirty.
I don’t know …
I’m just not comfortable being treated like a second class citizen in a space that is open and welcoming to everyone. Whatever your problem is, (read:Character Defect).
My life is full, I have everything that I need today. And enough is enough for me. I don’t need MORE. I don’t suffer from the need for more today.
I have friends who love and care about me. I have men and women to work with every day. I have best friends, and babies in my life. I am accountable and consistent in my friendships. And that has made all the difference in the lives of baby mama and the baby.
My heart is full.
Honesty is a bitter pill when we are faced with it. I can no longer say that I’d rather have bullshit rather than truth. And if you can’t deal with that, then I don’t need you in my life.
The regular chips that one gets at inter-group all say the same thing:
“To Thine Own Self Be True …”
What freedom comes when we realize that this can be achieved one day at a time, if you take up the challenge and choose to work the program.
I’m really grateful that I have solid old timers in my life today, who won’t bullshit me and tell me the truth, even when it hurts. I would not be where I am today without them.