The weather took a definite turn into crap today. It has been pissing rain all day.
Things around town are on pause right now. With rain forecast until Tuesday, pouring concrete is going to wait until things dry out. Season has come to Montreal, with the closure of sections of the cities streets, and turning them into pedestrian only access.
This is a yearly event, to attract residents to explore their neighborhoods, and to encourage tourists to come, sit, stay, and spend money. The open space of terraces, more than double in car free zones, giving restos and bars, traffic and profits, beyond what they usually make with only indoor service.
Everybody was out early today, and when I got to the church, the room was set up. I had forgotten that we had a newbie coming for coffee, so I cranked out the rest, and had ample time to sit and read, because sitting outside as ruled out by rain.
We read from the Big Book tonight, and the chapter, “Women suffer too.” Men who read the back of the book, it seems, and we heard tonight, from some men, that when it came to women’s stories they actually skipped those sections, because:
“What do I have in common with a woman?” Well, A Lot actually …
Zeroing in on pages 206 – 207 … Then the miracle happened – to me !!!
Themes such as:
- Coming Home
- We cannot live with anger
- Being able to contribute to your fellows
I read this passage with my friends, and my friends read as well. Some of my friends remarked that they had never read this story, because it was a woman’s story, and wondered out loud, why they intentionally skipped the read, when they identified with our lady storyteller.
I grew up in a family of alcoholics, who drank, got pissed off and copped resentments, that lasted years, decades, generations. The old “I’ll Show You…” been there, done that.
After seeing my parents do this to family, I swore that I would never do that to people I loved. And I did not. But honestly, when I first got sober, I engaged in “I’ll show you” behavior IN sobriety.
When you are sick and dying and you need friends and family, and they fuck off and walk away, the only one left in the game is YOU, and whoever is in the game with you.
I made two “I’ll Show You” decisions in sobriety. In the same retaliation form as my drunk parents had done to me. And I was Sober !!! Not as sober as I could have been, but it is what it is.
For the whole of my life, I was trying to find my way into communities that I thought would supply “acceptance and support.” That did not happen.
What I thought I needed to do, to be part of, did not materialize, until I got honest and returned to the rooms in 2001. All that I had been looking for was there for me to find, without having to seek “the outside world” for it.
Alcoholics suffer a great many things; fear, anger, resentment, sadness, isolation, just to name a few. Over time, we learn how to get rid of, to mitigate, and to change those negative feelings and learn to turn them into positives.
Salvation comes, with time and investment, when we allow our untreated alcoholism to get washed in the machine of The Book, The Work and The Steps. Recovery is a full time job. It isn’t just an hour a week, or a few hours a week, in meetings.
How freeing is it, for men and women, to know, that for the last time in our lives, we see how to get rid of all that shit that saddles us in our misery, anger and fear ?
We learn to Let Go, Absolutely, as How It Works says.
Some come to this readily, right from the bat, but others, hang on for dear life, because who will they be without this anger, fear and resentment to show others, who we are ?
Freedom comes, but not without work on our parts. Osmosis does not work, you have to Do The Work, to get the results.
I’ve spoken about freedom recently. The purpose of sobriety, is to get to Happy, Joyous and Free, and also, sobriety “real sobriety” comes when we allow the past to go, and we stop holding onto shit we don’t have to, and we come to the point where we can:
LIVE IN THE NOW.
This lifetime investment in the betterment of our lives, and the betterment of the lives of all those we meet in the rooms, brings wisdom and peace. When we are free, and we have spent time working on us, at some point, YOU will begin to see what you have to GIVE BACK to your fellows.
You never know when something you say, in a room, or in a conversation, that just might change a life, in ways you never imagined.
What better place to be, than in a room with your friends, OFTEN, and seek the same goals: Happy Joyous and Free …
Read the Book, all of it. Don’t skip. That’s why the back of the books is there. So at some point, you realize that You aren’t crazy, that You aren’t alone, and that We all suffer.
One of my friends said tonight that, “If they print a Fifth Edition, of the Big Book, they should call it simply … WE ALL SUFFER …
Come and join us, and find what you’ve been looking for. Then stay until the miracle happens for you…
Because, it will.