The weekend has come to a close. The holiday Weekend has come and gone. The downtown core, saw two parades back to back over two days. Canada Day and Carifiesta celebrations.
The month of July has begun. We successfully covered all the meetings for the month. July is a busy month for anniversaries and birthdays. More on that, in the days to come.
Today was beauty day for both hubby and myself. I was farting around the house, when hubby returned from his beauty appointment. He walked up to me and turned his head towards me and said “do you see it?” I was like, “what?” “you got the same haircut as me?” he was like “NO!”
Vanity has been a topic of discussion here at home. We both have been guilty of denial, where the aging process is concerned. For a long time, we both colored our hair, but at some point last year, I decided I was done with that. So I have been aging as gracefully as I can. Many of my older friends have gone silver in the last year, and it doesn’t seem to bother them, so I said “what the hell, I might as well.”
Hubby, on the other hand, battled vanity to its death, until recently.
It is my belief that, for some, who grow facial hair, at older levels, it is a guarantee that what you get in the growing is a multi-color result. Hubby may dye his hair, but that rat on his face, is three shades of growing older. I mean if you really want to defy growing older, then the hair on your face, should match the hair on your head.
Or else shave it off.
He has decided to give up the battle, and let aging take it toll as it is going to come.
A couple of hours later, it was my turn to sit in the beauty chair. I’ve been working on a certain haircut for the past nine or ten months, and finally, we have an idea of what I want it to look like. The clean, Number One clip around the edge and longer hair on the top, this is a very popular haircut here in Montreal.
If you want to run with the style gurus of Montreal, then you need to pay attention to the myriad of men that ride the Metro every day. The Number One shave and top haircut has been evolving here. It began with an actor I enjoy, then it moved to certain HUMPY cops that work in the city, and ride the rails. Nothing like a clean cut shaved One head on a burly cop with a “to die for” body.
Haircuts are big business here. And they vary widely. The trend we are on, the Buzz One top cut has been going on for about a year now. I see someone with a cut I like, I go back to my stylist and we adapt and see how it looks.
That was my afternoon.
**** **** ****
I’ve been consulting certain sober folks this past week, and I have a couple of more coffee dates set for this week. Which leads nicely into tonight’s writing.
IF YOU HAVE DECIDED YOU WANT WHAT WE HAVE …
“If you have decided you want what we have…” begins what some members term “the most important words in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. That those words invite identification rather than mere external imitation is clear from their placement; they introduce A.A.’s Twelve Steps.
This quote is taken from “The Spirituality of Imperfection” a book I am reading at the moment.
When We arrived at the church my friend reminded me that I was in the chair. I had completely forgot, and was totally unprepared. So I dug the book out of my backpack, and said, well, I will use this book, but it wasn’t approved literature, but this passage was fresh in my mind, because I read it, recently.
I dug out our Big Books, and posed we read the first portion of How It Works, from the book, then work in my quote from the other book.
IF YOU HAVE DECIDED YOU WANT WHAT WE HAVE AND ARE WILLING TO GO TO ANY LENGTH TO GET IT, THEN YOU ARE READY TO TAKE CERTAIN STEPS.
We had a handful of folks from New York and Boston, in town for the weekend, and it is always nice to hear stories from folks from out of town.
One of those men spoke to his “Evolution of Consciousness.”
When we come to the room, the first time, broken and shredded, most of us are not sure what we were going to find, who we might meet, or what we really wanted, beyond getting rid of our OBSESSION to DRINK.
How it Works, always follows the preamble, in every meeting, around the world. Along with the Promises, and a Vision for You, these three reading are the first words that are mentioned in the Big Book, even if we haven’t read the Book, or even know what the Book is, we hear these three readings, taken from certain sections of the Big Book.
Coming to, and learning about others in the room, after a while of listening to stories from those around us, we might hear something that resonates for us, and with a little courage, and maybe over a cup of coffee, we might inquire from someone “What it is they have, because at this point, we might want what that person has.”
Sobriety for me, has been a lesson in Discernment. At least, that is the word that came up in my discussion before the meeting with a friend.
Knowing Who’s got it, How they got it, Where they got it, and Whether or not they want to share what they got is what every newcomer comes to learn in time.
Discernment comes in stages, as we grow over time, and we rack up some sober time under our belts. It starts with one story, and just goes on and on from there.
The first time I got sober, by circumstance I was stuck in a particular meeting. And I knew early on, that I did not want anything from anyone in that room, save my sponsor.
When Todd came into my life, He just about made it plain that, I wanted what He had, and I would find the willingness to go to any length to get what it was He was willing to teach me about survival.
The room did not offer me anything substantial, except someplace to count my first year of time. It was a man Outside that room, who had knowledge that I really needed to have, because figuring out HOW I was going to live amid AIDS, was a hell of a lot more important than sitting in an unhealthy room full of bitchy judgmental queens.
The messages I was hearing from men who, I thought were sober, those first few years, were not congruent with positive support or sobriety. Learning how to survive, was my first order of business. And that sober period did not go anywhere, but back out the door to drink and use again.
The second time I came around, It was Troy who conditioned me back around by his simple message, every day at work that, “He did not drink that day.”
He led me back, and my friend Fonda welcomed me into that meeting the night I returned, and it was her welcome that started this sober period off for me. I wanted, or more to the point, I NEEDED, what my new friends had. And to this day, those initial friends are still in my life today.
I got hooked up in Montreal. And did exactly what I was told, every day, to this day.
I really did not know what I wanted from folks in the beginning. I needed to learn how to live sober. And it was dumb luck that I fell into the lives of certain people that facilitated my survival and life education.
I watched people, and I listened to them as well. I watched people come and leave. And then either return or go back out and drink.
Over the years, I stuck around, I learned quite succinctly, what I wanted, and what I did NOT want. I watched my friends get sober, loose sobriety, go back out and drink. Some returned, others went to their deaths in the bottle.
I tell you, watching your friends kill themselves with the bottle, you quickly realize that whatever the rooms were giving you, it better hold you over and keep you IN, so that you don’t end up OUT there, and dead.
When I hit year eleven, and into year twelve, I was watching our women, in our Tuesday meeting, work the New York sober model. And as they unburdened themselves to each other, I watched the lights rise in their eyes and they were becoming happy and most importantly FREE.
Several of us men in that group, at that time, realized probably for the first time, that we really wanted what they had. That was the first rise in consciousness for us. We then asked some of the women to sponsor us, to which they replied NO.
So the men began gathering and working that model among ourselves.
When the 2012 New York Roundup took place in year twelve, I heard a man, BOB S, speak, and he set me afire with his story. And the second rise took place for me. I went to him and asked for what he HAD, and he shared what he had, and what it took him to GET IT. And said to me that if I wanted what he HAD, that I had to DO THE WORK, to get it.
The depth and strength of your sobriety, results from the real hard work you put into it.
Real Hard Work, will get you top shelf sobriety.
Half Measures Work, will only get you half measure sobriety.
And I wanted the WHOLE HOG.
I was told by BOB that if I followed his direction and did the work, that my life would certainly change. Six or Seven months later, after pounding prayer and the book, God dropped a handful of young men into my life, and a second fellowship that I work in heavily along with A.A.
My life certainly exploded with goodness.
And it has been that way for a few years now. I know today, what I did not know just a few short years ago. I don’t have all the answers, and I am not some spiritual guru. I only have my story and my experience to share.
He who thinks he has captured perfect spirituality, or someone who thinks that they have seized God, really have no spirituality nor any knowledge of God.
That is a direct lesson in Humility.
In recent weeks, it has been made perfectly clear to me that certain men in my life, are not as sober as they claim to be, and it has come as a shock to me, and caused a certain paradigm shift in my sobriety.
I trusted too easily and I gave part of me that I should not have, and paid the price for being too honest, trusting and forthright.
And I got burned badly, to the point that I seriously considered a drink for the first time in a very long time. Thank God, I knew what to do and who to call.
TODAY, I sat with friend, who met another member from New York City, who is leading small group of merry sober folks, through the Book and the Steps again. And in a matter of a couple of weeks, my friend has been rocketed into the fourth dimension.
TODAY, she offered to take me along with her on this sober journey. I am certainly ready to work, and once again, I really want what that member and my lady friend have.
Another shift in consciousness has taken place.
If you come, and you see, and you decide you want what we have, if you stick around long enough, this too will happen for you, I guarantee it.
Every so often, someone with fire, walks into a room and speaks. And if you are lucky, you too will be caught up in that fire, and your life and your sobriety will get a jump start into the next dimension.
There are many in our rooms, and we follow each other around, sitting and listening, and every once in a while, a new experience presents itself.
That is when the iron is HOT, and if that happens for you, Get On It.
Take that step. Turn up he heat, Step into the unknown, and see what happens.
Tonight that same lady friend spoke about a question the New Yorker asked her recently:
HOW FREE DO YOU WANT TO BE ???
The whole purpose of getting sober, is to one day be
HAPPY, JOYOUS AND FREE….
If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, THEN you are ready to take certain STEPS.
It is all about HONESTY, OPEN MINDEDNESS AND WILLINGNESS.
How honest are you, How willing are you and How open minded are you ?
If you cannot answer these questions right now, there IS a solution.
One day at a time …