I once heard someone say that during an interview. And in tonight’s story, “Building a New Life,” You get to read about how our man “saw the ball, and became the ball.”
After a life of self-abuse, immaturity, and several attempts at sobriety, via rehab institutions, he finally finds his way to us. And you’d think that somewhere on his route to us, he would find the key, the desire, and the will to get sober.
He does not.
Finally, after admitting defeat, he finds his way in.
They say, well, it was said to me, this time around that:
“At the time we begin drinking and using, for most of us, that begins very early in life, that we stop growing emotionally and mentally, AT the age we began consuming.”
Most people, who enter the rooms, at whatever stage they enter, are stuck somewhere on the emotional and mental timeline in their lives. If we stick and stay, like we remind our folks, we begin to grow up, be it ever so slowly.
When our man came in, he was a disheveled mess of a human being. But what he saw, changed his life for the better. It is said by many, that on their first entrance to the rooms, they witnessed people, well dressed, happy, and laughing among themselves.
For most of us, this was jarring, to say the least.
Our man saw men, well dressed in suits. I imagine that he was not a “Man in a suit, just yet.” He just wanted to be a man in a suit. There is a metaphor there.
I know, from the read, that our man wanted to clean up his life and his person. That does not happen overnight either. We first have to put down the substance, and gather ourselves together to make that walk into the rooms, with whatever self-respect and dignity we might still have.
Eventually, over time, our man does become, “That man in a suit.”
I know, for me, that it took a very long time to figure out who I wanted to become in sobriety. I had past examples of men I wanted to be like, (read: Todd). In the rooms, this time around, I found men, whom I came to respect and admire.
I’ve always said that, getting sober this time around was a scientific study of people; Situations, Decisions, Choices, and even Bad Choices. I brought to myself everything that I saw that was good, and made them mine. Everything else I left.
Like our man who saw the suits, and wanting to become a suit, he worked hard to become “that man in a suit.”
There are many layers to this achievement.
One, he had to figure out who he was, when he walked into the rooms. That takes time. He got into service early on, which will save your sobriety, if you do service early on.
Two, he had to find a sponsor and get into The Work and the Steps, to figure out where he had gone wrong, what led him to drink, and to clear away the wreckage of his past.
And Three, he had to figure out who he wanted to be. What he wanted to be was “That man in a suit.” Well dressed, well put together, and Mature …
In the beginning, it might have meant something to him, to get dressed, when he went to a meeting, like the men he saw, when he walked in.
90% of feeling good, is looking good.
He walked in and saw something that appealed to his better nature. He dressed the part, hoping, that at some point in his journey, he would fully inhabit, “That man in a suit.”
When I came in, I had already made the decision that I was ready to grow up and become a man, now. THEN, I had to figure out what that looked at in real-time, in watching the many men, I came in contact with, in the rooms.
I wanted to be grown up. I wanted to be responsible. I wanted to be a man.
I saw the ball, and I started acting like the ball, at over time, I became the ball.
This runs along the lines of “Acting as if…”
The visual I am talking about now is a much better example of acting as if.
I’ve been through many incarnations of myself over the years. Looking good, was the first stage of becoming good. Responsibility came second. I walked into a room, and I joined that group … Tuesday Beginners” right off the bat, on that first night.
The first thing they said to me is “do service.” I did service. I still do service to this day.
I wanted to be part of, and to “Become.”
You can’t become, if you don’t engage.
It wasn’t a suit that I was after. There were men, in certain meetings, who had a certain dress code, for their men, at that specific meeting.
I know when the Elders walked into my life, dressing the part, was part in parcel of becoming part of.
First we get into the rooms. We find a focal point. We meet people we want to be like. We clean up the wreckage of our pasts, then we are ready to begin building.
My education, at the beginning, was just to get settled and build my foundation.
At eleven months, my manhood appeared. I made a crucial decision. The rest, you can say, is history. All the goodness, all the badness, all the pain, and all the struggle, made me the man I am today.
The one CONSTANT in my life IS the rooms and SERVICE.
They told me that if I put anything before my sobriety, that would fail. I began to build infrastructure of meetings, people, sponsors, etc …
I still have that framework in action to this very day.
Shit happens in life, and it ain’t all rosy and happy, all the time. In all seriousness, over the last year, I have been in the emotional and mental wringer, to be honest. And watching my friends, or people I considered my friends, react, to my distress, has been an eye-opening experience for sure.
Not everybody is your friend, especially when time get tough.
But we persist !
In the beginning, I had just a simple idea of what I wanted.
Simply, I wanted to grow up and become a man.
How to get there was the challenge. Like our man, in the story tonight, he connected to something that spoke to his better nature, and he latched on.
Sobriety, takes time. A LOT of time.
Eventually our man became “That man in a suit.”
With all the love, adoration, respect and dignity, that that SUIT bestowed on him.
90% of feeling good, is looking good…