“In the first years, those of us who sobered up in A.A. had been grim and utterly hopeless cases. But then we began to have success with milder alcoholics and even some potential alcoholics. Younger folks appeared. Lots of people turned up who still had jobs, homes, health, and even good social standing.
Of course, it was necessary for these newcomers to hit bottom emotionally. But they did not have to hit every possible bottom in order to admit that they were licked.
A.A. Comes of Age, p. 199
My fist is un-clenched and my hand is open to Heavenly Father.
I have traveled a long way over the past year. It will have been a year on June 12th. The day, a year ago, when a crazed gunman walked into a nightclub, in Orlando, and killed 50 young people, and injured many more.
I look back at this event as the most catastrophic event in my sobriety, this time around.
In the program, I know many men and women over the last fifteen years. Everybody looks good, smiles good, and speaks a good game. Everybody is so stoic and un-moving. Nobody would ever admit that they had hit a tragic emotional bottom during their sober time, however long that sober time was.
And God forbid, ever fell apart in public. Like I had.
I was one serious scary man, in the midst of falling to pieces in public.
I know of sober people, women especially, who seriously suffered in sobriety. Not so much the men. Many people, when they hit something catastrophic like that, went back out and drank a bit and maybe used along with it, some made it back, others, did not.
It is a serious blessing that I never contemplated a drink over the last year. I did not ever actually think to myself, “I should go drink…” It never crossed my mind.
That was a Blessing. Divine, Absolutely.
And I thought to myself as I spoke tonight that, a long time ago, I made a promise to Heavenly Father, that I was willing to give Him all of me. That is a running theme in my life, for probably, a good portion of it.
There was always something in the way.
I came to Montreal, seeking God. it was God who brought me here, and settled me in the life I have right now. It is all God. All of it. Every single day, sober …
I did everything I was told to do. I was pounding the pavement doing everything I could do to serve my fellows, without complaint. I was working myself sick.
I remember the night I sat here and cursed God and threw in my spiritual towel, so to speak. The sober men and women who witnessed my emotional breakdown, accused me of self centered-ness, and needing to be treated special by everyone else.
June turned into July, August and September. The screws were being tightened. Until the final peg was hammered into place, Heavenly Father had removed certain people from my life over the Summer, and the extraction continued into September.
I was still in the process of emotionally cracking.
And all of a sudden, Elder Christensen walked into my life on a Metro Platform, after a doctor’s visit one afternoon. Spencer is an angel. Sent to me, by Heavenly Father.
I am sure of that now.
God always comes when I need Him most. And Heavenly Father incarnated, in the form of Elder Spencer Christensen. That young man loved me, 100%. He still does to this day.
I see it now, all these months later.
The theme of Heavenly Father removing impediments from me, in order for me to be open and ready to serve Him, is ongoing. This has been going on for the whole of my life.
Many sober people, LONG sober and not so Long Sober walked away in fear.
Nobody knew what to do with me, instead of trying to help me understand what it was I was going through, they condemned me, walked away from me, and left me to my own devices. I had to figure out what to do by myself.
It was a good thing My Elder was with me, the rest of the way.
I changed up my meetings. I hung with people I trusted. Who did not necessarily have words for me, but they did have WORK for me to do. And I did that, without question.
Over the months Spencer and I would talk, and we would pray and we would wait.
There are no coincidences, but they came, one after and another, as Elder Christensen tells the story. He had never met a man like me, when I had come along. I welcomed him into my life and into my faith. And he returned the favor by sharing The Book with me.
I now know, how many people, and in what ways, citizens in my own city, spurned him, spit on him, insulted him, and chased him away with a meat cleaver.
I am so ashamed of my fellows here.
He took me as far as the Church would allow me, when it was time for him to go home, I asked him to remain my friend, and He did that gladly and willingly.
Where the church failed, Elder Christensen excelled …
I am a child of God. And Heavenly Father has seen me through the darkest time in my sobriety. I did not go back out. I did not drink, and I did not use. I survived this emotional challenge, not in the most sober of ways, because I am not perfect, but I did my best.
I went to a new meeting, with new men and women. We are reading the Big Book. I settled in and I was safe and protected. I met my new sponsor. We clicked on very personal terms, with tragically serious commonalities.
Along with Elder Christensen. And Heavenly Father. My sponsor has kept me grounded.
My sponsor said not long ago, that I was a little too tightly wound. And that I needed to back off and open my hand to God. All the While, My Elder has been ministering to my spirit. He showed me love, respect and dignity.
One never knows when they are entertaining and Angel.
Or Heavenly Father, for that matter …
There is no guidebook giving directions on how to survive an emotional bottom in sobriety. The Only Book, is the Big Book. On page 112, it says:
READ THIS BOOK.
An old-timer, last week, spoke those words to me. He had asked me if I remembered what page 112 said, I did not. Read This Book, it says.
The Book of Mormon is True, there is a God, Heavenly Father, and Elder Christensen is his angel in my life.
I’m here, sober. I did not drink today…
But for the Grace of God.