Monday: Spiritual Fitness

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Another week has begun. Our Monday meeting reads from the Big Book. Tonight we read from Page 100 – 101 …

This reading speaks of “Spiritual Fitness.” If you read the Big Book with someone who has read it themselves, and practices Spiritual Principles, one would understand what it really means to be “Spiritually Fit.”

Spirituality and God are those two topics that stymie people until they are able to wrap their heads around them. Most people don’t want to know about spiritual principles. They just want to know how to stay sober. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Staying sober, gets easier, if you can employ the spiritual principles taught in the book and in other books we read on the outside: Ref. The Spirituality of Imperfection.

The first thought that came to mind as we read this passage was my own story, of the period of time, which began a year before I had my last drink, and the two years that followed, when I finally did get sober, and what happened.

I had worked my way into the employ of Todd in 1993. We had built the bar from the ground up. The bar had its official opening in April of 1993.

I was bar tending that night.

My sponsor, who was not yet my sponsor, but would eventually become him, was getting sober. On his cash register sat a hard cover copy of the Big Book.

I would ask him, from time to time, what that Big Book was … I knew that it was called a Big Book, because I could see the embossed letters on the front cover.

His answer was always the same…

“When you are ready, I will tell you what it means …”

That took a year.

When I took my last drink, and Todd swept me off the pavement, at the COPA, I never took another drink. Yet, I was still employed at the bar..

Todd would sit me in his office before shift, and he would SPIRITUALLY CENTER me. Todd was not a member, but in all his wisdom, he knew what I needed before I ever knew I needed something myself.

Todd had spiritual qualities. And he knew how to use them with me. Don’t ask me where he learned them, but they were in his trusty toolbox at his disposal. God was certainly there with us. Because if Todd had not stepped in and saved my life, I surely would have died a long time ago.

Todd – read GOD, was there, all along.

That freedom of knowing that “I never had to drink again” was salvation.

During this time when AIDS was killing everyone around me, I was one of a few men, in that building, that were sober. While my friends were all drinking and drugging themselves to death, I was ABLE and I was PRESENT.

For what it was, those first two years, while I was going to meetings, AND reading the book, I received more spiritual teaching from Todd, than I did from any man who sat in a room with me at meetings.

I could do anything, as long as Todd and my sponsor were there. I never had to look very far for confidence and love.

I’ve always said that if a time machine were ever invented, I would go back to this two-year period provided, everyone and everything could be the same. Suffering, sex, drugs and alcohol. And the men … Let s not forget about the MEN.

The reason I went out was stupid. I should have known better. But not having anyone to confide in, and keeping secrets to myself, was my death knell…

When I moved to Montreal, Sober … I did not have to worry about bars or liquor stores or the infamous Depanneur.

Depanneur – Corner store, located on almost every corner in Montreal proper and then some.

I began life sober here. I did not have to drop my friends, nor worry about bar hopping or drinking at home.

Only twice, in the first two years of sobriety did I ever utter the words: I want a Drink.

Once because of stupid people at the rehab I was going to. The other was on Christmas that year I had moved here. I was at a meeting hosted in a fellows home.

It was a Mansion. And we all sat around a mahogany dining table. All 30 of us.

One man in particular, “DON 86” was in the circle. That was his tag line. My name is Don and my sobriety date was August 1986.

That night he had shared that in his living room, he had a large curio cabinet, where he kept his alcohol. That alcohol was kept on a shelf where fine “down-lights” lit the bottles from behind, giving the magic elixir a beautiful light.

He then added, that he would drink from those beautiful bottles every now and then.

My brain was cranking as he said that.

He was sober since 1986, sitting in the circle as a sober man. Yet he drank. And maintained his sobriety date of August 1986.

DOES NOT COMPUTE, DOES NOT COMPUTE …

I was beginning to levitate out of my chair. Two friends, one on either side, placed their hands on my legs, beneath the table, and whispered, “Ignore what he is saying…”

I am still sober, almost sixteen years later.

You Never have to Drink AGAIN.

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