Lorna Kelly, The First Female Sotheby’s Auctioneer, Died in June of 2016, SOBER …
This post, originally posted to my former blog, was written as a document. I had this exact conversation with a drunk, in person, to his face. And he told me to fuck off at the meeting.
So I came home and wrote down what I had said.
It wasn’t until he read these words for himself, did he get indignant, and send the Pitch Fork crowd after me, saying how terrible I was that I wrote about him, broke his anonymity, which I categorically DID NOT, by NOT mentioning his name at all in the piece, and that I had adversely affected his sobriety. Only he would have recognized the story was about HIM specifically.
He never approached me on that I wrote any of this, nor has he said a word to me since, not that he deigns to speak to me in public, anyways. He could not bear to speak to me because I was right. But he sent enough people to my blog to tell me that he was mad at me and that I had broken his anonymity. Which I Did Not…
So I shut down the blog and moved it here. And that FUCKER sees me in meetings now and does not even acknowledge that I am sitting a mere ten feet from his chair. Nor does he, in any way, make mention that he read the blog or has anything to say to me in public. Because he knows I was right and that HE is a PUSSY …
Lorna Kelly once said, in her wisdom about alcoholism,
“Only You know what you do in secret…”
The Book says, that at some point in your sobriety, the only thing that will stand between YOU and a DRINK, will be your Higher Power.
The Book also says that, the obsession of EVERY alcoholic is this …
“That one day, we will be able to drink normally like other people.”
The Thursday meeting did not disappoint again, tonight. One of my friends spoke. What goes on in Vegas, is supposed to stay in Vegas. Well, we know tonight, that adage is not really true.
All it takes is a shot of tequila while standing in a pool at an expensive hotel on the strip. Take a sober man, put him in a POOL with his fellows on a business trip, far from home, disconnected from his sobriety, and hand him a shot !!!
At first, he tosses the first magical elixir SHOT into the pool, much to the consternation of his fellows, so they hand him a second SHOT, this time, he downs that shot, and is off to the races. One shot devolves, from that expensive Hotel pool on the strip into seedy hotels off the strip, lots more alcohol, girls, and illicit drugs.
Thank God he had the presence of mind to STOP. He takes himself to the airport, a few days short of completing this business trip, and pays $2500.00 for a plane ticket, and comes home.
Straight men, in the corporate world, have it really bad because we heard him say that the corporate world is COLD, and that MONEY is COLD.
14 months ago, that few night slip, took place.
Thank God, 14 months later, he is sober.
At the end of the meeting, the 12 step rep got up there and handed the chip.
Surprise, surprise, a man I know well, got up and took that chip.
Many years ago, a man came in. Reticent, and Unrepentant. At that time, I was not as sober as I am today. And what I did not know then, I would not figure out, what I did not know, until I was on the other side, looking back at it, right now today.
Nonetheless, one night, after a meeting, I sat with this man, and gave him the speech. Told him what I was doing, and how I work with others.
Needless to say, he did not want what I was selling.
And to this day, he still does not want what I am selling.
You can only WHITE KNUCKLE it for so long. Because eventually, YOU are going to drink again. My gay friends, in the rooms, have not much love for me, because they all think I am a bit mental, and crazy, and they are, and have been, the most judgmental about my personal appearance and my presence in meetings.
For the whole of my sobriety, I have watched people. I’ve listened to them talk. And I know what they are doing, and what they are not doing. I know, many things about my friends, that they don’t even know about themselves, until they drink again.
My particular friend, has been white knuckling it for a long time.
Here was a SURRENDER that was YET to happen…
My friend is a member at the Monday meeting. And for the last many months, he comes in, shakes hands perfunctorily, and sits down. For the last many months, he has been more OBSESSED with a light switch on the wall, rather than paying attention to reading the book, that we have been reading religiously for the last 14 months.
He is more concerned with that fucking light switch, rather than his sobriety.
Because he is the guy who shuts the switch, turns on the switch, and when to flip the switch.
He’s been doing this for months. Now I recognize that behavior, looking back at it, because I heard many times before, that if you are disconnected at meetings, that you really need to reconnect, at your own peril.
Over the weekend last, he thought to himself, and he said this to the room that,
“If I had a drink, one drink, in SECRET, nobody would know …”
Well, God knew. And He knew as well.
Stubborn pig-headed queer men are the bane of my existence. My gay friends don’t want to know me, and they are fixated on topics that I have already walked through myself, but over the past year, these are the same men who shunned me and snickered at me, while I was in my cups and at my worst, mentally and emotionally.
My friend took a drink, in secret, hoping nobody would find out.
I may not have been as sober as some think of me today. But the good God’s honest truth is, I am still sober, and I did not drink, even in the worst of my personal hell over the past year, I stuck it out, white knuckling it, as I figured this hell out for myself.
Because nobody wanted to sit with me nor help me …
Yet, I have the presence of mind at meetings to pay more attention to my friends, than on my own self. I read the book, I share from my heart. My straight friends are A LOT more supportive in the grand scheme of things, than my gay friends.
Somewhere, deep in my consciousness, now that tonight took place, that the warning signs were there all along. I had seen them materialize. I knew what they looked like, now on the other side of an intentional SLIP.
Lorna warned me, warned us. Because this man was sitting in the same West Island Round up when she spoke those words to us about the Secrets we keep to ourselves and having to guard our secret moments, we keep to ourselves.
More than once, in her share, she said and I quote …
Alcoholism, is like a snake, slithering through fine china and wine glasses, across the table, at an epicurean feast fit for a queen, is always there. And on the second night of that feast, a fellow lady at the table suggested to her that she drink, to “enhance the pasta dish,” and in that moment she had a choice, to DRINK or NOT to drink.
She put down her fork and knife, put her hands in her lap and said the Serenity Prayer to herself. Thereby avoiding a slip at that table.
The day after, she had an emotional breakdown in her room thankful that she had God in her corner and that she knew what to do in that moment of choice …
She did not drink that wine, and was sober until the day she died almost a year ago, in the Thirty something sober range….
The Book of Forty is closing. The Book of Fifty is about to be opened.
I know God is in my life because my spiritual directors, Spencer and Randall kept me on that connection every day.
I am sober and made my Statement of Faith the other day in my Inventory …
Monday I will be Fifty … And I will be SOBER…
I wrote this on Friday before my birthday July 31st, which was a Monday this year.
There is a God and I am not He.
Some of my friends are not so lucky.
The Book says, an alcoholic Will Drink Again. Lorna said that We must be diligent in our secret spaces.
And Mother Teresa said to Lorna, on her sickbed that…
YOU MUST PROTECT THIS SPECIAL GIFT … (read Sobriety)
Part TWO of this story … If You Want What We Have …
This afternoon, I got up and went to do my shopping. And I ran into Canadian Tire to purchase that light switch, to give to my reluctant fellow who drank again. It is just a simple light switch you wire into the wall.
Before the meeting, I ran my stupid idea past two very sober men, who I trust with my secrets and thoughts. They both agreed I was barking up the wrong tree, because we all agree, my fellow, really does not want to be sober, because he has not even admitted to himself that he is an Alcoholic, and that he is powerless over alcohol and drugs. And he has no desire to be Honest with even himself.
I sat on my idea for the whole meeting.
A fellow I know very well spoke. He’s just a few years ahead of me at nineteen years. He said that once we come into the rooms we begin doing good things for others, which makes us feel good about ourselves.
And we build Self Respect.
Self Respect IS important, because once you build self-respect, in sobriety, we really don’t want to fuck that up. He also mentioned honesty and willingness to do something good for ourselves now that we are sober.
He is fifty-five years old, and I just crossed the fifty mark myself. I know him, but I don’t HANG with him, nor anyone from his crowd. But I see him often, where I hit meetings, and he is consistent in work and ability.
I sat outside with my sober men before the meeting and watched people I know, from the meetings I HAD been going to approach the door. They would walk past me and not even acknowledge I am standing there, except I say their names out loud, as to say, I acknowledge you, even if you don’t ME
They don’t want to converse with me before or after the meeting. It is like I don’t even exist in their spectrum of who they talk to, before and/or after.
Many people in the rooms are like that. They will shake your hand and exchange pleasantries, but nothing beyond that minimal effort to look sober.
Is that all about ME or all about THEM ?
I don’t know. I just know that people (certain people) really don’t care for my brand of sobriety nor honesty in my observations of them, or the fact that I am sober a good while, and many of them are not.
After the meeting I approached my light switch fellow, and made MY PITCH.
I explained the light switch I had purchased and why I was giving it to him. I told him that he wasn’t paying attention to anything, because he sat in a meeting and read THE WHOLE BIG BOOK cover to cover, and decided to drink again …
WHO DOES THAT ???
I know he does not think highly of me at all, being Queer like me. But I am not a Queer like many of the other Queer men I know in the rooms. And I said that to him, prefacing my remarks. He wasn’t buying what I was selling.
In closing he looked at me like I was from Mars, after handing him the light switch and made my sales pitch and replied, I don’t know what to think about this.
I hugged him and walked away.
Not sure if that little TOOL will do anything for him, but I offered a last salvo to tell him that I was paying attention to HIM and his stupid choices, because obviously, he wasn’t paying attention to anyone or anything. And I told him so.
I encouraged him that he really needed to start paying attention …
I said these words to another drunk. He balked and turned and walked away. A few days later, he reads my blog and get indignant and sends the Pitch Fork Crowd after me.
Hence, here we are safe, protected and away from prying eyes…