This past week, a new rotation of working with others began. On Friday night, last, I started a new round of the Big Book, with one of my guys. It is interesting to see how my friends and fellows are growing up in sobriety.
Tonight, I sat with a young lady friend.
I sing her praises often, because I’ve seen her grow up before our very eyes over the past couple of years. I listen to her speak at meetings, and share within discussions, and with that said, I asked her to take me through the book, with her eyes and experience.
The thought when we approach the book, as of late is – Having a New Experience.
From the get go, reading the book with someone new, who is taking you through those hallowed pages, is a gift. I know my lady friend, and this endeavor is for me to learn what she knows, and how she came to know it.
I’ve been through the book with seasoned sober men and women over the past five years. I survived them. I don’t even see any of those men and women from the past, in meetings I go to. That is a thing.
People with A Lot of time under their belts have time, and the method is the same, as the book does not change. What changes is the presentation, and what each presenter believes is important for us, as followers to pay attention to.
My lady friend is a few years in, and I have “years” on her, what I don’t have, is her perspective, from her point of view. Tonight, as we began the read, I have already learned more from what we read tonight, than I had read over all the years I have been sober.
I’ve been lead through the book, with a template that has made the rounds, from sources in New York City. Now, I have a series of passes through the book, with that method. This time I wanted something new.
I get to go through the book, and I am walking one of my guys through the book at the same time, so he will learn, exactly what I am learning from my work.
Double Whammy !!!
Tonight, we hit Step One again, because we hosted newcomers at the meeting. The rule of thumb is, if it is your first meeting, we always default to Step One.
As we look back, we feel we had gone on drinking many years beyond the point where we could quit on our will power. If anyone questions whether they have entered this dangerous area, let them try leaving liquor alone for one year …
The room snickers together…
If they are a real alcoholic and very far advanced, there is scant chance of success…
For those who are unable to drink moderately the question is how to stop altogether. We are assuming of course, that the reader desires to STOP… This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it – the utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish.
When I left home, I really had no practical experience of living alone. I had always lived under someone else’s roof. Namely, my parent roof. I knew right from wrong, at least I thought I did, until it came to alcohol.
An alcoholic will break their standards quicker than they can lower them.
My body was just as fucked up as my brain was. What did I know then? Not Much. Who knew from values and morals, when the desire to drink to excess was the name of the game from the word GO ?
I know a lot of young people, who are working towards sobriety. Every time we hit Step One, I hear more insanity than I am capable of fully understanding.
Who knew, what my life would have looked like, if, on the first pass, when I got sober the first time, had someone like my friends today, had presented me the book, THEN, in the way they present the book TODAY, how different my life would have been.
But I had much bigger fish to fry, back in the day. And eventually, we all get to the point where FATE steps in, and God drops out of His heaven and says … STOP.
I was gifted with the word STOP, when it counted. It was the messaging that did not welcome me when it mattered. Nobody, I knew THEN, knew the book, as we KNOW the book TODAY.
I committed to my road. Or more to the point, my road committed to me, because it was ME that made those decisions based on self, and my base desires. We know today, that if it isn’t water, food, or sleep, it’s all about US.
And we have to be vigilant about ourselves when it comes to everything else, that does not have to do with staying alive, rudimentary.
IT NOT ABOUT GETTING SOBER IT IS ABOUT CONNECTING WITH THE POWER THAT IS GETTING ME SOBER.
Each of us is destined for that psychic change that will guarantee us hope. Then we can cultivate values IN a Power Greater than Ourselves.
One of my friends, a few months in, does not know if he GETS Higher Power. I heard him say tonight, though, he is months sober now. He landed a stellar job, by fluke. Before, he was into hard drugs, then alcohol, then he hit rock bottom.
Before he would say … The only thing I look forwards to is Friday night, so I can go out and get hammered. NOW, he says quite confidently, that He looks forward to Friday because he hits our meeting, on Friday night.
On Sunday’s he works in a soup kitchen in a homeless shelter every Sunday. Later on Sunday night, he hits his Home Group, Golden Slippers, where he does service, every week. We ingrained in him, Home Group, service to humanity, service to others in the room, sponsor and the book.
There is the obvious shift of perception.
Higher Power is doing for him what he could not do for himself.
I am extremely proud of my friend. It takes a village, and when he walked in, the village rose to meet him, along with all the others. I pay critical attention to him, because of who he is, the chosen profession he works in and also, he crossed my path at the right moment. I am engaged 100%.
Knowing his back story, tells me that if he fails, he has MUCH to lose. And we cannot let him fail. This is entirely on him. As long as we are present, daily, failure is NOT an Option.
There is much gratitude in the air tonight.