Funny this … There are only TWO Jeremy’s in the English Montreal Sober Community.
We’ve been friends for as long as we’ve both been sober. In the beginning, you could find us in the same rooms, at the same time, often.
Everybody knows who we are. Each of us have our particular stories. We are an age apart, but once we cross the threshold, everything that is different between us, disappears, for one common goal.
To stop drinking and using …
Nowadays, when we both find ourselves in the same room, which is not very often, I call this a Solar Eclipse. Solar eclipses are predictable, but happen very rarely.
Jeremy said tonight, of us, his friends, that If you want to be like someone in the room, go stand next to them. And quite possibly, strike up a conversation.
The Friday meeting, in particular, many of the people I want to be like, or have something I want for myself, are my close friends who go to that meeting.
Sobriety is a selfish program, they say … Individually, we have to get sober for ourselves. If we think, we can get sober, for anyone else, that is false, and we will fail. We have to do for ourselves, and ourselves only.
What we cannot do alone, we CAN DO together.
Each person who occupies a chair, is there for themselves. But when all these singular minds gather, our singleness of purpose is clear … Experience, Strength and Hope is the job we all have to give each other, selflessly, unselfishly, humbly and honestly.
As is often, each man and woman I know in the rooms I attend and do service in, each of my friends have something to give, in either the way they stay sober, or what they bring to a meeting on any given night.
Another of my friends, who works in a private rehab here in the city spoke as well.
The reading tonight, spoke of not being alone.
Many minds reading this particular passage, took us in several directions.
My friend said that “there are suggestions we are given, when we get sober.” We all hear them, spoken to us, from people, “In the Know.” We all hear, but not many follow to the letter, what we are, sometimes, Strongly Suggested to do …
Relationships are one of those suggestions. And the suggestion to STAY OUT of them for the first year. How many of us followed that little piece of advice ?
My friend, when he drank, always to excess, did not know how alone he was, till the drink and drugs, brought him to his knees. For many, the drink does not create connections between people. For many, drink and drugs, removed us from others, and created for us, each in our own ways, OUR OWN PRISONS.
When he finally got into rehab, himself, he heard the words.
Coming from oblivion, he did not have any semblance of ability to relate properly to anyone, even himself.
When we come in, what do we really know about ourselves ? Until we make that decision, that we are One, alcoholics, and Two, are willing to go to any lengths to get and stay sober.
He took that advice, not to get involved to heart. He spent that first year, like I spent that first year, learning how to be alone with ourselves. Because if we don’t know who we are to begin with, how can we be in relation with another, with honestly, nothing to really give, but what we “think” we have to give.
The first time I got sober, living with AIDS, I was thrust into being ALONE, in a way that broke my heart and broke my spirit. Nobody wanted to be in “relation” with anyone doomed to die a miserable death, sick and lying in ones own shit.
Hell, even my friends ran for the hills.
Thank God, I was NOT ALONE, ever, for one minute. Had Todd not been there, in the God capacity he appeared in my life, I would certainly have died, miserably, like many of my friends did.
My friend got clean and sober. Like I got clean and sober. In time, we both, met our significant others, IN the rooms. People who learn how to be alone, and spend appropriate time, learning about themselves, WORK the STEPS, at some point do learn who we are, good and bad.
Then and only then, can we be in proper relations with anyone.
The rooms, gives us opportunity how to be in relation with others, simply. Because if we keep it simple, and we go to a meeting, not expecting anything from anyone, let alone ourselves, and we just SINK IN, we learn from others, how to be WITH others.
Which is why, I surround myself, today, with men and women who have something I want for myself. Because in my friends I see attributes I want to emulate.
At the end of tonight’s meeting I told my best friends that each of them had something I want. The ladies, learn how to be ladies. The men, learn how to be men.
That kind of education, you cannot buy. INVALUABLE !!!
But the caveat is this … There are a few unfortunate people, in the rooms, that each in our own ways, we want nothing to do with. For one reason or another.
A LONG SOBER, DRY, MISERABLE, ALCOHOLIC is a black hole of misery. A few of those men and women exist in our circles today.
Recently, I called out one of those long sober, dry, miserable alcoholics at a meeting last Monday night, saying, simply, that he had been exhibiting OLD behavior. AGAIN …
He told me to Go Fuck Myself and Never speak to him again. that’s what comes out of the mouth of a man who has TWENTY NINE years of sobriety.
Many of the men in my life, have contributed a great deal, in helping me become the man I am today. A good handful of women hold that same distinction.
Long Sober women are far and few between, so when they do come around, everybody listens to them.
My friends show me that I can find contact with a Power Greater than Myself, which in turn, allows me to get in touch with THAT WHICH IS THE BEST OF ME.
We all know people, in our social circles in the rooms, who did not heed the warnings that the suggestions offer. There are two types.
One, those who simply cannot fathom being alone, at all. They need that “Other: for validation or to control or be controlled.
or Two, those, who within that first time frame, get involved, because for some, when love comes into your life, and you figure that, “This is it …” There is no better time than the present, we get on board and we ride the ride.
It is either feast or famine in the rooms.
Some of us have lucked out in sobriety, to find that particular significant other, that makes the world go round.
I have friends, who did not heed that sage advice and jumped into NOT Mr. or Mrs. Right, nope, they jumped into the fire with Mr. and Mrs. RIGHT NOW.
And like all things, that cannot be nailed down, they Come and Go.
Sometimes they come back around, and sometimes they don’t.
Some of my friends are struggling, because they cannot fathom, being alone with themselves, on the outside, even knowing they are Not Alone, on the inside.
We might be broken, sodden men and women. But with a common goal, to help ourselves, and help each other, what we cannot do alone, we can do together.
We learn how TO BE ALONE, by being TOGETHER, one hour at a time.
If you want to be like someone, go stand next to them. It won’t happen like OSMOSIS, but One CONNECTION, one CONVERSATION at a time.
We often say at the end of the Monday meeting, to the whole room, that sobriety works, because we do not do the work alone. We do THE WORK together. AND if you like what someone in the room had to say tonight, GO, Talk to Them.
That’s why we also, on Monday, stress the importance of Fellowship.
The meeting that happens BEFORE and AFTER the meeting.
If you come, and you don’t participate, and you isolate, sitting in your chair, you are going to stay miserable and broken. You can only SIT in that CHAIR, and do nothing for only so long.
AT SOME POINT YOU WILL EITHER HAVE TO SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT …
A meeting is there for several purposes. I’ve learned, in my time, just what is possible when like minds unite in a common goal, often.
You are never alone … We are never alone …
As long as you have friends in all the right places.