Courtesy: Flickr James Clear
The weather is beginning to turn. We are now the fourth week of November and we are heading into negative territory. Currently it is a flat ZERO outside. It was nippy when I left the house this evening, and it was colder when I left, even with layers, as it was, I was chilled.
It was an uneventful weekend. Santa Claus rolled through the city on Saturday morning. Our building sits on the step off corner for all the parades that roll through the downtown core, placing us at the maximum viewing point.
Last night we had a good showing for the Saturday night meeting. And we talked about resisting change.
The book says that when we get sober, the only thing we have to change is everything …
Easier said than done.
I departed as usual and like I said, it was chilly out. It was a good thing that the church’s heating system is computerized. It was nice and toasty when I opened up. We were missing all of our women tonight. The flu is making its way around at the moment.
We sat a small crowd, and read a story that was 14 pages long, so we made two circuits around the room, and then the room got to talk about it.
Some of the old stories are really harsh. Back in the day, not unlike today, in some cases, the man in our story really had it bad. A late bloomer, in regards to when he began to drink, unlike most stories, the early writers, for the most part, were weaned on alcohol, it seemed.
If you end up in a sanitarium once, you might have a problem. In our man’s case tonight, he hit Bellevue hospital thirty five times. Yes, that is correct, 35 times.
He not only drank, he got married, had three children, and was in the hole for most of the story. It was one of the saddest stories we have read to date.
Most sad stories, even in our book, have somewhat happy endings, wherein our folks, find the way, the meet us, get sober, and turn their lives around. But not before some major loss or tragedy.
Early on, a son of our man grows up and with not even two nickles to rub together, becomes a show shine boy, were talking the late 1930’s. He makes some change, but further on in the story, his drunk father happens upon him and dad takes his earnings, and drinks them away.
It is a bad scene. You think, in this read, that things just could not get any worse, and that eventually, he has to Get It. Our man eventually does get it, the kicker in the story was the loss of that son to a streetcar accident.
Now the story reads … nobody would begrudge him a drink, after loosing a child. But bolstered by two recovering alcoholics, one under each arm, our man tackles, identifying his sons remains, then burying that son, sober …
Some of us have had tragic loss in our lives. For myself, when that happened to me, it was the drink that soothed the visual and helped kill the pain of loss, until Todd stepped in and got me the help I desperately needed. That was a year before my own personal tragedy.
You never know when the people in the room are going to come in handy, and to what degree some of us will go to to make sure our fellow men and women, get by, without taking that first drink.
The story talks about us drunks who go to meetings, and are happy, cleaned up folks, who help each other by swapping stories. That’s what our writer calls us, when he opens his story. Because when he was at his worst, he happens upon the rooms, and sees these men doing what they do best, and he just can’t believe his eyes.
But every one of us has a story, a journey we have to walk, before we finally figure it out and we come in.
I’ve had plenty of my share of tragedy. And I survived them.
In two weeks time, I will celebrate 14 years without a drug or a drink.
One day at a time …
More to come, stay tuned …