Courtesy: This Will Not Define Us (Archives)
… And it snowed. it snowed so much, there is snow all over the place. Yes, it snowed, but it is not piled up like I have seen it in the past, where everything seems to be buried in snow. The one shit problem that comes with snow is the dreaded “Slush Puddle.”
That is the convergence point on every corner of every intersection. where snow has melted and now there are deep puddles of slush/water that one must trod through, jump across, or find another way around them.
Thankfully I have a sturdy dry pair of winter boots that make this possible.
It began to snow on Tuesday and it snowed until last night, when skies finally cleared. Light snow is falling again on the city tonight, and it isn’t as cold as it should be.
I had plans early this evening.
But First … This morning a friend of mine came over with a box full of clothes he was getting rid of, thinking that I might want some of them, and when he got here it was snowing, there was slush all over the place, and I really did not want to stand in the snow and sort stuff, so we decided that it would all go to charity instead.
I hate mornings, and I usually don’t do them, unless I necessarily have to.
So I went back to bed.
I set my alarm clock for my afternoon meeting with my sponsor, but I was secretly praying that I did not have to go out in this shitty weather twice in one day. While I was sleeping he texted me and cancelled, I got up, checked my messages and went back to bed.
We departed for our now, regular, Thursday Night Meeting. We are getting reconnected to folks that we haven’t seen in some time, and the thought came to my mind as I was standing in the hall that had I not met several of my friends who were present tonight, I would not be where I am today.
How do you convey that kind of gratitude to your friends ?
Tonight we got to hear another First Share, this time was a woman from St. Matthias.
I heard very familiar themes.
Alcoholic home, one or more parental unit caught in the disease.
Parents can be loving people, but hindsight teaches us just how unprepared they / one or the other / are prepared to be a parent. The disease of alcoholism doesn’t help these matters.
I’m not sure about my parents. My father drank, and if by providing bells and whistles, (when it was good) and providing a roof over ones head, there was always the flip side, the very worst of human emotion and anger pointed at the children and the mother.
I also heard the theme of (us) being labeled as less than, or not fully realized …
Father being the commander and chief and we are merely, lowly players.
My father was parent to a children he conceived, but for the whole of my life, in his house, he would abuse me saying that I was a mistake and should never have been born!
Was that the reason I became an alcoholic? NO
It seems, and I hear it from many people, that WE are the last to know or realize that we suffer from a disease, that disease is called alcoholism.
We, as children, see it in our home lives. We watch people drink, and some go to their deaths from the drink, and at some point we cross that invisible line between responsible drinking, and downright disgusting and compulsive drinking.
Ten are not enough, and one is too many
In the end, when we get sober and we truthfully look at ourselves, honestly, we find that the people in our lives when we were drinking, we hurt the most. And only now can we make living amends to those people by achieving sobriety.
She talked about early sobriety, and that she did everything that was suggested.
Not always knowing the WHY ?
In the beginning, most folks take one of many paths into sobriety. I’ve found wisdom in working with young men, who are early on. We take them in, we get them connected, and we provide infrastructure for them to keep them in the loop, so to speak. (At least I do that).
And it was done that way with me when I got sober.
I met all the right people at the right moments in my life.
If you are willing to go to any length to get and stay sober, you will, for better or for worse, do as you are told, and I say that in the most loving way.
All we have are merely suggestions. Take them or leave them.
I’ve found that people who take them (Suggestions), get and stay sober.
And those who leave them, and try to do this on their own, usually drink again.
Over time we learn the “Why” of “Why do we do the things we do?”
We did not get sober to be Miserable …
There are three types of alcoholics.
- One group are those who will die from the disease
- Another group who will go insane
- And the third group who will live life with enthusiasm
I can safely say that for the most part, all of the people I know who are sober are in varying degrees of living life with enthusiasm, from early on to long time sober. I find it a grace to see someone who is graceful, full of life, and embraces enthusiasm like our woman does. And that is why we go to meetings, because we need to witness that, and in turn we get to give away what we have.
We show up, so you will show up, and in the end we are sober another night together.
I heard another trilogy of sound advice, that I tell others who are new …
- Go to meetings
- Call another alcoholic
- Work with another human being
Nothing guarantees sobriety, like intense work with another alcoholic. It gets us out of ourselves, it shuts down the committee in our heads, and keep us Right Sized.
Many of us, come in shot to hell, miserable, with little hope, and dejected. Then there are those who come in with Egos the size of Mount Everest. That is a daunting task…
We learn many things as children and growing up, that we don’t necessarily understand at the time. I know for me that a number of things happened in my life, that I did not understand at the time, and I did not have words for them. And only now, in hindsight, I know what they were, and why I turned out the way I did.
So it goes for us as well. We learn either by teaching or default, how to grow up. And we are either stunted by it, or we are able to use what we are taught positively. An alcoholic in training doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt in many cases. We are usually destined for disaster …
Until we get to that day, You know the day I am talking about …
Yes, That Day …
- The day we admit we have a problem.
- And for the first time, the person who was the last to know,
- Now knows what the problem is,
- Who the common denominator is,
- And what we call it.
- The disease of alcoholism
- And then we ask for HELP
We all get there, hopefully, and later on we are grateful for it.
Because now We own it, We speak it, and We name it.
- And if we are lucky,
- and the stats are very slim,
- we get sober,
- and hopefully we are in it to win it,
- and we stick and stay.
I was thinking in the shower tonight that I believe that today, I have been sober a little longer than my drinking career lasted. At some point in sobriety we cross that line where we are sober longer than we spent drinking. I’ve given my liver a reason to live.
And pondering my retrospective, I have friends I am eternally grateful for, because it was by their example and their love and grace, that I am where I am today. I count a specific group of particular women who have changed my life in ways, I could not have imagined.
I did not know it could get like this. It is all down to The Work.
You got to be in it to win it.
I have friends who are in it, despite themselves, and they are just there. I look at my friends, some of them, and I have this knowing, I can see it. I was just IN IT at one point, then I heard a speaker light a fire under my ass, and I got IN IT TO WIN IT.
And that changed my life, and the lives of my guys by extension.
We live life with enthusiasm.
Because it is our right and because we’ve earned it.
It was a great night.
More to come, stay tuned …