Friday … Let THEM eat the cake !!!

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I’ve been allergic to nuts the whole of my life.

This afternoon, I went to buy a cake for MY cake this evening. I was not really paying attention to the cake that I was buying beyond, it looked chocolate. So I bought it.

The meeting went on, all about a Boomerang …

The discussion went all over the map.

In the end, I reflected back to our folks, that a year ago, to the date, exactly, North End English was in open rebellion between the addicts and the alcoholics. The latter wanted the former to be tossed out on the street, because they were not primarily alcoholic, but addicts come to A.A. because they feel comfortable in A.A. meetings.

This is common. Folks who are other (A’s) sometimes start their journey’s in our rooms, and they either root and stay, or they branch off to their respective fellowships. Our Friday meeting has a very healthy addict population. When we split the meeting for discussion, as always happens, the addicts go to the back room, leaving predominantly the alcoholics at the main, front, table.

A year ago, the battle for who had ultimate authority was playing itself out. One of my best friends, the man who gave me my chip tonight, was the top dog in this fight.

One night, things got physical between He and I. It was the first time, I had ever been assaulted in a meeting. That night, I walked out of the meeting and did not return for months.

My best friend and I were, to coin a story line …

In the Deathly Hallows, when, Ron gets all up in Harry’s business, and starts ranting and raving about “We thought you knew what you were doing, that you had a plan!” That argument escalated where Hermione had to put a shield charm up and something had shifted between Harry and Ron.

“… Harry felt a corrosive hatred towards Ron: something had broken between them.”

“Leave the Horcrux, Harry said …”

That night when my friend attacked me, it was corrosive angry hatred.

My sponsor, then, told me to leave the meeting and not go back and to keep my mouth shut. For months on end, the two of us ended up at the same meetings, and not a word spoken between us.

Do you know how hard it is to see a friend in a meeting and know that human being hates you? It can drive you to DRINK ! That went on for months and months. And I was not allowed to say anything, to allow God to do what He was going to do.

When I took my chip a year ago, I spoke about the strife between someone who was a best friend, who turned into someone who hated me.

A week later, I had gone to my regular Tuesday meeting, and he was there, waiting for me to arrive. That night, we had a spiritual experience. I had kept my end of the bargain up, and did as I was told, and let God do what God was going to do.

In the end, God did what He needed to do.

We pledged never to ever argue again. And from that day forwards, we’ve been the best of friends.

It was my then sponsor, my friend and I, who on a particular road trip to Vermont, a couple of years ago, had the opportunity to visit Bill W’s home, and Bill and Lois’s graves, which are located not very far from where Bill was born, in East Dorset.

That day I had placed my chip on Bill’s grave, as is tradition, when you visit Bill’s grave, you leave a chip, for someone who might come later, might need that particular chip.

We have since come full circle in a years time. And I had asked my friend to give me my chip because in the past, certain people, my friends, were instrumental in helping me stay sober and sane.

When an Alcoholic thinks he has all the answers, and that he or she is in control or thinks, that they might be in a position of power, that is when, and most don’t, realize that we are getting into choppy waters, and maybe we need to step back and look at our motives.

North End English had that terrible experience of some alcoholics who thought they knew best and knew better than God did. We lost an entire group of people in that battle, who never came back.

The meeting survived, but the format was tweaked and the statement in the preamble reflects that …

North End English maintains the Primary Purpose, and the Third Tradition, as it is stated in our literature, You are an A.A. member if you say so …

That paragraph goes on to say, that you are a member if you say so, nobody can keep you out. The meeting went with the abbreviated statement of inclusion.

After the meeting, I went to cut the cake. Not noticing the peanut butter cups, until I further examined the cake, after I had eaten some of the frosting off the knife I was cutting the cake with …

When anaphylaxis began to set in…

My throat started to constrict, I was loosing my voice and my tongue began to swell.

There was No Epi Pen anywhere, had this gotten worse. I could have died right there.

Do Not Eat the food, if there are nuts anywhere near you.

I won’t make that mistake again…

Friday – 15 Years Introspection

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A comment that came in just now, I will explain in detail …

I’m curious about your change in church allegiances; first it was banners all about the pope, pope, pope, pope! Now it’s LDS. You know that neither of these institutions will ever accept you as a gay man, right? LDS has even given you the ultimatum.

My observation about you is that you seek a system of rules that will keep you sober and safe; The Catholic Church was first, now it’s the LDS church. Both absolutely and completely anti-gay. Although, let’s face it: the Mormons are ever so much more polite about it.

It’s our relationship with our Higher Power, independent of any institution, AA included, that is at the heart of our sobriety.

That’s why the lady stomped out when you asked her to delay her trip: she didn’t have that internal strength in place and was relying on external institutions to manage her sobriety for her. She knew it in that moment, and was pissed off.

What are you looking for outside that you don’t already have inside? Work on *that* rather than wanting people to like you. It feels to me as if there is an ancestor (Father? Mother? Aunt? Uncle?) who you are trying to please. Ignore them and please Jeremiah. For once figure Jeremiah into the equation. Be self-centered in a good way, because that is where your center IS.

The stewardess tells you to put your oxygen mask on first: if you’re not conscious, you can’t help anyone else. Jesus tells us to take the beam out of our own eye before even thinking about trying to help our neighbor. We can only give when our own cup overflows.

Just like the lady who couldn’t tell her adult children she couldn’t come to England, I know that you have a lot of rules about why you can’t put yourself first. Examine them. AA is supposed to be all about self-examination first, and helping others SECOND, AFTER you get truly sober. And I’m not talking about white-knuckled strict adherence to the rules as a substitute for true inner serenity and sobriety here.

Alcohol is not cunning, baffling and powerful — I don’t care what the big book says: the ginormous hole in your soul that needs constant feeding IS. Fix that. See it. Acknowledge it. Fill it with good things. I wish you the utmost best.

So, I’ve spent fifteen years adhering to the rules and suggestions of those I most trusted. And they have served me well, because I did not CRACK UP and I am sober still. And I think I am a little more sober this year, than I was last year.

At this time last year, there was open rebellion in the Best Night of the Week Meeting, and the alcoholics and the addicts were in open combat, and I chose a side and stuck with it. That almost ruined certain key relationships in my life, and when I took my chip last year, it was very apparent that I was terribly upset with one of my best friends in the world.

For the last two and some odd years, I had been serving a second fellowship almost entirely, and at the end of my run, my cup was empty and I left them to seek my own renewal. That has only been a few months in the works today.

I also left another meeting that was totally unhealthy for me, because of the toxic people in that meeting, so that cut me back to just two meetings a week, where I am homed today, the Thursday meeting and the Friday meeting where I open and set up as well.

I had come to the realization that I was not taking care of me, opting that if I served others dutifully, that I would stay sober. This was not a really good tack, because I know now that I really want to take care of me. And I wasn’t…

Which leads to the LDS.

On that fateful day a few months ago, the elders appeared and opened dialogue. If you have read back some ways, I explain how we get around GAY in the LDS. The marriage issue is just a paper formality that is the stumbling block NOT my homosexuality. I am on the back side of Gay today. Been there, done that.

There is a reason and a method behind my pursuits. I’ve explained in detail in several posts listed below.

I talked to Heavenly Father prior to the Elders coming to me and set my 50th birthday as the cut off day to sever ties with everything that was not serving me. HE, in his infinite wisdom, set that plan into action much earlier than I had expected it to begin.

Hence where I am right now.

After seeing my friend crack up last night, I realized just how hard I worked to stay sober, by following the rules like Gospel, because had I done things that I saw my friends do, or had I taken a tack that some of my friends did, I would not be of such sound body and mind as I am today.

You might have the time, but you may not be very sober …

I’m really not in a bad place. I am happy, all things considered. I have everything that I need, and I seek contact with Heavenly Father on a daily basis. And for the most part I find Him when I seek Him. I know that for sure.

In reaching this anniversary, I was prepared to do what I needed to do for me, spirituality was one segment, and self care was the other. I am just trying to work out what I need to do, where I need to go, and whom to seek for advice. Because I am nothing without those I trust. And there are just a chosen few that I do trust today.

Over the last year, it has been made plainly aware that there are just some people I should stay away from, even though they are WELL double digit sober.

They might have the years, but they are certainly not sober, and I really do not want what they are peddling. So I’ve moved on from those folks over the last year.

Approval … As alcoholics and addicts, we are always seeking approval, one way or another, and I admit I am guilty of that myself. I want to be seen as a human being worthy of love, and human decency from people who will never give that to me, and that has been a thorn in my side for the whole of my life, and I am turning the page on that, and I’ve been working on that for some time.

That is going to take some more work, to be honest.

Self centered and Selfish for me … I’ve never been keen on doing things for me, however I do do thing for me on a daily basis. Meanwhile in the meetings, the plan of action is always to serve everyone else, to the exclusion of ourselves, because in serving others, we get to stay sober. Working with others also suggests that that work will guarantee sobriety.

But I know from experience, that throwing myself into serving others on a one to one basis is all time consuming and taxing on my spirit and I am glad that I have just my two guys that I work with today.

I am trying to find the balance, and I am seeking balance in places that most of you tell me are unwelcoming and judgmental. That may be the case, but I have found the work arounds, to a certain degree. And I enjoy the LDS community and the people in my ward. They are loving and kind people who only want the best in each of us who are part of that contingent of men and women. Elders and Sisters included.

I know what I need to do, these realizations have been coming for some time. And I have listened to my spirit more, and stepped up my prayer and spiritual life, and I am seeking spirit in the LDS church, because when they came to me they offered a way of life that was truly engaging and open to possibilities. And I was ready to hear their message and become part of something I had not found in the Catholic, Anglican and other faiths that I had studied and been part of for the last decade and a few years here in Montreal.

I know where I come from, and I may not know where I am going, but this journey is still ongoing, and I am seeking the way, the best way I know how and I am trusting Heavenly Father, that He knows the way and in time will show me, one day at a time.

Heavenly Father has a plan, I just need to Trust, have Faith and Believe.

Over the last few months after working this round of steps, and seeking a New Experience with the women who were in my study pod, I did have a new experience, and at the end of those studies, I learned just what I was seeing for the first time, and found out just who certain people were, on their insides, and I chose to walk away from that toxicity.

When people show you who they are the first time, believe them …

I’ve encountered old timers with LOTS of time, who turned out to be charlatans and fakes. And that truly turned my stomach and sent me into a tail spin earlier this summer after the shooting in Orlando. That was a totally catastrophic emotional bottom that I had never experienced before. And it took me months to work myself out of it.

I don’t suggest anyone go through that kind of emotional bottom if possible, but you know, shit happens.

Sobriety has been a challenge, and for the last year, I pounded service till it bled me dry and my cup was empty at the end of the summer and I have been endeavoring to refill that cup with good meetings, good people, and a smattering of service because I still feel that a little service goes a long way to keeping my head on straight.

It keeps me rooted in the basics of sobriety and keeps me mindful of where it all started, and why I still go to meetings, and why I want to stay sober.

Because I don’t want to CRACK UP like some of my friends are CRACKING UP.

At least that suggestion is still in active motion. I can’t NOT do service.

It’s like tossing a loonie in the basket …

My chip and its giver are stuck in San Diego at this hour, so we postponed my anniversary for one week, until next Friday.

More to come later tonight.

Thanks for your comment Bill, it was very much appreciated.