Blow Up … There IS a Solution

I Lost My Cookies Tonight, It Was Not Pretty At All … Rigorous Honesty Post

Almost eighteen years ago, I came in for the second time, SO, I’ve had my slip experience. The first time I got sober, nobody spoke of steps, and I did not have a sponsor, I had Todd, who was teaching me how to survive AIDS. The meeting hall I was attending was very toxic and made getting sober, harder than anything I have ever seen since.

You don’t bet on newcomers to see when they will drink again, you just do not do that.

When I came into Montreal, in month 4, when I moved here, I walked into the room that I homed in for over twelve years. I was going to MANY meetings at that time, as I had no other activity going on before I got my Canadian Papers.

In those eighteen years, the way I got and stayed sober, was by watching what everyone else was doing, what they were saying, what decisions they were making. Along with working my own program, with men who really helped me seal my sobriety. I took the good, and I left the bad. Whatever worked for you, I thought that it would work for me, but obviously, if you drank again, I did NOT … And that’s the way I stayed sober.

It has not been all a cake walk. And I have had my share of trouble in sobriety, BUT, I did not drink, at any point during the hard times. I returned to that original Home Group many months ago.

And like I’ve said, Sobriety in 2019, is not the same as Sobriety in 2002. It just isn’t. For many reasons. In the rooms, over the years, I have stuck with winners. With people, Old and Young, who are enthusiastic about the Book and the Steps. I work my steps every year. I hit several meeting a week, all of them different. I have a solid sponsor, and solid friends in the program.

Recently, I sit in beginners meetings, and all I hear from our kids is sorrow, and pain, and for the life of me, I try to help those who will listen to anything I have to tell them about staying sober, and NOT drinking again.

It has become obvious that many of those folks, did not/and do not, listen to anything I have said to them, and tonight I heard them say, in the open, that they are hurt that I would be so rigorously honest, IN a meeting.

How dare I speak as if I am better than they are.
I am not better than anyone. And those people who know me intimately know this.

But I listen. And I watch. Over the last few months, many folks sit in meetings, they don’t take anything home with them, they don’t call anyone, they don’t do anything to stave off that next drink AND: THEY DRINK AGAIN. And More Than Once.

One of our kids said she took twenty five beginners chips. She’s been stuck in that revolving door for YEARS. I watched her. She never listened to anything I said, in both fellowships we both attend, that I don’t any more.

But I said and I quote:

I am tired of going of beginners meetings. it is painful to watch people come in, be miserable, and know there is a solution, but because I am who I am, nothing I have is very attractive to ANYONE. So Fuck me for trying. I’ve been sitting in this hall for the whole of my sobriety, and I can tell you, by name, how many people drank again, and again, and again. I know everyone who did. Because if I saw you go out, I knew that something that you were doing, was not working for you, so I knew not to make that mistake myself.

I stayed sober, while many people did not.

There are only three men, sitting in this room right now, who were here when I came in, and all three of us are still sober. Obviously, we did something right. Obviously, we found the solution NOT to drink again, and that entails WORK.

When people ask me for help and I tell them what I did that worked, that work entails WORK, not just sitting in a chair, and reading the book, now and then. You actually have to work to stay sober, you just don’t get sober by OSMOSIS.

I know how many of you are suffering and I know the women are no doing well by the rate of how many of you have drank, several times over the last month, but because we are men, you won’t ask for help, when the women aren’t helping you stay sober, it is obvious those women are doing something wrong if what they are telling you, does not work AND you drank again.

I pound the God Damned pavement. I seek answers, I work the Book, BY the Book. I seek information in the most enthusiastic in the rooms. And I know what they know, so whatever I have to give, comes directly from someone, who gave that knowledge to me.

By the time I had finished, my friends were sitting a bit higher in their chairs, and All I heard after I shared was indignation by everyone else who shared after me.

All because I said something Rigorously Honest.

We read How It Works tonight. And we all know what that reading says:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Many of us exclaimed “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholics and could not manage our own lives;

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism;

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

This is IN the Book, we hear it at every meeting. And really, many people do not pay attention to the words. And I know from reading “Our Great Responsibility,” that Bill took great care with crafting the Steps based on the Oxford Group Six steps. He augmented the steps to make sure there was no wiggle room. Hence Twelve Steps.

Many early alcoholics who saw the first few chapters of the book, as it had been written in the 1930’s, were angry that Bill included so much God and so much Honesty.

I was rigorously honest tonight, and I am sure I made many enemies tonight, because I called out half measures, as the reading also speaks about. And I told the truth. I spoke about THE Solution. And that there is one.

And I closed with, we come here to learn how to STOP. How many people have I watched over the past few years, read the Big Book, cover to cover, and get to the LAST Chapter, and it tells us how to STAY STOPPED and that we NEVER have to drink again …

And I watched a number of those men and women DRINK AGAIN…

That just BLOWS my Fucking mind.

I mean really, people are afraid of honesty better yet, Rigorous Honesty. I say I can help you, but that will take some work on your part, and what does everybody say to that:

OH I DON”T WORK, I DON’T PRAY, AND I DON’T DO GOD !!!

Ok, then how the fuck are you going to stay sober when you’ve negated everything you must do, there are TWO MUSTS in the book, things we must do to stay sober, what are you going to do when the drink is in your hand and you chose to drink it rather that put that drink down and call someone who can help you?

We need to drop the walls between men and women, gay and straight, Non-Binary and Trans. We need to be able to ask ANYONE who has something to offer, has something like part of or all of the solution, ready for anyone who will listen, help you NOT take that next drink !

God give me strength …

I’m so tired of going to meeting where all people want to do is piss and moan about how miserable they are, knowing some of us sitting in that same room, are sober multiple years, decades even, who know what to do, but you won’t come up and ask, because we might ask you to do something, like Work, or Pray, or Step Work, and we know you won’t ask, because you don’t do WORK.

FUCK ME !!!

When Is Accommodation A Step Too Far ?

The Literature we read in every meeting, was codified into being when the fellowship began, and the meeting scripts and literature were finely tuned.

Being gay in A.A. has not been pretty. I’ve been told to leave meetings, and not come back, because some alcoholics found me “a human who was not condoned to sit in the same room with them.”

That caused a Slip back into drinking and drugs, that almost killed me.

When I moved to Montreal, that happened a second time, in a meeting in the West End of the city. I never went back to that meeting, and in as many years, I’ve never stepped into a meeting with any of those men and women, to this day.

Back when I first got Sober, there were dedicated GAY meetings. For Gay men. Even so, there were also dedicated meetings for the GAY Women. Over the years, as gay men died, I was and still am the only surviving man living with AIDS on the English side.

Over the years those gay meetings closed, because they could not be populated to sustain a meeting. And in the early years, LGBT men and women began to assimilate into Straight meetings, into general population.

I know, for a fact, that way back when, there were TRANS men and women, in the system. And I made sure I knew who they were, so that if I was present in a meeting, they knew that that meeting was safe to attend, that nobody was going to harm them or disrespect them, so long as I was there.

Many of those TRANS people have disappeared. I’ve not seen many of them in a number of years now. My folks on the spectrum, have more than alcohol in their stories, those making transitions, so forth and so on. Many of them went back out under pressure and never returned.

In the last year, we have seen the LGBT Spectrum widen. More than we had seen in as many years. With the broadening of the sexual orientation spectrum, the terms Gender Neutral or Non-Binary have become stock.

We have a handful of kids in this gender non-binary grouping. Along with the Gay men and women, and TRANS men and women.

The discussion at business meetings and Group Consciences has turned into fighting matches to AMEND our hallowed literature scripts to accommodate everybody in a meeting.

We’ve now reached the point where the words MEN and WOMEN have been removed from the preambles across the city. The word GOD has been removed to Higher Power, for those who do not even deign to say the word God in community.

AA Preamble. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help other to recover from alcoholism.

This is the way the script has been read for over 80 years.

We’ve now amended that script to say “People.” And Not Men and Women.

Tonight … Was a business meeting that got heated and contentious.

At the Group Conscience a couple of weeks ago, the issue of wording came up and the script changed, voted and with a majority of support is what we read right today.

There are two TRANS women in our group. They come tonight to the business meeting because they had a bone to pick, because they are upset the wording was changed with out THEIR approval or discussion.

They did not attend the group conscience meeting, so they did not get the opportunity to be dissenting voices to the changes.

They came tonight and wanted to verbiage to be changed BACK from “People” to “Men and Women, AND People.” Words were spoken, curses were offered as well. The discussion got very heated.

At one point, I put the motion on the table to change the verbiage back to Men and Women and People.

Sadly, our NON-BINARY kids were in the meeting. Those who offered the change to “People” at the meeting.

I put the motion on the table and we voted.

The motion was voted down. So the verbiage remains “People.”

Our two TRANS women left the meeting in tears, because they feel slighted that Men and Women have been removed from the script, and they, as trans women want inclusion as Men and Women stated in the original.

They left, after Myself and my friend Jim spoke to them. I was outside with one of our women, and Jim was inside with the other. We tried to smooth it over and talk openly and honestly.

We both failed at that.

They will come to the next business meeting next month and try again to raise the issue to put it to a vote to change the wording back to

“Men and Women, with the additional People.”

We’ve tried with difficulty to open the meetings to everyone and not single anyone out or intimate that Everyone is not welcome. That sexual orientation and identity are outside issues, and this is a meeting, and we do things one way and one way only.

We’ve been very accommodating to everyone.

But the Non-Binary camp is powerful and they want things the way they want it, and they don’t want to bend and see that the trans community is just as welcome as they are, and that if we are going to amend the literature as they would like, we have to accommodate everyone equally.

This is the issue of the week right now.

I don’t know quite what to do now.

Suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday: Shadow, Darkness, Reality

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Life is never perfect. And over the years, I’ve taken my lumps for sure.

“We are not a glum lot …” The Book Says. And also, “We did not get sober to be miserable.” However, people ARE miserable.

There are some issues, we all carry in the shadows, parts of us consigned to the darkness, that really never sees the light of day.

In reality, at some point, we all reach a breaking point. We get hit with a trigger, and life goes sideways. In the world of reality, people seem to skip over water, until they hit a personal tragedy, a death, or illness, or a major life change.

Some ride it out. Others turn to addictive substances to blunt the pain, and to barricade ourselves from the darkness and shadows.

Alcoholics and Addicts are imperfect people. We are all imperfect people, because we are fallible human beings. And shit happens.

There are a few lessons, I’ve learned over the past little while. I’ve written about them before, but they bear repeating again.

We are angry people. Because it was our resentments that drove us to drink and use. That anger lies dormant, until, like I said above, it is triggered. We are people who might have been abused, mentally, emotionally, physically, or sexually.

Shit like this, when it occurs recedes to the darkness of our hearts and minds. And we spend a lifetime drowning that pain with substance. For some, we get to the bitter end, and find ourselves in rooms together, getting sober, once and for all.

The Book and The Work tells us how to get sober. The Book also mentions that we are not doctors, and if outside help is necessary, “you should really consider it …” Not many people do that.

Over my time in the rooms, I’ve watched people. Studied them like lab rats. I know my peers, better than they know themselves. I’ve watched people hit the skids, and those occasional, bottoms, we hit in sobriety.

  • People drink and use again.
  • People go out and never return.
  • Some people end up dead.

I’ve watched, over the years, men and especially, some of our women, hit emotional bottoms in sobriety. Of all the women I watched hit that hard ground, none made it. Why they did not make it, is related to how their peers reacted to their emotional tumult.

Alcoholics are unforgiving. Sad but true.

Alcoholics do not like to think about, or even sit in the same space with someone who is in difficulty. Because we are uncomfortable with UNCOMFORTABLE …

Transparency is important in sobriety.

Being honest with who you are at all times, is the code of conduct. Many do not live this way. Believing that they need to project a calm exterior to their friends, where everything is OK, when in reality, we are broken up inside and dying from within.

It takes a long time to figure out how to be transparent. But I’ve worked hard at being true to myself and my friends. Being Calm and Zen takes work. Always putting ones best foot forward also takes work. And pounding the pavement takes its toll on us eventually.

When I hit my bitter end, after the Tragedy of the Heart, my calm, zen, exterior faded, and my broken, emotional, suffering soul, rose to the surface. This freaked people out, and they all ran for the hills screaming.

People did not treat me kindly, nor with compassion, when I was in pain. They just piled more pain on top of what I was carrying outwards, already.

Alcoholics are unforgiving …

I watched people, react to my emotional breakdown, and it was not pretty at all. Because we really don’t want to look at shadow and darkness sitting among us, while we are in meetings, because we are trying to show you that everything is good.

When it really ISN’T.

People do one of two things here. ONE, they turn inwards,and ignore what it right in front of them. As they are looking at us suffering, they know, or might be, suffering in their own silence, something that happened to them in the past.

That item that I above listed as, Never Seeing the Light of Day.

Or TWO, the trigger is so strong, that they cannot ignore that item within them, and they go down the proverbial rabbit hole, and they seek to figure out what the pain is, how it happened, and how to finally, Once and for All, turn out the darkness and shadow into the light and healing.

It took my emotional melt down for people to turn inwards on themselves. Because it was raw and terribly emotional for me. And when all my friends and peers turned away and told me To Go … They could not handle my anger and THEIR FEAR.

Alcoholics live in FEAR. Sad but True.

It has only been AFTER the FACT, that I know what happened to some of my fellow men and women. After witnessing my meltdown, some of them had their own meltdowns.

Some of my friends and fellows sought out professional help for long standing pain that had been buried in the darkness and shadow of their souls for their whole sober lives.

And it was only then, that some, found empathy for me.

Humble Pie to admit that we have sinned against each other terribly.

The other day, I got an email from a friend, after telling her that my father had died. She is on her own fact-finding mission now. Another friend, is also on a fact-finding mission himself too. Spurred on by my public emotional breakdown.

What I found offensive here is that, I got a second email a few days later, requesting my presence at a certain meeting. I went to that certain meeting on Sunday evening. Where both of these fact-finding friends, roost.

I am introduced to a literal, By The Book, Step Eleven process and am invited to participate in this venture. The caveat is this …

My friends, both, seem to think I need professional help, NOW.

When I was in the thick of suffering, nobody wanted to know me, offer me kindness or any help whatsoever.

They did not want to bother with me.

I may look stupid, but I am NOT stupid.

If I needed professional help, I would have sought it out.

I sought out all the help I needed from people I trusted. And that was good enough for me. I’m not quite sue how to react to this, because I think my friends mean well, and I think they are trying to amend their behaviors.

Just because you got help for yourself, does not automatically mean that I need the same help for myself too.

Daddy is dead. No need to go barking up that tree any longer. I have no use for him now, he’s dead, good riddance. His energy will dissipate and die along with him. And soon the cunt energy will go the same way and for the first time in all of our lifetimes, we will ALL be FREE.

Incidental Information: Severus

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Severus Snape was in the employ of Voldemort, on the night he heard the first portion of Professor Trelawny’s prophecy regarding the child who would vanquish the Dark Lord.

Would it be Harry, Or would it Be Neville Longbottom. It was a toss up.
We know now who that child was and is.

Severus had a saving grace. Lily Potter.

There were two sides to the bravest man at Hogwarts. In his death, Harry learns the truth about his nemesis and Potions Master, Defense Against the Dark Arts Master, and Headmaster of Hogwarts.

This is a convenient visual to tell this little story about my brother.

I believe in that every human being has, within them, redeeming quality.

That we carry that one part of ourselves, unseen to the rest of us, that only they might, or might not know exists. I believe, that with time, growth, spiritual awareness and truth, we eventually find that redeeming quality, and we either embrace it or we ignore it.

People have a choice in this life. To DO Good, To BE Good, and To Honor Good. or They live their lives in the manner they choose, ignoring the light and living in the dark.

I’ve learned a great deal about spiritual truth in fifty odd years of life, coming from a bevy of teachers, spiritual and secular. Along with sixteen plus years of sobriety, a university education, spiritual teaching and living in the light for the whole of my sobriety, I have come a long way, in understanding redemption.

My Father and my Mother, for the WHOLE of our lives, my brother and myself, lived in a place of judgment and resentment, and darkness. I have stories about where this might have originated.

Childhood, Abuse, Alcoholism, War, Anger, Betrayal …

We are all products of our environment.

My parents come from rough backgrounds. And who they became after we were born, was a direct result of everything that happened to them in the past. Because it informed who they would become.

My Grandmothers; Jeannie, and Camille, were LOVE. Multiplied. My Aunt Paula, was Love Multiplied. Without those three women in my life, to this day, my father would have succeeded in killing me as a child, and probably would have gotten away with it, if I ponder for a moment, justice in the 1970’s and the prevalence of PTSD, that we knew nothing about for decades to come.

Even though my parents lived in hatred and resentment, they had their moments, when you could be mistaken that they did actually love their children. Least of all me.

Poison is Poison. And Life is Life. And this is the TRUTH:

My parents created me in a heated moment of passion in the back seat of a car, in a drive in, that every time we drove past it, my mother would BOAST that I was created there, happenstance.

In the end, as time went on, I was the MISTAKE and my brother was the CORRECTION.

I grew up in this dichotomy of love versus hate. When I knew life at home was no longer viable, I chose to leave, opting never to tell anyone I was gay. My twenties were a wash out, and a complete failure. Who do I blame for what I did not know?

I left my brother in this mix. I did not come back home. I never contacted him, and he never contacted me. We lived separate lives, to this day.

He does not know me, and in the same way, I do not know him.

My mother’s curse fell down around me. Both my parents got terribly sick. My mother survived, but she is a feeble human being today, with very little to live for, but to stoke the hatred in her heart till she takes her last breath, I am sure.

As long as she still breathes, and lives under my brothers roof now, my brother will never come to recognize his One Redeeming Quality, because it is hidden within him.

YET, over the past years, that redeeming quality, presented itself in peculiar behavior, that at times belie him. He communicates with Black Listed family, on the odd occasion. Which is how I keep tabs on him, through a back channel he knows nothing about.

In the same token, when my brother uses back channels to communicate, my parents are none the wiser. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. He made specific communications prior to my father’s death.

There is a kernel of remorse within him. A kernel of goodness, A kernel of hope.

I learned this from my aunt.

When my father died, I scoured the web looking for him, only to fail. It took me to a government cypher, whom I paid for critical information that I needed.

I phoned my brother twice. The first call was Not So Sober at all. The second call I made was much more civil.

On the Wednesday after my father’s death, my brother called me, told me to lose his number and hung up on me.

He redeemed himself, when twenty minutes later he called back to apologize for hanging up on me, and we had a protracted, and rather angry exchange. But he called a second time.

There is goodness in him still.

Knowing his propensity for back channel communication, and his small attempt, in a very small way, to say something quietly, without saying it openly,

That is his TELL.

And if I am to believe my aunt, that there was a 99% chance he read my letter, tells me that part of him wants to know, however hard he tries to be angry with me, I believe that kernel is there, and when the darkness that surrounds him dies, once and for all, he will be free of that evil cunt energy.

When she is dead, that cunt; he will have to go on with his life. Once they are dead, he can carry forwards their vitriol and anger and resentment, or he will EVOLVE.

And IF he read my letter, he knows ALL the TRUTH. He knows ALL the LIES, and he finally knows MY story, from the beginning to the present day.

That will be a huge paradigm shift in his life that might take awhile to make sense, after a lifetime of not knowing me or having me in his life.

 

He was loved by the same women who loved me. That love, passed on in Jeannie, Camille and Paula is what sustains me and has sustained me for the whole of my life.

That love exists within my brother too.

He was caught in a No Win Scenario, a Kobyashi Maru scenario.

What was he supposed to do, walk away, and leave my parents? God forbid he had done that, walked away like I did, cleanly, never looking back! Imagine how this huge shit hole of a situation would have played out had my parents been left to their own devices.

I close my eyes and I can see and hear: THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES
playing in my mind. 

My brother was their care taker, because both my parents believed I was the mistake and not part of the family. My brother said to me that I had made a choice, NOT to be a part of this family. He is correct in that assessment.

What he did not know, unless he read my letter, is the WHY ?

If he read my letter, then he knows the truth from my own lips.

I give him the opportunity to redeem himself. I opened the door to his future, a future with me in it. But that will only be his choice to make, if and when the time and the climate is right. I cannot hunt him and force him into seeing the truth as it is.

He has to come to that realization on his own.

A Good Sober Sponsor, does not chase their sponsees.
We point the way to the truth and let you decide you want it.

And if and when he decides what he wants. I will be waiting.

Severus Snape will again be redeemed.

Because I am sure he remembers who I am.

Because in his small ways, his “TELL” tells me he remembers.

For all his harshness and anger and resentment, he knows deep within who I am.

And it will be a glorious day when he gets there himself.

The Thursday Before Christmas

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The mass exodus of people going home for the holidays is in full swing. Our numbers have dropped by more than half, over the week. Tonight, we sat half the room. The final list is out of who will be open and who will be closed on Christmas.

This year, Christmas is on a Monday, and we will host a meeting on Christmas Night, at Notre Dame de la Salette, for Monday Central. Monday Central is the Oldest Meeting in the city, by years. It was opened by the founders of Montreal sobriety, all those years ago.

Many of my friends will be away for the holiday, so I am cooking Christmas dinner on Wednesday, next week, when folks return home. Christmas is a very quiet affair, here at home. It isn’t about money and tons of gifts.

We will keep it simple again this year. Hubby was not pleased with that assessment, but it is what it is. It’s not like we both NEED anything particular, as in THINGS.

A few of my friends are still in the thick of exams through tomorrow. I’ve been working with many of them, to keep them, above water, working to keep them from going under and ending up “in the weeds” so to speak.

Over the last week, I’ve been talking to my friends and fellows, and many of them are freaking out over what they hear coming out of my mouth. When I took my cake last week, I had said that sobriety is work. It takes work, and if you aren’t doing WORK, then why are you sitting in the room ?

I believe that if you aren’t studying your friends and those folks who have time and even those who don’t have a lot of time, then why bother getting sober ! If you are just going to a meeting and occupying a chair, because we’ve told you to do meetings, and when you leave that hall, you forget what you have just heard, then why go to meetings, if you aren’t taking anything away from the experience.

My friends freak out when they hear me say that I own this space and that when I get home from a meeting, I do home work. I write everything down and I study my friends like lab rats. I know my friends intimately. More intimately than they probably know themselves.

This little fact tends to freak people out on a grand scale, because I’ve breached their anonymity, by writing down my thoughts about them. If I told you their names, and shared specific personal information about them, THEN, I would be breaking anonymity, as far as I am concerned, I can carry any message from a room, as long as I keep the human I am talking about anonymous.

If I have a conversation with you, my life is my business. If I give you advice, and you shake your head at me or tell me to fuck off, it is open season.

I get sober, and stay sober, by watching everything that my friends and fellows do. If you succeed, I succeed. If you fail, I learn from that failure, and I do not repeat your failure behavior. I collect every piece of wisdom I hear. I write it all down, and post it here.

If I am not sharing the messages I am hearing from you, out there, then why am I getting sober, in the first place ? Tonight, my thirty year sober friend said to me, on the way home, when I told her how I get sober said … Why are you taking folks inventories ?

I don’t … I just collect words and I parse them and I use them to my advantage.

The only two things people are concerned with are One, their anonymity and Two, doing actual work to get sober. They don’t want to be talked about and they also don’t want to work for their supper …

I’ve seen, over the past few months, how specific people have stopped coming to specific meetings, for one reason or another. Their absence is noticeable. I know they aren’t showing up.

People do not like the fact that they are subjects of sober scrutiny. I’m finished with people and places that don’t do me any favors. People have proven to me that they cannot be accountable, nor reliable.

They do not bother to step up and be counted as sober folks and help people who are in the weeds and in pain. They’d rather just walk by and say nothing, and not offer a single word of support or love.

ANGER

Anger has arisen in the rooms as of late. And it isn’t just with me either. The waves of ANGER have risen among men and women alike. Since my meltdown, we all learned that many alcoholics, men and women alike, LIVE in FEAR.

You don’t know, if you don’t ask or witness this but, many people have extenuating circumstances to their lives. Many people have deep seeded problems that lie, in the darkness of our minds, never to see the light of day.

When I hit the skids and had my emotional breakdown, and my emotional control went wacky, people were clearly freaked out. People are afraid of me, afraid of the anger I was displaying. I wasn’t acting out or hurting anyone, but I was sharing in open community, what was going on inside my head, in real-time.

People fear what they ONE, either don’t know, or TWO, what they fear themselves. I am not the only human in the rooms here, who has been through the emotional wringer over the past year.

I had a conversation with an old friend, a lady friend, who is long sober, who has also walked through the anger wing of sobriety herself. And she took a sober hostage along the way, and he was so scared of her, that he dumped her clean and clear.

Alcoholics do not do anger … Because they live in FEAR.

The rooms, might not be the best place to figure out your emotional business in open community, but I did not have a professional therapist in my back pocket, and for the life of me, NOT ONE ALCOHOLIC said the words, “I know how you feel, this is what I did !” Not One of my fellows even offered to help me out or point me in the direction of help, at any point of my insufferable journey of self discovery.

I walked it ALONE.

The only saving grace was that I knew what to do. I kept showing up, and I did service. Because I knew if I did those TWO things, I would stay sober.

And FUCK what everyone else had to say about my suffering.

They were too busy judging me and tutting behind my back to each other, because not one of them offered any kind of sober help or even simple love.

People might be sober, and now I know that many of my friends suffer in silence, their own demons. I know this because they all ran in the other direction when I was in the thick of my anger and pain. They saw in me, something of themselves. Their own anger and pain because of abuse or something from their past.

Folks don’t want to look at themselves. But when you are freaking out, in front of them, and they see fear, anger, pain and suffering, all my friends walked away.

I know what my experience has been. And how people treated me.

And to this day, One person has come to me and made amends, because now SHE can empathize with me, my anger and pain, because she walked through her own, over the past year, and she needed to know what I did when she walked away.

I told her the truth.

People don’t like the truth.

And they surely don’t like my scrutiny about their behavior.

It is what it is …

If we do not learn in sobriety, then why bother getting sober in the first place, if you are just sitting in a room, taking up space, while you bury what is within you, never to see the light of day, until one of us goes off the deep end ourselves and suffers seriously.

Alcoholics, many of us, are not well, across the board, and over the past year, we have seen these things take place. And we watched them react in fear.

Because FEAR is the default …

That is scary …

Monday: It’s COLD outside

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We are sitting at a freakish (-10c/w.c. -14c) It is bitterly cold. The first cold snap that has fallen on the city this season. People are in serious denial. On my travels tonight, I heard many of my friends say that they dressed for minor cold, this morning, because it was a bit warmer than it is at this hour. Temps dropped throughout the day and we arrived at the -10c by the meeting hour.

Folks were not properly dressed for COLD.

I had shopped for my Winter wardrobe a couple of weeks ago. I was prepared to brave the cold, as I see just what I can get away with “looks wise” with the proper layering and shoes.

The march towards the holidays has begun. The tree will go up later this week, as we need to shop for new lights and ornaments.

It snowed over the last 2 nights, and there is a fine sheen of ice covering the sidewalks around town. On the way out, climbing the hill from Place des Arts Metro station was a chore. People were slipping and sliding instead of having purchase of their boots.

We read from The Big Book on Monday nights. This evenings fare covered the topic of anger and resentment. Both, the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics, anger and resentment can kill us, or more likely, a stint with a bottle or two.

We’ve been circling around the inventory steps for a while now. Reading the before or after portions of the read, where the inventory is concerned.

This past summer I worked my last round of steps with my Spiritual Directors. The read tonight, mentions that if we hold resentments within, we rob ourselves of being in “The Sunlight of the Spirit.” And whatever we do not expose to the light, remains in the dark, for as long as life remains hidden.

This last pass at my steps I learned that I had to expose all of my resentments, because I had been holding back, a few tactical stones in my arsenal. Those stones, hanging on in my back pack were becoming too cumbersome and I had to let them go, in order to move forwards with my life.

I want my day in court. I want words to be spoken to me, because I was not the cause of all my families problems. People make choices in life, and that’s the truth. What happened when people made those choices, resulted in my conception and subsequent birth. I had nothing to do with those choices.

My parents like to say that I am the cause of all of their problems.

I’m not.

They owe me words. Apologies. Forgiveness.

I will never get that from them, and they will go to their graves, bitter and resentful. That has nothing to do with me, in the end. it is all about them and not me.

Being totally spiritually free is the key to sober success.

It has taken almost the whole of my sobriety to get here.

And it is about time.

Friday: Episode 1 – Spooked !

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Have you ever loathed someone with every fiber of your being ?

Sobriety brings with it a myriad of emotions, vying for purchase. And all those emotions are running through my head since I left the meeting I spoke at last night.

There are (not so) sober men in the rooms, that I loathe will all of my being. I hate them as much as I hate addiction. Sitting in the chair, looking out at the room, trying to speak coherently and honestly, watching people react to what you are saying, and seeing someone you loathe with all your being SLEEPING in his chair, playing with his water bottle, fucked with my brain.

I invited several people to come hear me speak, and that spooked me too. At some point I looked at our Matron of our meeting, sitting in the front row, and I sensed she was tapping at her watch, which threw me into fits of “shit, I need to wrap up,” it might have been that, or it might not have been that.

I had a script in front of me, and still, I was all over the place. In the end I feel like I really did not carry the message honestly, because I was all over the place mentally.

I can’t go back and change anything about what I said or did not say.

I’ve heard a long sober woman talk about the fact that in one moment she is the most resentful and angry woman, while being the most grateful and happy woman, all at the same time. All those emotions vying for attention, in that moment.

The Third tradition speaks about the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking, and nobody has the right to tell someone to leave.

Right now, I want to haul off and speak some not so sober words to a particular man in the crowd. I want to tell him how much I hate him, how much I loath his existence, and his presence in the same space I sit in.

It is like a malediction.

I cannot stand disrespectful people. I’ve known for all of my sobriety how much I hate certain people in the rooms. They make we want to spit. And say things that are not so sober.

As a gay man, there are certain heterosexual men who just make my stomach turn. I won’t break bread with them, I won’t go to the same meetings as they do, and I sure as shit do not call them fellows.

I strayed off my script because my sponsor said that I needed to stick to my story as it relates to alcoholism. Some of my script went well outside that requirement.

Figuring that I was going long, I cut short an entire section of my share.

In the end, I got good marks from my friends and the members of the group, which meant I had hit my mark. Being that the last time I spoke in front of a crowd was six years ago on my tenth anniversary.

So why do I feel so fucked up and angry ?

I felt very intimidated sitting up there, talking to people who did not care for anything that I had to say, yet they were sitting in the room with us. I might not be 20 plus years sober, but I am sure as shit not like any of those men I loathe.

Fuck Me ten ways from Sunday …