The Big Night Wrap Up

Out with the old and in with the new …

It was a great day. Whenever I get to spend time with my best friend, is a good day, since we don’t see a whole lot of each other because of school and work. Raf drove up mid-afternoon from Ottawa and we did some shopping. The weather was not cooperating, so we tried to stay indoors as much as possible.

Not to mention it gets dark at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

We bought some gift for family, had some lunch. And came back here to hang out with hubby, to pass the time. I got the first copy of this years Christmas Card, and the most coveted item in sobriety … The hallowed “I Drank At Dr. Bob’s coffee mug.” Locally, there were only two in existence this far North, from Akron Ohio. I had one, but it got shattered on the Lionel Groulx Metro Platform some time ago. The only other Dr. Bob mug was sitting in Rafa’s cupboard, in Ottawa. He gifted me that mug on Friday.

It rained all night. We left home around 6 for the Plateau to park near the church. We walked down Laurier to Starbuck’s. A handful of friends were there already having coffee before the meeting. Talking and doing some step work. My other Bestie Egyptian Joe and his wife Miss. Pina were there, so we visited for a bit, catching up on holiday festivities.

We sat a nominal crowd, not a full house as usual, which was kind of strange. But people won’t come out when it rains, or when it snows. It was the annual Anniversary/Christmas soiree, with a guest speaker.

This was the second speaker to cross my path this week. The first being at St. Matthias on Thursday night. At the end of the meeting I got my 17 year chip from Rafa. And he said, and I quote …

“My best friend called me weird tonight. He elaborated, on the way home. He said, that I don’t shy away from digging for truth, when it is uncomfortable. That if something isn’t working I go find something else that does. That I don’t behave better than anyone else, and that I will ask people in sobriety to help me, even if they are less sober than I am. Because everyone has experience, who has read the book with “their” sponsors. I seek wisdom in quiet ways. I don’t lead with my ego or an attitude. I treat everybody with respect, and I am kind. I don’t follow cookie cutter – the same ole thing, day in and day out. I walk into change and I seek out new ideas when most people won’t. I’m not a “regular” sober person.”

The depth and wisdom I have at this stage of the game, came from everybody who is near me. Thank you to all you young people who keep me honest and give me something to do and someplace to be on a weekly basis. I would not be who I am without all of you.

Let’s get on with Christmas already.

However, a little snow on the ground would be a nice addition.

Friday: The Closing of Chapter 15


The weather is just a tad bit cold. A little bitter, and windy. I got a call from Ottawa around 5 informing me that it was snowing heavily on Ottawa, and that traveling to Montreal, might not happen. The second call that came in confirmed that the weather was not going to get better but worse.

I had hoped my best friend would make it. In the end, I will see him tomorrow instead, when driving between cities might be a bit safer.

I left as usual and got all the way to my bus connection at the Laurier Metro, and got in a line that began quite long, as I approached. We waited for half an hour for a bus. The line had gotten smaller, but the thirty minute wait produced over 100 people waiting for the same bus. A few minutes before our confirmed bus pulled up, a first 51 bus dropped passengers up the way from us, and empty, drove right past the waiting people, many ran after the bus trying to make it stop. It did not stop.

When our confirmed bus arrived, the driver opened both doors, and did not charge us for our bus transit fare. Which was very nice. And very appreciated, seeing we stood in the windy cold for half an hour waiting for him to arrive.

Up the line, people collected at the stops we traveled. The bus was packed to the gills, all the way to my stop. I arrived  few minutes late, and cranked it out. Coffee might not have been fully perked by my expected time. But as the bell rung for the start of the meeting, we had a lit light on the urn.

The subject was familiar. And we all knew, as the reading was read, what was going on in all of our heads,c all at the same time. The meeting survived one of the angriest periods in its history. It almost drove the meeting into the ground.

Back then, there was a disconnect between the alcoholics and the addicts. And at one point, with so many addicts coming through our doors, in numbers that pushed to alcoholics to dire straits. One of my best friends was the driving force behind excommunicating the addicts from the meeting and asking them to leave.

I stood my ground and sided with the addicts, because many of them were founders of the meeting, back when it was foundering close to closing. Which drove a huge wedge between many people. My sponsor, then, told me to leave the meeting, keep my mouth shut, not say a word and allow God to do His work.

Five months would pass, and I did not darken the meeting doors. One Tuesday night, as another meeting, the friend who placed his hands on me in serious anger, came to tell me that he was sorry, and apologized for his behavior. He had come to the conclusion that addict or alcoholic, man or woman, gay or straight, trans on in-between, he was wrong to even suggest that they should be barred from the meeting.

That was what God had done for us.

Today the meeting is strong, with a veritable group of souls on a common mission to get clean and sober, one day at a time.

We knew what that reading tonight, reminded us of. And nobody spoke a word of the drama that took place. However, my friend did forget. I did not remind him either.

When the meeting started, my friend Angie was sitting beside me, and i asked her if she would give me my chip so that I could thank my friends who took care of me over the last year and change. She said yes.

As of tonight, the chapter 15 of my story is now closed.

I was reminded of just how scary I was to my friend and what they had thought of me when shit got real. I was a scary motherfucker …

Nobody wanted to touch me or talk to me because everyone was scared of me.

Thank God I got better.

When you don’t know what to do, or where to turn, return to basics.

Service will keep you sober. Every time. Indeed.

My Hasidim brethren blessed my chip before they left.

All is well in the world.

Tomorrow is Star Wars in IMAX.