My friends seem to think that I have the answers I need, inside. Several friends have suggested I find someone (outside) the room to talk to. Which I have done already.
I know what is going on with me, right now. I said it on the way home.
They say, that prior to your sober anniversary, usually at the thirty-day mark out, the rat gets on the wheel, and that wheel spins at 100 miles per hour.
We call it The Pre- Cake Roller Coaster.
Those of us with time, can usually diagnose this in our friends, coming up the pike.
It is obvious to me tonight, that the rat has been on the wheel in my head for weeks now. It’s self-centered behavior I am exhibiting. I am consumed with people, places and things.
Over the last eighteen months I’ve sat in several rooms, and watched people react to my emotional insanity. And I see how my “so-called friends” treat me in meetings.
I hate people. Well, some of them.
I don’t know why I care about what people think of me. I should know better, yet I don’t.
My friend, on the way home, said to me that … He reminds me that I have all this time, and that I should know better. I have the answers, I just need someone with TIME, serious TIME, to bounce my ideas off of.
Old behavior, Old ways, still rear their ugly head. Because when I got sober, this time around, I had people, connected to me, all the time, like around the clock. Which only lasted so long.
Old timers, some of them, have proven to me that:
You might have the time, but you certainly are not sober.
Tonight, good friends celebrated anniversaries. One of them, my long sober lady friend, took her THIRTY year chip tonight. THIRTY years are a BIG chunk of time.
There are a couple of other men, who are up there, but not THAT FAR up there yet. Good men, who know me, and talk to me, whenever we find time to chat before the Thursday meeting.
I need to tap a few wells, that I have not yet tapped in that capacity.
My driver friend also said that, I need to refocus my eyes and get selfish for the sake of my sobriety. Meetings are important, and allowing people and personalities to affect where I go and with whom I associate with, has tarnished my spiritual program.
I need to go to meetings and FUCK ALL everyone else in the room. I need to go, in spite of assholes and elbows.
I have TIME.
Well fought for TIME.
Fuck what everyone else thinks.
I know how hard I worked and what has happened to me mentally, emotionally and spiritually over the last eighteen months. Nobody can take that away from me. That is MY OWN solid sober experience. I just HATE the way people have treated me.
But I also know that people are going to do what they are going to do, in spite of how I expect them to be, which is saying A LOT for my own EXPECTATIONS …
Expectations are Resentments waiting to happen.
Sometime I am such a stupid idiot. I should know all this shit, but I forget. Which is why I go to meetings, and have friends who will point out my ass-hole-ness back to me.
I love my friends, because they tell me straight what I need. And I have more time than they do, yet, my friends are wise in ways I am not.
I know what I want. I know what I need to do.
And we heard those words tonight from our other celebrant …
RESTLESS, IRRITABLE, AND DISCONTENT …
I need to practice prayer and meditation, further than what I have been doing, because that’s the only way I can still the rat in my head at night. I can’t sleep at night, and when I do, I have these horrible drinking and using dreams. UGH !!!
I’m too old for this shit. I should know better.
I have some time. A lot more time, than some of those people who IRK me to DEATH. And I don’t have as much time as some of those men who IRK me to DEATH too.
And I know that I sure as shit don’t want to be old and miserable as they are. I am sure as shit on this. I’ve spent sixteen years compiling data on my friends, like I have said.
I know what I want and what I need to be. I just need to get selfish and fuck all everybody else. Some are sicker than others.
And that is the God’s Honest Truth.
A side story … Tonight’s A.B.S.I. reading talked about the Tornado.
When we were out there, drinking and using, we all have our own Tornado stories. I heard a number of them tonight. And I have my own story on this theme.
When I was in my early twenties, I was working in a travel agency that not only booked travelers to exotic places around the world, we also drank like fish, every day, all day. And we even took flights to exotic places, so that we could drink on the plane, there and back.
I did not get the “You better get sober memo.” many of those people did, unbeknownst to me. I did not learn this truth for some time.
My father and thrown me out of the house because I did something stupid, DRUNK, in his home. I moved in with a lady friend, who had an empty house, and lots of room. So I rented a room from her, until I became a character in the back of the Big Book.
I had a room, and I paid rent. Until I began drinking my rent money away.
Gloria, got sober.
Or more to the point, was getting sober, while I lived under her roof, as an active alcoholic. I was working for a cruise line by then, so we weren’t in the same office any longer, but we lived together.
Until One Fateful Night …
I had been out all night, came home drunk. The locks had been changed and her son was waiting up for me. I tried my key and it wasn’t working. He opened the door and told me that I could NOT come in and sleep nor change my clothes. He sent me away with sodden clothes and I lived off a friends sofa for two weeks while I made back my rent money.
What I did not know then …
When I got my next paycheck, I went and paid my back rent, and moved out. Which began an odyssey that last almost two years.
James committed suicide on my watch. Then I was diagnosed with AIDS a year after.
When James died, in April of 1993, I was working for Todd, where I eventually got sober about 45 days after my diagnosis in August of 1994.
I worked for Todd for two years, until he moved to San Francisco.
I quit the bar, a few weeks later, and my DJ friend Bill, got me a gig working at a club in Miami. I packed up and moved from Fort Lauderdale to Miami, approaching my third year of sobriety.
One day I went to a lunch meeting in the South Miami Club room.
That day I walked into the room, WHO was sitting at one of the tables ?
She had been sober about five years now. I was heading for three.
I had NO idea that I was that DRUNK tornado running through her life, as she was in the infancy of her sobriety. I had no idea. And I had to make one serious Amend to her right then and there.
We really do not know what we do to others while we were drinking and using.
Another long sober man I know well, spoke about that as well tonight.
A while back, he was sitting on the sofa with his wife, he was early sober. And he looked at her that night and said …
“You know, all that shit I did when I was drinking, I’m sorry.”
She looked at him and said
“You really don’t know WHAT you are saying Sorry For !”
It did not come to him for many more sober years, what damage he had done to his wife and kids. Last year, during the Montreal Blizzard, that crippled the city for days, he was stuck at home watching Net Flicks.
They were watching a certain movie, with the main character being a sodden drunk mess. And for the whole of the movies, he watched this Tornado of a Man run rough shod through the lives of his family.
It was only then that he realized just how much pain he had caused his kids and his wife.
Lorna Kelly talks about this fact of her life:
Only those with some serious Double Digit sober time, do we realize just how miserable, alone and lonely we were. It only comes with some serious long sober work and reflection, do we finally, really GET IT.
My friend is seriously long sober now. He got it, Finally.
I cannot begin to understand the depth of that statement yet. Because I am almost halfway down that same road myself.
Anne Rice talks about her vampires. I know her and all of her stories. Lorna also relates this story too. Anne Rice’s vampires, the truly OLD ONES, they get it, they understand the depth of sadness, loneliness and misery. Anne’s vampires have very human qualities.
ONLY WITH SERIOUS LONG SOBER TIME DO WE FINALLY UNDERSTAND THE DEPTHS OF OUR ALCOHOLISM.
Lorna still speaks to us from the grave, as long as we listen to her talk.
I listened to her again today.
Was that ODD or was that GOD ?
I would like to believe it was GOD.