Solutions – Blow Up – Part 2

Last week, before the Thursday meeting, I was talking to one of my best Lady friends before the meeting. And I told her about my woes about watching kids stuck in the revolving door, that it is becoming too much to sit in certain meetings, listening to miserable people, when they know that the solution, or the path to the solution is sitting probably a few chairs away from them, yet they won’t ask for help, for certain reasons.

She said this … She is 70 years old and sober as long as myself. She said that she only goes to meetings where she is being fed good food, so to speak. She does not go to meetings where it is gloom and doom and misery.

She also said that ladies in our age bracket, life wise, and sober wise, do not waste their time trying to help those, who don’t want the help we offer, nor ask for it in any case, or don’t want the solution and that they constantly want to live in the problem, once again, knowing the solution, or the path TO the solution is not far from where they are sitting.

Most old timers from “our grouping” who have Booked, Done Steps, Got sober and are happy sober, there are a specific group of men and women in this grouping, they won’t touch newcomers with a ten foot pole, because, we all know right now, it is useless, because none of them are really serious about the solution. They’d rather spin inside the revolving door, rather than settle down and do the work necessary to get and stay sober, so why waste our time?

We have better things to do, for those who really need it and want it too. There are a handful of people we know who work for their bread and butter, and we know who just won’t work at all and are starving because of their penchant for the drink.

Last week I spoke to my best friend, and I wrote what he said to me then, that I should stop overextending myself. That if people don’t want what I have, then let them be, and stop going to meetings where all people want to do is spin their wheels.

I cannot save everyone, and that’s not my responsibility either. He knows what I do for the chosen few I work with, and we do well together, because my guys work for their bread and butter. 100% !

I broke my fast last night, because I can only sit in the same room with my husband before I want to strangle him ! Sometimes he drives me crazy, because he never leaves the house unless he goes to the gym in the mid mornings, then he works from home all damn day long, sitting not ten feet from my desk all day long! UGH!!

I’m ruminating and it 4:44 in the morning right now and I am wide awake because I could not sleep, so I got up to write some more ramblings of an alcoholic, yet sober, mind.

Am I crazy ?

I know, over the last two years, those men and women who have contributed, solidly to my sobriety. And I know who didn’t, and who doesn’t right now. I sit in certain meetings week after week, with the same old timers, who do not contribute one word to me in positive reinforcement or saying anything of advice to me on anything I say in a meeting. They just let me shoot off my mouth when a stream of consciousness hits me, and I go off like a rocket, like I did last night.

Right now all everyone has to say to me is stupid smart ass comments about my looks, my jewelry, or my outfits. And last night I swore at two men who shot their mouths off at me, and told them to keep their smart ass comments to themselves. Weren’t they shocked that I spoke like that to friends !

I’m wasting my time sitting in meetings that aren’t feeding me …

Waste Of Time…

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 !!!

Throwing Up My Hands

I had coffee with one of my best friends the other night. One piece of advice he gave me was this: He said, I knew what was important to me and to those I work with. He then said that I really did not need to save the world, so to speak. That I did not have to overextend myself for people who really don’t appreciate me or whatever it is I am doing, and that there are too many people out there, who take advantage of my good hearted-ness.

The other night, Tuesday, we read over Steps 10 and 11, out of the Big Book, better known as pages 86 and 87. When referring to particular important passages, those ones that are vitally important, we don’t need the topic, all we need are the page numbers. Most folks who know The Book well, refer to “Just the page numbers.”

Anyways, I digress.

A few weeks ago, after long discussions with a young man who threw his Big Book knowledge at me, and his insistence that The Book is the only way, I set him a challenge from my perspective. I asked him to pray the prayers right out of the book, I gave him a You Tube Video to watch of a long sober member I met years ago, and who is today, long dead, and finally, I bought him a journal to write his tenth step nightly.

He stopped going to meetings altogether. Haven’t seen him in weeks.

Was it my fault, did I have something to do with his MIA status?

On Tuesday night, we shared on Steps 10 and 11. The Tuesday meeting is a Beginners Meeting, so most folks haven’t read the book in full, nor worked any steps, YET.

But as the share went around the room, what I heard coming out of people’s mouths were these words …

I CAN’T … I DON’T … and … I WON’T

I’m so tired of sitting in meetings, with people who come to meetings, ignore what they are hearing, drink, over and over again, and are miserable and want nothing to do with working a program of recovery.

I am wasting my time, talent, and treasure.

An entire group of young people, that I participated with, in keeping them sober over the last two holiday periods, have decided to DRINK AGAIN.

I can only watch so many kids drink, come to meetings, take a chip, go back out and drink again, come in and take a chip, and drink again.

So many of our young people are STUCK in the revolving door now.

I was so pissed the other night, I called in the troops and asked some of my friends to step in and try to mitigate the drinking, because they don’t want to hear what I have to say, nor do they want what I have.

Experience tells me that when this happens, it’s time to Step Back.

I can’t go on, sitting in meetings, filled with misery and alcoholism. I’m an alcoholic who HAS a SOLUTION.

For many, my solution and route to that solution is too work related. I actually ask my kids and my guys to work a program. Right out of the Book. It’s not Rocket Science.

Most folks in the room, think me strange, and not many of them want what I have, and I am ok with that. I’m just not gonna hang around people who want to live in the problem, while the solution is sitting in the room.

If I did not listen when I got sober, I would be one of those kids that are sitting in misery, night after night. If they want to sit in misery and not do the hard work of getting honest and getting sober, then so be it.

I’m not wasting any more of my precious time sitting in halls of misery and sadness. I’m just not gonna d it any more.

Selfish Pursuits

We’ve been focused on The Book this week, and the two fold nature of alcoholism. The allergy to alcohol and the mental obsession of the mind. Which then follows into the spiritual malady that takes place when we introduce alcohol into our systems.

When I was a teen ager, I drank with my friends. Often. Whenever there was a party, we had that party all planned out, from beginning to end. We had plans that were executed to make sure everyone went home, a little more sober, than when they drank at said party.

All these years later, as I attempted to make amends to long since friends, none of them seemed to want to reconnect nor know me today. And they all have their reasons, and I know some of them.

I was working my way out of my closet. When it comes to the allergy, I cannot square that in my lexicon. I think I bypassed the allergy and went straight to Obsession.

My shrink, at that time, was coaching me out of the closet, so I trusted, implicitly, what he said to me. Because there was nobody else, giving me advice, as to how I was supposed to “Break Into” the gay community of the late 1980’s.

He told me, and I quote “The only way in, was through a BAR. I want you to go to said bar, sit down and have a drink, hell have two. FIREWORKS will happen. Wait for Fireworks.”

That was the advice I got. And I stuck to that advice.

Drinking became an obsession. Because as deluded as that advice was, it deluded me into fantasy and wishful thinking. These fantasies and deluded thinking, took me in and stunted my mental growth from the age of twenty one until I hit thirty four, when I put down the drink for the last time.

I drank because it would bring me what I wanted. When it was good, it was good, but in the end, it got very bad. I drank for fireworks, every time.

And it was in a bar at seven in the morning, on that fateful day that brought me more than fireworks, it brought me death along with them.

When I got sick, the mere thought of fireworks, became a MUTE point. I could not get laid for the life of me. Nobody wanted to have sex with a marked human being who was going to die. That was a bitter pill to swallow. But I swallowed it nonetheless.

When Todd moved away, left to my own devices, and nobody to tell me otherwise, I took a stab at selfish pursuits once again. That did not end up good, in any sense. What it brought me was drug addiction, in a dead end location, alone, and no way out. And I had to just bide my time and hope that the cavalry would show up.

The cavalry did come.

But my drinking obsession was not over. I just could not fathom, growing up or accepting that one very important portion of my life was over. That was the second bitter pill I needed to swallow.

In the end, that black outs got too much. And I finally put down the drink and came to my next first meeting to start over again.

In sobriety, I’ve read the book, as we continually read the book during the week at assorted meetings. And I am reminded WHY I am alcoholic and why I put down the drink. Because I am not like normal people. One drink is too many and a hundred drinks are not enough.

God, it seems, is still is action mode. He’s always in action mode. it is just sometimes, I don’t want to listen to Him. At my own peril.

It is what it is.

I know my selfish behaviors. The ones we never talk about in open community. The ones that haunt every man in the rooms today. But there was another option. And I spoke about it. And now I am doing something about it.

You can’t rid yourself of character defects and shortcoming, if you do nothing about them, wishfully thinking that if you just wait them out, they will disappear, the longer one is sober.

It doesn’t work that way.

Sobriety is ever changing, if you are up for the never ending ritual of change. You won’t get better or become better, or become spiritually fit, unless you allow God to prune the bush every once in a while.

I heard it said, for one friend, that when he got sober, his sponsor told him that “if it was in the book, he believed it, and that settled it for him.”

He is Very Long Sober today.

I want to become Very Long Sober like him too.

But in order to become that, I have to work.

Violence in Sacred Spaces

Al Noor Mosque Christchurch New Zealand

I’ve waited for the dust to settle to speak about recent events. Violence in Sacred Spaces is not an issue that happens in other places, other countries, other provinces, other cities.

Here in Quebec, Alexandre Bissonette walked into a mosque in Quebec City and killed six worshipers, praying in their sacred space. The Muslim community is still reeling from that violence, because it happened again.

This time, New Zealand was the country where peaceful men and women lived, because they felt safe, and accepted by the people of Christchurch, a little over a week ago, a man walked into Al Noor mosque, and a second mosque and killed fifty people and injured many more.

I think to myself, violence in sacred spaces is not new. Dylan Roof walked into a Christian church and killed indiscriminately.

I’m not sure where the notion of killing people in sacred spaces began, I cannot recall, by my memory, where this line of attack was delivered to the masses, that killing of religious people was an acceptable choice.

TODAY … here in Montreal, in one of the most hallowed religious churches in Montreal, St. Joseph’s Oratory, on Mount Royal, a priest was in the middle of saying mass in the main sacred space, where worshipers gather from all over the world, and from our own community, a man walked up to him, during the commission of saying mass, and stabbed the priest in broad daylight, in front of a church full of innocent people, and tried to kill him.

Thankfully, the video shows, how people in the church jumped in to part the two men, and to save the priest from death … The elderly priest was rushed to the Montreal General Hospital, with non-life threatening stab wounds. He was later released, is in good shape, save a little beaten up by the experience, saying … He wants to go back to work, in a place of peace.

I was raised in the church. I served Holy Mother church for many years, and I thought serving the church as a vocation was going to be my lot in life, but God, had other plans. I know today, through considerable reflection about God, He knew the location was not right, nor were the people in that place. I know this today.

Today I serve my God, in many capacities, through the rooms of recovery, and with my friends and fellows. This is the life I always wanted, but it took a turn down a rabbit hole to get here.

I studied Religion and Theology in University and I have two sacred pieces of paper, who attest to my knowledge and my educational abilities.

I just don’t understand what drives people to walk into a sacred space and kill people. I mean really, you could choose any location to do that kind of murder. I believe it is some kind of shock factor that people get a rise out of killing in a church or a mosque, as if to say,

NONE OF YOU ARE SAFE, ANYWHERE !!!

That is just sick and demented.

It saddens me every time we hit this act of terror, where ever it may happen. The battle of the religious groups is historical. It goes back millennia. I mean the world began with conquest and religious strife.

The world moved from rags to riches, because men with religious leanings, got on a boat and traversed the oceans, only to find, indigenous peoples, living their lives, as they did, only to arrive, approach, and kill. So that they could plunder their riches to fill their coffers back at home, and to become filthy rich.

Some by sword, Some by war, and for the most part, by disease.

Indigenous communities all over the world, a millennia ago, were decimated by disease, brought to the new world by the conquerors of Holy Mother Church. Millions of people died, in the first scourges of religious warfare of sacred spaces.

In Europe, the battle between the three monotheistic religions, they being Christianity, Islam and Judaism, built, lived, fought and died, to bring their superior religion to an area, and conquer people into submission.

Killing in Sacred Spaces is not a new proposal.

There is really nothing we can say, as a whole that will make a hill of beans difference, because governments sit on their hands when it comes to logical process of stopping mass killings.

But New Zealand has done something the world over were gobsmacked by. In SIX DAYS, out from the double mosque killing, New Zealand, passed a common sense gun control measure, banning military type guns from New Zealand.

SIX DAYS … Imagine what the rest of the world could do in six days, if we had the resolve and the backing of governmental parties, if we ourselves could make this kind of resolution, and make it stick.

SIX DAYS !!!

We mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters in other places. We pray for them and their communities and their families.

If we were able to say, Never Again, and make it stick we would. But that is just not possible, because crazy, gun nuts, fucked up people are still out there. They just need the right dog whistle blown in their ears, and they too, may one day, commit another heinous act of terrorism.

Killing has to STOP.

We must act, NOW.

Let us pray for our departed brothers and sisters.


I Never Want …

o-BRENE-BROWN-ORIGIN-MAGAZINE-facebook

In keeping with the theme of BRAVING …

I never want to reach a point, where I become bored, where I am not connected, where I feel useless, and a drink seems like a good idea.

Any day, can be a day, where a drink seems like a good idea.

The purpose of sobriety is to find that which is Greater than ourselves, from Outside of ourselves, the key that will sustain us, to Stay Stopped, one day at a time.

People come, and People go. Some stay, many do not.

At some point, we realize that being just a visitor in a meeting, only lasts for so long. At some point, you get to make a choice, to either do something, or you don’t.

I know what this means. And I’ve said it before.

We welcome people from around the globe. We see our friends, often. And for the newcomer, I am patient. I know what it is like to walk into a strange room, and not know what to do. Where do I fit in, how will I ever find the path, friends, sobriety ???

One day at a time.

I have watched the chair dance for years and years. That is why chairs are set up, in the way they are, like a well planned game. Where one sits, in any given room, tells some of us, how integrated into the meeting you are.

People who attend often, sit in the same seats, week in and week out. There are always seats, set, against the back wall. With rows and rows of seats to choose from, I know that most people won’t sit up front, automatically. They hang back, in the pack, and many people, who sit “on the bubble” populate the row against the back wall.

Yes, that may be the case. But other folks sit in the back row, due to the time of arrival to any specific meeting. Which is why they tell us twenty minutes before and twenty minutes after.

The only way to work your way into a meeting, is to work your way into a meeting.

Reading the book, will come, in time. But it is suggested by good people, that the sooner that you join us, find a job, find a sponsor, read the book, and work your steps, then, and for some, they finally find themselves connected, useful, and happiness comes.

A friend of mine, who has considerable time, said to me tonight, that after all his years in, he finally figured out what Higher Power meant for him. Finding that which is greater than yourself, from a location, outside of ourselves, takes time.

Sometimes it takes a LONG TIME …

But you know, however hard one finds the suggestion … Prayer does work.

Hearing continual stories about how hard some people fight even the thought that prayer is something we should do often, only solidifies the idea that Prayer Does Work.

My friends often tell me how their brains work. Some, often find, that the obsession of
“A drink seeming like a good idea” still persists.

I know, from hearing this from folks, in the middle of the stream, connected, and seeming happy, that when they found the thought of prayer, not such a bad idea, once they begin praying, that obsession of

“A drink seeming like a good idea,” does go away.

The book is written to tell us what our problem is, who we are, and why we are here. It gives us the plan for living, and offers us a spiritual solution that HAS WORKED for millions of people.

I’ve heard what happens, when one comes in, arrogant and shut down, and feels like they just don’t connect, to anyone, or anything, thinking that they will never be happy

SOBER …

Wait for it …

Don’t leave until the miracle happens for you.

A very long time ago, a woman in the rehab connected to the very first meeting I walked into over twenty-five years ago, said that to me …

Stick around until the miracle happens.

Had the people around me, in those meetings, had not bet on my demise, then, others told me to leave and not come back, had someone offered me a way INTO the book and sobriety, like my friends did when I came back the second time,

I would have stuck around, and never left.

But my path was what it became.

Continual attempts at sobriety, coming and going, only lasts so long. One too many passes into a room, then back out of said room, the chances of sticking and staying, grow slim.

Some people get more than one kick at the can. Some of those who kicked the can, more than once, GET IT. And they sit down and they stay.

Sadly, numbers are not what they used to be.

We know tonight, what happens when being a visitor in a meeting, dies …

The thought that, “A drink sounds like a good idea” takes hold, the obsession returns, and we take our chances, back in the world, that really is not a place, for some, who drank like I did, or like many have, themselves.

If you come to a room, jump in with both feet, and get WET.

You will find your way, I promise you that. The Book Promises that as well.

If only folks took the time to read the book, which is why people like me exist, in the rooms, to read said book with you.

Reading is fundamental.

It was good that when I came back, over the first four months of my sobriety, I was unable to read a book myself, outside of Harry Potter.

So I went to meetings every day, where someone else, read the book TO ME, reading it for everyone, that was sitting in that particular meeting.

I heard the book read. And it stuck for me, because I had no place else to go.

Which is why I am still reading the book, to this very day.

Because, THERE IS A SOLUTION.

The idea that “A drink seems like a good idea” has gone.

Because I do the work required to never get to the point in sobriety that:

A DRINK SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA ….

The Front of The Book

Sober Concept Wooden Letterpress Type

I’ve said this a few days ago, about myself, and tonight, I can safely say, that the thought rings true for many of my friends.

“We don’t know what we don’t know, until we know what it is that we did not know then, that we know now …”

You don’t hear the same information from people who have significant time, but you do hear significant information from men and women who are DEEP IN THE BOOK, in ways that their contemporaries are not.

I am sitting with a young woman who is taking me through the book, through her eyes and experience. Tonight, I heard a friend of mine, a woman, whom I witnessed get sober, from her very first day, say something that I had never heard before.

It seemed that many people in the room, sat up a little straighter and grabbed their pens and highlighters to mark what she was talking about.

We read tonight from Page 34 … A brief summary in a few sentences:

As we look back, we feel we had gone on drinking many years beyond the point where we could quit on our will power… Though you may be able to stop for a considerable period, you may yet be a potential alcoholic…For those who are unable to drink moderately the question IS HOW to STOP altogether. We are assuming, of course, that the reader desires to STOP…This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it – the utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or wish.

My friend spoke about pages earlier in the front of the book, pages 20 and 21.

The earlier pages of There is a solution, asks several questions, and the hope is that through the power of example the one who reads with us, with ample experience in the book can ask the reader … Is this YOU ? Is this YOU ? Is this YOU ???

If you have identified with anything in the book, as to the stories and examples the first 100 sober men and women are telling us that, for the reader, there Is a Solution.

The question becomes How to STOP altogether ?

The book then says that a Spiritual Solution is required. And if you are like many of my friends, in the rooms right now, God is a dirty word. But in We Agnostics, the entire chapter speaks to us about finding A POWER Greater than Ourselves.

Whatever is going to help us get and stay sober, one serious psychic and spiritual change must take place. Whatever it is, has got to be something greater than ourselves, and has to come from somewhere OUTSIDE of ourselves. Because we alcoholics know, that left to our own devices, and our own wills, we could not stop on our own, no matter how great the necessity or wish.

An Alcoholic will always find the wiggle room …

The Brilliance of The Big Book is this … And I can speak to this because I know it is true.

Listening to Joe and Charlie tapes for years and years, we know how the book is written. Each chapter is headed with a topic. And each page is written with explicit detail. Each page follows into the next. On each page, each paragraph is written with care.

You can take a chapter, and boil it down to that chapter title. You can turn to any page, and ideas appear on each page. Paragraph follows each paragraph. And within each paragraph are sentences that can be further distilled into single thoughts.

Chapter –> Page -> Paragraph -> Sentence -> Word …

There is rhyme and reason to the way the first hundred men and women composed this book. It is brilliant. Bill did not take this on himself. Which is why each edition of The Big Book is prefaced with the story about the First 100 who successfully got and remained sober till their deaths later on.

There are meetings in Texas that I know of, that they read the Big Book, sometimes One paragraph at a time, One sentence at a time, and even better, One word at a time.

They pick a paragraph, or a sentence, or even a word and they meditate on it, then they all talk about it. I know this because some of my friends who travel for business attended meetings in Texas and had this particular experience with other sober men and women.

On my slip, as I made a slow return to the rooms, I arrived back in Miami. But I was not going to walk into rooms where I had been summarily dismissed and asked to leave and not return. I stayed away, and relocated onto Miami Beach. It was July 2000.

I was off the drugs, because I had left them where they were, more than 1000 miles away. But alcohol was still in play. I had part-time work, that I could not do drunk or hung over, working with computer lights in a nightclub, so I did not drink.

On 9-11 tragedy struck and Miami Beach went DRY for two weeks. All the bars closed, all the liquor stores shuttered. There were no parties, no clubs, no nightlife for two weeks.

On the 14th day out, bar owners thought it wise to raise money for New York City. And the easiest way to get money in the door, was to bargain with the drinkers.

They wanted our donations for New York. And the way they did that was to offer free alcohol based on the amount we donated on each pass at the particular bar location.

We paid dearly for every sacred drop of alcohol that we drank for months after, saying to ourselves, that we were doing something good for New Yorker’s.

The beach drank every drop of alcohol from a radius of 50 miles in every direction.

Mischief Managed …

I wasn’t done drinking. I had not even pondered a return to the rooms, until I was good and ready. When the night came that I uttered that specific prayer to God to bring me an alcoholic, I sat and I waited.

And as God as my witness … A few days later, Troy walked into my place of business to interview for a job. His first words to me were: “I did not drink today…”

I smiled and said how good for you. And left it at that.

I hired him on the spot.

Over the next thirty days, He would come into the shop and preface anything he said or did with the same phrase … “I did not drink today…”

On the thirtieth day, we were together on a furniture run, and I broke my anonymity to him, saying I was on my way back, which he replied without a skip in the conversation that I could come to see him take his first year cake a couple of days later.

That would have been December 9th 2001.

I have not had a drink since.

There is a God, and I am not He.

You might not think God capable of moving heaven and earth for us, but I can safely say that over twenty-six years now, I am still alive, I survived, I am sober a few 24 hours, and that God does move heaven and earth, because He did for me.

And I can safely tell you all this with certitude.