They called for rain last night (for tonight), and said the sky would open up and dump cat’s, dog’s and little fishes upon us. They said it would start early and last into the night. Well, it did rain. Once I reached where I was going, after carrying my BIG umbrella, because it was called for “STORM!”
I was ready to go early, and as I locked the door and called for the elevator, it arrived and I had forgotten my BIG umbrella, so I had to go back and get it, I missed my elevator. UGH …
It was going to be one of those days …
I made stops on the way, and got through the turnstile, and down to the platform, and as I walked onto the train, my belt popped and my pants fell down on the train. One hand was full carrying BIG umbrella, and the other was holding my phone (read: music).
I don’t often shop at Target, for reasons I will share with you now …
They day they opened, I bought a brand new pair of Skull Candy Headphones that were said to be indestructible and would never break ! 6 months later, they crapped out. My $40.00 purchase turned into a $60.00 repair mission. I am waiting for either a new pair or something like them.
Belts and I are not a very comfy couple.
I bought a belt. $30.00… Belts are expensive. This particular belt has a buckle that has two very small pins holding the belt inside the buckle. And let’s just say that the work is shoddy. That belt split in two and both pins fell out of the buckle, hence the belt became useless.
I bought a second belt not long ago (another $30.00). I refused to stand in line for a return because I did not have the receipt. Fast forward to today …
I got on the train and I felt the belt I was wearing come apart. I was not prepared to moon the train car, and I had to pocket my phone and hold my pants up by the belt strap across the transit, onto another train, across the city, up and out of the station, and walked down the hill, holding up my pants with my fingers, until I reached the church … It still had not rained yet …
I get upstairs at the church. and pull my belt out of my bag, because I had taken it off on my transfer stop. I notice that one pin is missing and the other had unwound (read: unscrewed) I don’t usually carry tools with me in my backpack. At least one screw was still there, I was able to re-screw it back into the hole, and I regained my belt.
Thankfully, I did not have to hold up my pants through the night.
It rained …
We sat a nice group. We read from the Twelve and Twelve, Step One … We are working on a 12 week study of the Twelve and Twelve.
What Man or Woman, is ready to admit complete defeat ???
I had been defeated by a faulty belt earlier.
I tell this story about living in an alcoholic home and having a top rate education on alcoholism, you’d have thought I would have learned something, I didn’t. I can’t remember the word obsession ever coming into my lexicon. I never thought about addiction either. And further, I never called myself an alcoholic, but purely, I was.
The lesson I learned the first time is, that if you get sober, and you don’t focus your energy on getting sober and staying sober (i.e. The Work) Using the book and doing the work, you probably will drink again.
The second time I got sober, it was ONLY about my alcoholism. There weren’t any other issues hanging over my head. I don’t know if I would say that my second bottom was lower than the first. The first one was really bad. The second one, not that much. I knew the end was coming. I was tired of delusional thinking and the misery of the morning after. So I stopped.
Life Did Get Better. It only took 12 years and some odd months.
I can’t tell you or stress to you how important it is to be grounded in the Book(s). Had I made this a priority the first time, and not had death staring me in the face, I would be twenty years sober this year.
Alas that did not happen.
“And even in long term sobriety, 10 plus years or more … your sobriety is totally contingent on your spiritual condition and the depth you are rooted in prayer and in the books.”
I had to get into it to reap the rewards of being in it. And they did come.
The ability to give it away, properly, in my opinion, rests in the time you have spent studying the books, saying ones prayers, and working in the books. Until I had sunk into the books, with my sponsor, I was ill prepared to give it away, further than showing up at a meeting and sharing.
It took a year of work, prayer and study, for God to say, “ok, you are ready to give it away, here are your guys … One, Two, and Three … Bing, Bang, Boom !!!”
I am powerless over alcohol, but my life, today, is manageable. The second part of Step One speaks to being powerless over People, Places and Things.
It took a very long time to understand and be able to accept this little fact. However hard I try to please someone, or get someone’s attention, or their approval, i am powerless over people.
The other note I have written in my 12 and 12, at the back of Step One is this …
“While you are in a meeting, your alcoholism is out in the parking lot doing pushups, just waiting for you to come out and take you down.”
I have a friend, in the rooms today, who I have known since the day I arrived here. We were sober together, but he, like many, did not stick and stay.
I am nearing thirteen years, and on this past Sunday he took his Three Month Chip.
A long time ago, (seven or eight years ago) I was at my home group, and some Bozo came in and told me that this same friend committed suicide and was dead. Today, you don’t really hear much gossip like we used to hear. And those jokers are no longer around.
I was not happy and very sad. The one thing you never want to hear about a friend in the room is that he or she is dead, by their own hands. I did not trust this news because, One, that the news came from that particular man, and Two. that in the end, it was just gossip. And when I learned that it was just gossip, I spared not the rod, nor my wrath on him. He did not stick around after that.
Fast Forward to today… I am sitting with this friend and I am so amazed that he is back and sober today. And I was really grateful that he was sitting across from me, alive and well.
I mean it was like a palpable feeling of warmth.
After the meeting I spoke to him and reminded him of that story. And told him how happy I was to see him alive, well and sober once again. And that I remember what it felt like to hear another member tell me that he was dead. My friend is a unique snowflake. There are no other men like him in my life and for that matter, in our rooms.
He is totally special to me because of the long time friendship we share.
I have learned a great deal from him. While he was sober, but more, in why he drank again, and in watching that happen, I learned from him what Not To Do … Spend a number of years in the same room with the same people, you will find that if you stay sober, every person who walks into that room, on any given night, is your teacher.
Only if you pay attention, listen and learn.
The numbers of folks who have come in and either gone out or disappeared is high. I have a ton of stories about these people, many of whom I have already written about in the past.
Our little group is sober another night.
I am grateful on purpose again…
I have been feeling a lot of palpable gratitude as of late. It feels great.
Oh and by the way, when I got home, I found a screw in my toolbox and fixed my belt. Hopefully I have renewed its worth a bit…
More to come, stay tuned …