Unity, Recovery, Humility …
Courtesy: Lauren Marek
The weather is turning warmer, well, warmer than it has been as of late. It is manageably cold, (-13c/-19c wc) at this hour, but not frigidly cold.
There are a lot of thing percolating in my brain tonight. I’ve mentioned that lately sobriety is coming in small bits and pieces or more like words that jump off the page, the ones we read over and over, but lately, I’ve been noticing and making note of words that come up haphazardly. I’ve also been very grateful for meetings because you never know when someone is going to say a word that y0u need to focus on and keep in mind.
The warnings are stark. Lessons I learned early on in sobriety have nested and become habit. The warning is this … You know what will happen if you decide you no longer need meetings!!! A long time friend is battling his demons and fellows were called upon to get him to a hospital because he just cannot stop drinking. Alcoholism is cunning, baffling, powerful and (patient).
I’ve heard it said before that while you are sitting in a meeting, alcoholism is waiting out in the parking lot doing pushups.
Today’s lesson is Humility.
And the fact that today I have humility. I take comfort in that I have the tools to ask for help, and not feel ashamed of not being enough or having enough. I’ve learned this lesson but it keeps repeating itself in my life even today.
We are not rich people, and sometimes not being rich is a problem because we need money, and not having money is a constant fear. The end of the month has come and we are a few days early and a few dollars short. I have been out of medication for two days but they were filled at the pharmacy for me ahead of time, they have a new loyalty renew program now. Meds usually run me close to $80.00 a month. I just don’t have $80.00 in hand right now.
Hubby tasked me with the job of being honest once again. And I am at peace with being honest, and speaking honestly, and being able to admit when I need a favor or a kindness from someone. And not feeling ashamed at being so honest.
I stopped at the pharmacy on the way out to see if they could cut me a a few days pills, which is a pain in the ass, and luckily my total bill for the month was only $10.00. And I looked at the young pharmacy lady and said …”I don’t have $10.00 on me right now…” She replied, “well, here you go, come and pay when you can.” (which will be Thursday)…
Simple kindness …
I called hubby from the mall to tell him that I got my meds and he replied, “all’s well that ends well.” So it was.
I arrived early and helped set up the room and folks came early so we had a meeting before the meeting. Sunday’s are a day to catch up on friends and fellows to sort out the week coming and to check in and plan to be of service in kind ways. People are not used to asking for help and today’s Tradition came from the book… Tradition one … “Our common welfare comes first, personal recovery depends on A.A. Unity.
It is cold, people are tired of the cold. And folks are finding it a challenge to stay connected and talk to fellows on a daily basis to check in so that if needed we can try and help. Where else can you go, to share what’s on your mind, with like minded folks, anywhere in the world, on a daily basis?
Why do we go to meetings? Because on our own, we could not lick this problem of alcoholism. We need the group to help us stay sober. And there is the warning again about what happens if you stop going to meetings, or finding that you don’t need meetings.
We are complicated people. And this is not a complicated program. Nobody is going to tell you what to do or what to say or command you to do anything. But we find ourselves, going back into our heads and getting crazy. And that’s why people showed up tonight. To take an hour out of their day to reconnect with a power greater than themselves.
We are not supposed to keep what we have, lest we loose it. We have to continually give it away. And we do that in little ways. We do that with a phone call, or a coffee date, some let’s get together time, doing service, but simply by just suiting up and showing up.
Last Sunday a friend came to the meeting and we sat through the meeting and we shared on topic and at the end of the meeting came the Serenity Prayer where he spoke to words You and Me. And I was receptive to You and Me.
This Sunday he came again, and at the end of the meeting we spoke and I was able to share with him how the words he said touched my heart and my mind and how grateful I was for the lesson that came to me simply. And he in turn told me the story of where he heard the iteration of the prayer, from a fellow traveler now living Down Under. So “You” and “Me” traveled from one to another and another.
Saturday night I hit a meeting and I heard another word that leap out at me that I was able to put into perspective something from my life that had since, evaded me, until a member spoke words that I was ready to hear.
Sobriety is coming in single words. Simple sentences.
I guess that’s the gift of coming back. The literature never changes. The words on the page have been there for decades. And week in and week out we read the same words, we say the same prayers, and we do the same things over and over again rote …
Now 11 years in, I am finding that I read the books and see and hear the words, and now, simply, words are leaping off the page and into my field of vision. I’ve also heard it said from long sober folks who speak the words “once you stay around for awhile, the outside job becomes an inside job.”
At the end of the meeting a young man got up to take his 2 year chip from his sponsor, who didn’t have a chip in hand for him, BUT another member just got his 2 year chip a few days ago, “and it’s about giving it away right” … so he dipped into his pocket and handed over his 2 year chip to our young man so that he could take a real chip from his sponsor.
What was it like for me at two years? that was 2003. I stayed sober. I had decided to go back to school, in my thirties, I attained Citizenship. I sat through culture shock and integrated into society here in Montreal. If it weren’t for the people who were part of Tuesday Beginners at that time in my life, my life would not have turned out the way it did. I relied on my home group unlike any other group of people, perhaps except Sober on South beach.
I had begun a sober relationship which later turned into a marriage. And today we are nine years married and eleven years together.
I came, I rooted. I listened. And I served. And I do that today.
I came, and I learned from the group, and in time I learned about giving it back freely. I get to rid myself of my ego and my attitude. When I cross that threshold of the room, I am just one of you. I am not better or worse. I am just me…
And on any given Sunday, when bunch of me’s show up and we share, we find we are no longer alone. That we don’t have to be alone, or do this alone. And there’s the gift of the group and our common welfare.
I am grateful for simplicity, my friends and everybody who showed up today.
Wau Lam … That is all …
More to come, stay tuned …