The Answer is in the Divine …
It was a bitterly cold night, manageable when the wind was with us. We are sitting at (-17c/-26c w.c.) With snow on the way overnight and into tomorrow. When all is said and done, we should see upwards of 15cm of snow. However points south and west will get slammed with more than 20cm of snow.
I met a friend and we walked over to the 104 stop. We only had to wait a few minutes for the bus and we arrived at St. Matthias early on. It being so cold outside and the threat of snow on people’s minds, we sat about half of our usual crowd of people who usually come to the meeting on Thursday night.
Our speaker was a woman who is a member of the St. Matthias group. It was a good share, our woman has a little over 25 years sober. The disease of alcoholism is swift and certain in many of us. Once you take that first drink, for some, becomes a long and disastrous dalliance with the bottle.
We heard the concept of More, More and More …
One is too many and 10 is not enough…
We all agree on one point, that we just could not have “just one.” And as life goes, we more we drink, the more we loose. And for most, none of us put together that “maybe the drink is the cause for disaster and misfortune.”
Coming from another 12 step group for children of alcoholics, she hit a meeting one night and was asked why she didn’t join the group after the meeting for coffee – she admitted quite freely the reason. It just came out. Soon thereafter a friend took her to her first meeting at Serendipity.
And the room erupted in laughter …
Grace came upon her then – the desire to drink was lifted from her.
And what is the take away from our speaker tonight? What was guiding force of all her years of sobriety? God …
Coming from where she had, she had de-sacralized her sacraments that came from the church, and after writing an angry feminist manifesto about all the ills of the church and God, coming into sobriety, the one thing that “got her, and held her” was the recognition that it all starts with the Divine.
And here I was waiting for some really profound truth that I had never heard before, she said we are all seekers, even if we don’t know it, we are seekers. We come to the rooms to find the solution to make the pain go away and to help our lives get better.
And the message was simple. Don’t drink, and Go to meetings. Sooner or later we come to realize that our daily grace is based on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. A commonality that I shared with our speaker tonight was that we both took time to study God, from the many perspectives of the world’s religions and traditions.
Once I completed my first year of sobriety, I returned to university and spent the next seven years studying God, six ways from Sunday.
We find that over time, sobriety becomes an inside job. Sobriety is nothing unless it is book-ended by prayer and meditation. Throw in a good measure of gratitude and humility, and you have a recipe for success.
It was spoken that at times, over the past years that she came upon newcomers in the rooms, and that at times it proved very troubling that when asked what to do to stay sober, she would answer … “Don’t drink and go to meetings!” For few, that advice fell on deaf ears. Some newcomers don’t want our tried and true advice – they scoff at some simple suggestions, in opt for doing things their own way, and over time, they too did not return.
The slogans, the advice, the acronyms are all the same. We see them, we use them, we read them and we share them. A number of years into sobriety, one night at home, our lady was alone, angry, lonely and tired, and in a brief moment of weakness, she thought a drink … With time under her belt.
In a moment of grace, she picked up the 2000 pound phone and called a member, who met her at a meeting. And she was saved once again.
We never know when the drink is going to court us to partake. I’ve often used the quote that “Alcoholism stands in the parking lot doing pushups while we are in a meeting.” It is cunning, baffling, powerful and PATIENT !!!
Which leads us to the next command … Constant Vigilance.
In the end the message was simple. Don’t drink, go to meetings, find a power greater than yourself, let go and let God, and keep coming back.
The advice is not profound, nor complex. It is tried and true guidance to help you change your life and often, the lives of the people you call family and friends.
That is all.
More to come, stay tuned …