Loving the sacred through word and image. Iona Chapel – Iona… Just another WordPress.com Blog

Suffering Transmuted A.B.S.I.

tumblr_mprhayHK5z1qe987po1_500 mastersandlsaves

Courtesy: M&S

The weather has turned these past two days. We are sitting at 12c at this hour, and we will drop into single digits again tonight. All this to say, I grabbed a hoodie out of the closet before departing tonight, on top of a long sleeve shirt.

It was beautifully a blue sky today and our corner of the world is seeing a lot of traffic in the form of young, shirtless, screaming and cheering frosh students on their nightly Pub Crawl. Oh to be young and drunk !!!

Not for me …

I left a little early so that I could make stops along the way and to have a peek of the mall as it is unfolding before us. New shops are almost finished and will open soon on the ground floor. Work is still ongoing on the facade outside the building.

I gathered all my kitchen stuff out of the cabinet and noticed that there was a minor flood in the kitchen, and as I grabbed the coffee tin from its box, I turned around towards the counter and the lid lifted and I dumped an entire can of coffee on the floor in the kitchen.

I panicked !!!

I could not see throwing the entire contents into the trash, so I grabbed as much coffee off the floor and put it back into the tin. At least I saved a months worth of coffee. I grabbed the mop bucket and tried to clean up the mess and mop up as much of the minor flood as I could. The church service man came in just before the meeting and I showed him the water leak, he said they would look at it in the morning.

As luck would have it … I set out enough tables to sit a bunch of men. Alas, the numbers did not turn out. Here I was hoping for a three-peat.

But what WAS good was that those people who really needed a meeting came in any case. Along with the group members, we had a couple of folks who are battling their demons. I like to say that if we get two guests in on a meeting, then we are doing our job. Carrying the message to someone who really wants it.

I was in the chair. And we read from As Bill Sees It. My ongoing devotion to the spiritual experience of Dr. Bob continues. I thought earlier this week that we would read from A.A. Comes of Age, but I found a passage in the smaller book that touched on what was on my mind.

The reading speaks of just how hard it was for Dr. Bob to progress when the craving for alcohol was so strong. That the work of forming Akron’s Group Number One, was a guiding force in how he stayed sober, along with the work of Bill, and Sister Ignatia.

There is death in the air amongst our group. And it seems that with each passing week there is a death or two to report among our men, and we all walk through the suffering of each other. I sat and listened, before, during and after the meeting to the conversations of fellows.

Life is changing, and the past is gone. Some of our men are finding it a challenge to live amongst the people of the street and remain gracious under pressure. We, as men, are all growing older. Sundry aches and pains are cropping up more and more, and we are all, in one way or another feeling our own share of them.

We are growing older as is our respective families are growing older. And change is happening and there is nothing we can do to stop it. And some are also finding it a challenge to be present and assistive to family while trying to be innocuous and allow people to maintain their self respect.

It is going to be a long season for some of our men. Our young man who is days sober is finding it challenging the stave off the craving for alcohol. But he will succeed if he keeps doing what he is doing. Staying in touch, spending time with other members and making it to a meeting when he can. I hope so much for his success. At least he is showing up despite the cravings.

In my own experience, when I put down the drugs and walked away from them, and put physical distance from the location and the usage of them, I did not go looking for them again. I did not crave drugs. Ever again.

When I came to my last second drink, I walked away from alcohol. I put it down and had meetings to go to and people to fellowship with. The club I drank at closed its doors just after I got sober, so the draw of the location died with the doors closing.

I pulled a geographic in sobriety to a city that I had no drinking history in. Only once, in my first year of sobriety did I crave a drink, because of proximity and not due to stupidity. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and extricating myself from that situation saved me.

Thankfully, I do not crave a drink. I’ve spent the better part of twelve years learning how to stay stopped. Many of our men rely on the power of prayer, even if it feels like we are chained to a prie dieu, at times, we don’t pick up because playing the tape all the way through is disastrous.

We served the men who came tonight. And they are sober one more night. We spoke about the 24 hour clock, and I encouraged our young man to stay on course and to do what he needed to do to stave off his craving. And to stay connected and keep close to the meetings.

Failure is not an option for our men.

Life is weighing heavy on the hearts and minds of our men, Please keep them in your prayers.

That is all.

More to come, stay tuned …

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