All the rain they promised us – did not materialize. However hard it tried to spit rain over night. Enough fell to wet the streets and douse the trees with a little moisture, but significant rain did not fall.
It has been chilly on the side of cold, cold enough to warrant a hoodie on top of a shirt, because I was cold wearing only a sweatshirt this evening. We stuck to the tunnel to transit from here to the church and back.
We arrived at the church and the hall was a mess of people, tables and chairs all over the place and people were coming and going hastily. We learned soon after that the great St. Joseph’s Oratory Choir performed at the church this afternoon, hence all the people.
We sorted out tables and chairs, and stacked the piles of chairs and put the ones we did not need back in the store room. Clean up took a few minutes and then we sorted out the room for the meeting that followed.
We sat a fair number of folks, and finished our reading of Chapter Seven, Working with Others. The final passage we read deals with family and relationships and how to navigate sticky places in new found sobriety.
The best I can be when working with others, is just to be present. And usually God will direct the scene as He sees fit. That’s why we have the twenty minutes prior and twenty minutes after guide. Because that’s when we got to work with others. Presence, the greatest gift you can give to your fellows.
*** *** *** ***
It is a parent day today. And navigating them is pretty artful. This is where I get to Debbie Downer a bit.
The last time I saw my mother was for twenty minutes on New Years Day 2001, when my parents arrived on my doorstep for an impromptu visit deigned by my father, but not long enough to create a “sticky memory” I don’t remember the substance of the visit or the words said, but I do remember the defiant “NO” I got from my father as to hosting a lunch for the three of us before they headed back on the road to Sarasota.
End of that thread …
Honor thy Father and Mother … The bible says so. I don’t see the logic in honoring someone who does not deign to recognize or honor me.
Being Gay and HIV+ were always the kickers in our relationship.
But I thought that when children grow up and become adults, they should be able to make decisions for themselves hopefully good ones that will help them prosper and grow further.
I made two decisions in sobriety – the first and second time, that served me. I took my right to exist and to move on from dire straits and was punished for making adult decisions. It was far better to be resentful and angry, rather than support a child in his decisions about his life. Fuck me …
My move to Montreal was fraught with anger. How dare I piss on my American heritage and dishonor my father by taking a birthright that was mine to take and leave all that I knew for a place that I would make my home.
Ohhh the anger …
My father spoke family gospel and what he said was the end all be all of any argument. And so it went. I spent a year, a calendar year, trying to salvage a relationship with my mother.
I wrote, called, sent packages, etc … to no avail.
My parents were so put out by my decision to move North that silence and punishment was their only recourse. But of course that was their modus opperandi.
The last conversation I had with my mother went this way … And I quote …
“If I or your father ever get sick or die, You will not be contacted, ever !!!”
That conversation took place more than 11 years ago. Fuck me …
Faggots do not get respect, nor dignity. AIDS ridden children get nothing but scorn and indignation. When the chips fell where they did people scattered, including my family. I had no choice or say in the matter.
I was fucked from the word Go !!!
So happy Mother’s day to you all.
How do you pray away the ache the rises in the heart about things you cannot change nor do anything to make better ???
I still don’t have the answer to that question.
It was a good day. Friends, fellows and a meeting. It can’t get better than that.
More to come, stay tuned…
Once again today they told us it was going to rain. As I was preparing to leave for the evening, it didn’t look like rain, and I hate carrying my big umbrella, so I left it here at home.
We arrived at Laurier and caught the bus, and on the way it began to spit rain. It did not last long. And after the meeting we hitched a ride to Sherbrooke Metro and still no rain fell. When we arrived at Guy to walk home the ground was wet, so it must have rained on our side of the mountain.
But you know, they have been spraying the skies for weeks. I watch these planes coming from the West, from the direction of the airport, way up high, they did not take off from our airport because the planes are up so high in the air. Most of the time there are a pair of planes spraying chemicals from west to east over the downtown core. I saw a plane spraying just the other day. Some say it is just air streaming from the planes – but if you listen to radio, chemical spraying is happening all over the place.
Why didn’t the rain come ???
We sat a full room, and then some. We are reading once again As Bill Sees It.
In God’s Hands …
” When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.”
The consensus among my fellows tonight were “turning it over” “surrender” “letting go” so forth and so on.
Hindsight is 20/20 and if I am honest, my surrender began much earlier than when I made the conscious surrender of the drink.
A series of events lined up for me – that surely did not come from my hands. There was no other place to go, no other place to live and no other thing to be doing. I had surrendered myself to the grand scheme of things, so to speak.
When I finally met the end of my drinking, and I uttered the prayer for an alcoholic to come into my life, essentially, I was turning it over to God. He would either grant the prayer or He wouldn’t.
Within days an alcoholic appeared in my life and escorted me to my next first meeting. And within weeks, the stars began to align. Not by my hand, and not by my doing, the shortcomings of others played out into my hands. And the sign from God was to answer the call and follow.
And that is what I did.
One thing led to another and I ended up here. And the rest, they say, is history.
I never imagined in all my life, that life would have ended up where it has. But I suited up and I showed up and God did the rest.
This is why we read the books cover to cover, over and over again.
This is why we go to meetings every day, over and over again.
And this is how we stay sober. One day at a time, turning it over, and letting it go. It takes work, and the payoff can be fantastic. If you get out of the way and let God do the heavy lifting.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned.
They said that rain was coming and that for sure the weather was going to change today, for the next few days. Last night, overnight, it spit rain enough to wet the streets, barely. We waited all day for the rain to start falling, and we even made mother nature happy by carrying umbrellas into the night, even though no rain fell on the way in OR on the way out.
There was hockey tonight … But numbers were nominal.
It was a beautiful day otherwise. I left early and sat outside for a while watching the people go by, and also the lilac bushes were flowering outside the church and they smell heavenly.
We sat 11 folks. We went the entire hour. We read from Chapter Three in the Big Book, More About Alcoholism.
“The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking” is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker.
When I read this chapter, I start my thinking at “Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people…”
What, Who, Me … an alcoholic, nonsense.
Growing up I was a third generation alcoholic. I learned from the best examples, alcoholics through and through. Growing up I proved that I could drink like everybody else.
When I left home and moved out on my own, I proved I could drink like everybody else. Because everybody I hung out with, drank to excess. Not this “just one teetotaller.” It was More, More and MORE !!!
Both my bottoms were crash and burn bottoms. The first time, I was drinking every night, sometimes during the day, as during this time in my life I faced one tragedy after another. I was powerless to change what happened, except the fact that had I decided, I could have put the drink down, but I didn’t.
After getting sick, one night, I tried to drink myself into the ground, rather than face my own mortality. The man who kept a copy of the Big Book on his cash register for a year before I learned what it was, became my first sponsor.
This is a progressive disease, it only gets worse.
Going out and finding myself at the end of another drinking spree, years later, I returned to familiarity. There was nothing to deny, I was an alcoholic, through and through, and if I did not put down the drink, I surely would have died.
So here I am, working on year twelve. Carefully, eleven years and five months clean and sober, is the longest I have been clean and sober in my life. I am not going to even ponder picking up a drink now, because like I have said before, I moved here clean and sober, I did not have a drinking career here, and I don’t want to create one now.
That is why we go to meetings. Over and Over and Over.
That is why we read the books, from cover to cover, over and over.
We may have another drink in us, but we may not have another recovery in us.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned…
Courtesy: Jonathan by Pete Taylor on Flickr
The week has begun. And mother nature is making up for so much cold and snow with gorgeous days filled with sunshine and warmth. Rain is in the forecast, the trees and green spaces are greening up very nicely. But we also need to be watered.
As is usual, I was up and ready to go early this evening. With it being so nice outside, getting to the meeting early payed. We spent the time before the meeting sitting outside the church talking – the meeting before the meeting.
The room was full. We sat almost every chair. And we read from Living Sober, and First things First. It is good that newcomers come to this meeting, and we get to hear how they parse and put to use the slogans and passages from the book in their lives, as they get sober. Oh the pains of early sobriety !!! Everything is upside down and things are crazy and life hasn’t fallen into shape just yet, so the struggle continues for them.
it is also good the people with considerable time are interspersed between the newbies, and we all listen, because it is the newcomer that keeps us with time around.
One of our men quoted H.A.L.T … Hungry Angry Lonely and Tired
Another spoke of what he learned in his first ten years, in hindsight, and what changed in the second decade of his sobriety. And why he still goes to meetings as often as he does. So that he never picks up that first drink.
It is funny what stories come to mind for me when I go to a meeting. And they seem apropos to the topic at hand.
Getting down and dirty I spoke. The first time I got sober, it was medically necessary. I was diagnosed with terminal illness and I was given my end date. I got and stayed sober. I did everything I was told to do, in a first thing first method. And I never strayed very far from those directions, and they saved my life.
Yes, I counted to days until I was supposed to die, and however hard my sponsor, then, chided me, I did it anyways.
When I got to my death date, I was still alive. And With that I had to figure out what I was going to do next. That led me to four years of sobriety. But slogans and pointers became less and less used. And I began to fade from the program and my sobriety lost its priority. S.L.I.P.
I took my good health for granted and made that fateful decision to upgrade my alcoholism to drug addiction. Surely that step up should have, in no uncertain terms, knock time off my timeline.
I was fully shot by the time I took my last drink the second time. Kicking the drugs was easy, because I put distance between me and them and never looked back. But the drink took longer to stop, because I was wrapped up in “ME.”
But I eventually put down the drink, and got sober the second time. Still alive and having a life was something that I was trying to save, once again. Coming here I found a place, a meeting and a doctor.
The geographic was the best decision I had ever made. Because I have achieved things I never thought would be possible. Sobriety paid off because I was given certain direction. And I obeyed that direction. I built my life around my meetings, I listened to the slogans and read the books from cover to cover.
And to this day, we are still reading to same books, cover to cover in some instances. And a reading here and there. All those things I heard in early sobriety are still being said almost twelve years later.
First things First …
I need quiet time in the morning. I need to say my prayers. I need to order my day, and get to a meeting. I need to take my pills and I need to eat. And when I am tired I need to sleep.
The thought that God could pull the rug out from under me still remains visible in my rear view mirror. I’ve been on a good run for a long time. And if I forget or ignore first things first, I am doomed.
There is order in my day today.
Most of my friends are sober, so, if I want to see them, I need to carry myself to a meeting. I need to arrive twenty minutes early and stay twenty minutes late.
I need to stay out of my head. I need to talk to my sponsor regularly. I need to work with newcomers. I need to give back.
…But obviously, you cannot transmit something you haven’t got …
Which is why we go to meetings, and we read the books and we share. Where else are you going to learn what it is to give and what to give, if you don’t stick around and learn?
Thank God for newcomers. It all seems easier, now that I am here, and not there. However I don’t begrudge them their struggles. If it was so easy peasy, we wouldn’t work so hard getting sober.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned…
Courtesy: Untiltheacropolis – Tibetan Prayer Flags
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. People out and about enjoying this summer like weather in the spring. The trees are greening quickly and some of the flowering trees have blooms on them. The city is thawing quickly and the green spaces are coming online nicely.
I departed early to stop off to get some things from the mall on the way out and instead of walking overland, I took the tunnel through Westmount Square. The hall was blessedly cool as we set up for the meeting.
We seated a fair number tonight, as we always do on Sunday evening. And we continued reading from Chapter 7 – Working with Others.
“To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.”
Another passage could suffice here: “Faith without works is Dead !”
The best thing I do to work with others, is to be present. Being present is the greatest gift you can give someone. You don’t always have to use words, but by your action of being present, you can change a life.
And that is what I do several times a week, at the assorted meetings I attend. I arrive early, even if I am not a member of said group. Because I enjoy the company of my friends and the others who come.
I am a member on Sunday and Thursday nights. I give back by helping to put on a meeting. I may not formally sponsor people. But I am present in the lives of my fellows. I have phone numbers in my phone that I use often. I always try to engage my friends and encourage them on a daily basis.
By giving back, freely what was given me, or you, we are giving back to a fellowship that operates on the principle of attraction rather than promotion. If you are good to others, they will want to spend time with you. It is in showing them how you stay sober, that others may stay sober.
The rule of thumb is 20 minutes before – 20 minutes after.
The most important moments of the meeting. When you can reach out to other members and talk openly and invite them to other meetings. And see whether or not you can offer experience, strength and hope.
That is how I work with others.
It was a good night.
More to come, stay tuned …
Another day, another adventure. But tonight I was flying solo, because my friend who usually accompanies me decided to stay in. The neighborhood has been jamming as of late, everything waits for a hockey game, even meetings.
There were crowds of people on the corner at the Sports Bar again tonight. He must be making a killing. Which brings much needed business to our neighborhood. With the completion of the Seville Project revitalizing further down Ste Catherine’s, our neighborhood has been given a much needed facelift.
I took off early as I needed to go by the mall on my way out, I took the train from Atwater instead of Guy. It was an easy ride out and to Laurier and the 51. The room was full, and we started from reading #1, in As Bill Sees It.
“It has often been said of A.A. that we are interested only in alcoholism. That is not true. We have to get over drinking in order to stay alive. But anyone who knows the alcoholic personality by firsthand contact knows that no true alky ever stops drinking permanently without undergoing a profound personality change.”
We thought “conditions” drove us to drink, and when we tried to correct these conditions and found that we couldn’t do so to our entire satisfaction, our drinking went out of hand and we became alcoholics. It never occurred to us that we needed to change ourselves to meet conditions, whatever they were.
I sat and listened tonight, to many shares that I understood.
I don’t know if conditions, in hindsight, were reason that I drank. I was told in no uncertain terms that the only way to break into community was to go to a bar, have a couple drinks and to see what happened.
I didn’t drink out of anger, or hatred for the conditions that existed in my life as a young person. You can’t choose your family, and I had my hands full with Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.
I was an alcoholic before I ever left home. I had done my fair share of drinking before I took that leap away from the nest. And that alcoholism only took off worse in my twenties and into my thirties.
I was an empty shell when I came to the end of my drinking career. I was living alone, and only my landlord, my friend Mark, and a couple of others, knew that I was merely existing. I had no life. I had no personality. It was all taken from me my disease(s) and things were pretty hopeless. Because I surely did not see a way out of the hell I was living in.
Thank God for people and the program. And what they did for me. I had begun to battle back from nothingness into healthiness. And at the point that I felt I was strong enough to act in sobriety, I acted. Decisively and Pointedly.
I was at that proverbial turning point. To continue to ply myself with alcohol would surely lead to death or insanity. It wasn’t doing me any favors. Time was ticking and it was not on my side. So I acted …
When I arrived here – with what little I owned – I began a new start. I had left the past in the dust, all those conditions I wanted to escape, and a life that wasn’t serving me very well. And here is where I began to build my new personality.
Over the past eleven or so years, I have accomplished many things. I have learned about me and what makes me tick. The people in my rooms were my salvation and my guides. I met a man who became my mentor and is still, to this day, one of my best friends.
Everything that I went through as a child, a young person and a young adult, I have surveyed over the years, and I studied life from many angles, and I conclude that all that happened to me informed who I would become, here and now. I didn’t have to carry shit North with me. And I didn’t.
With a fresh start and a new life ahead of me, the world was my oyster. All those things that I had listened to all my life, were deleted. All the things I was taught was right, became wrong. All those things I had learned down south became questionable here.
I had hit a proverbial wall. I hit culture shock big time, and it was my mentor and guide who helped me create who I wanted to be. I was a fresh slate. So it began and has been written over the last almost twelve years.
I’ve done all those things that I wasn’t allowed to do. The braces came off my brains and through the vehicle of the rooms and the people in them, my life began to be shaped. I learned who I was.
I’ve heard it said recently from newbies that fresh in the program, they have no idea who they are, and in the long run, it will be a blessing to see who they become, because I understand that. I walked that road myself.
Everything I know today came from people and university and my sober journey. I am not who I was over a decade ago. Life is far greater than it ever has been. I do what I please, within range. I live a much greater quality of life and I count great people as my friends. I have changed and for the better.
I have had a complete personality overhaul. Just like the book says.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned …
And Thursday arrived and what a day it was.
The weather is turning up. And the changeover from Winter to Spring has come. The neighborhood is cranking. The sports bar up the block was pumped early on this afternoon. And with a playoff hockey game coming tonight, they were speeding forwards to getting the new dining room open for business. It is quite spectacular.
They spent a fair chunk of money on the renovation. The owner appropriated 4 store fronts to expand the bars footprint. With the original dining room open, the 5 space terrace out front plus they new dining room coming online, they have more than tripled their capacity. The sports bar has crushed the corner curse.
It was running errands day, cleaning the apartment and doing the change over. While hubby was at school and running errands for me, I cleaned the apartment and installed the air conditioner in the bedroom window. It works fabulously !!!
Last night the final piece of the meeting puzzle was delivered to me, the Costco bag of cups, donated by a fellow, was the last piece we needed to open. I packed my bags this afternoon and met a friend to walk to the church around 5:30.
We set up the room, made the coffee, went over the format sheets, set up tables and chairs, and then we waited … Surely we would have a fair number of folks, but knowing there was a playoff hockey game on, that would be presumptuous.
We sat 9 folks. Three founders, two were missing. My sponsor, a newbie and a handful of members with time. We’ve been advertising the meeting for weeks, and we are in the blue sheets. I expect our DCM to visit us next week. Along with hopefully more folks.
If you build it, they will come.
Our founder chaired the meeting. And we opened the first meeting of Changing Attitudes with a reading from the Big Book, Chapter 2, There is a solution, more specifically Page 25. This passage includes Appendix II and Spiritual Experience.
Our goal to offer the men who come to our meeting is A Solution. It was a good start to our meeting to have started here. It was a very personal meeting. And it also goes that we are here for the newcomer. And one of our guests is weeks in and working his steps for the first time.
We hit our weekly goal for the kitty. In order to keep the doors open we need to hit a weekly goal in order to pay rent, collect a prudent reserve and pay out the opening costs from the build fund. In the end we spent $318.00 dollars to open the room. Each of us founders paid into the build fund and now some purchase bills need to be paid. We will do that in due course.
I was pleased to see people come. It was very gratifying for me to be able to have come full circle in twelve years, from a newcomer at Tuesday Beginners 11 years and a few months ago, to becoming a member of Tuesday Beginners for almost twelve years, and now be able to pay it back and open a meeting of our own.
Where a member had an idea and voiced that idea to the universe and see that idea come to fruition in a months time, was miraculous. The young man who found our meeting came tonight and knocked it out of the park. I am so proud of him, and gratified to be part of the founders group.
And they say, in the book, “that we should not take ourselves so seriously!”
Meeting one, week one, is in the history book. It was a successful night all around. A good night was had by all.
Thanks for reading. More to come, stay tuned…
T minus two days and counting.
It was a warm day today. For some strange reason, my alarm clock was an hour fast. I don’t remember re-setting it last night, and I programmed a wake up ring for 4:30 this afternoon. It rang and I got up, I came into the living room and “The Cycle” was on. I was an hour off. I just reset the clock and farted around for an extra hour before getting ready to go.
The Tuesday meeting was well attended. I did some networking and invited the guys to the Thursday meeting. Each of them gave me an excuse as to why they could not come. Oh Well …
We read from As Bill Sees It and the slip.
Suppose we fall short of our chosen ideals and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half truth. The Tuesday meeting is a beginners meeting and we had them in spades tonight.
The sober time in the room varied from one day to double decades. And the discussion went – how to avoid the first drink.
We hear it often from newcomers how hard life is in early sobriety, because things were so upside down when they came in, that telling them to stick around and it will get better, (but not have a firm date as to when that will happen) is somewhat problematic.
The key here is to help them keep coming back, and to teach them to Act as If ! All those little key slogans that help us in the early years. For some, they are hard pressed to listen because the voices in their heads are vying for the ear.
I’ve been stirring up sobriety by going to new and different meetings, because the time came for change. I needed new voices and new stories. I have found that every one who shares in a meeting is either one of two things, (1) a warning or (2) a lesson.
Since I don’t have a drinking history here, I don’t want to start one. I came here sober and I want to die here sober. We’ve been hearing all the key warnings coming from old timers slipping, and newbies slipping, and folks in the mix of what one should NOT do and what one SHOULD do to guarantee sobriety.
You need key things to stay sober.
1. You need to go to meetings
2. You need to work your steps
3. You need a good sponsor
4. You need to build your life around your meetings
5. You need to do service
6. You need to read the books
All these things will help you guarantee sobriety. Stay away from sticky places and don’t go into your head alone. And keep coming back, even when it hurts and when things are good. Because when things are good you can learn gratitude, and when things are bad, you have banked time to hold onto sobriety and not take that first drink.
A good night was had by all.
It’s Tuesday but Thursday’s a coming …
More to come, stay tuned…
We are on the final countdown for the first meeting of Changing Attitudes. The cabinet is installed, there is a coffee pot and coffee in the cabinet today.
Tomorrow I pick up the laminates and office supplies, and we will be shopping for sundry items to fill the cabinet.
Opening a meeting is daunting. There are so many things to do before we can put on a meeting. You have to apply to GSO for group registration. They approve your application and notify the D.C.M. for the area that a new meeting is opening, so that they can come and inspect the group to make sure we are following the traditions and the book.
Then you have to find a space that will allow you to hold a meeting, and that takes work. Thankfully St. Leon’s was open to our request for space on another weeknight. Now there are several meetings that take place in that space. And you need to front the first months rent to pay for the space in advance of the first meeting, which meant the founder fronted all the money necessary to pay the first months rent. And pray that the seventh tradition will carry you forwards to be able to pay rent in the long run, and keep supplies in the cabinet.
We are in the Blue Sheets for the months of May and June already, so that is a good thing. We will get press as the new sheets have been mailed out to other groups in the city.
The founders must meet to work out the details of the meeting format, discuss what we want to do in ways of format and topic. I typed up the meeting notes and all the proper readings, Steps, Traditions, Promises and the format sheet. They are being laminated for pick up tomorrow.
Then there is the inviting of the men from our meetings to come, which means traveling to other meetings during the week to publicize the meeting.
We are expecting a good showing from the folks we have already invited since the beginning of this process had begun a few weeks ago, since we had a set date for the first meeting. G.S.O. has put us in the sheets as a new meeting requesting registration and with the D.C.M. inspection, we will make it into the next printing of the meeting booklet.
I left early to get the paperwork in the process on the way to the meeting tonight, we sat a fair number of folks tonight and we read from the Twelve and Twelve, and Tradition #4.
“Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.”
Our old timers spoke on this tradition tonight saying that the opening of a new group should always be grounded in Traditions 2,4 and 9.
#2 – For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants they do not govern.
#4 – Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
#9 – A.A. as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
We are told in no uncertain terms in Tradition Four that “We should not take ourselves too seriously.”
There are a group of men who are founders of the group. We came together to rally around the one man who made the initial suggestion of starting this new group. And my sponsor was apt to say that “If the meeting is meant to be, God will make it work.”
We all put up the funds to pay the rent, buy supplies and work out the format. It was a group effort. We all agreed that in order to make it all come together we needed to bring together a group conscience and let God do the rest. And it seems that He is with us, as we are in the final prep days for the meeting.
Where ever two or more alcoholics come together for the purpose of sobriety, they can call themselves an A.A. Meeting. Our main goal is to carry the message to alcoholics who still suffer and to be a part of our rich fellowship in the city.
The one thought that sticks in my brain is that “YOU cannot keep your EGO and get sober at the same time.” As long as you remember that and you don’t take yourself too seriously, sobriety is attainable. Egos and attitudes are problematic and will sink a ship surely, as if one drink will take us out.
Principles before personalities.
It was a good night. Lots of happy sober friends and fellows.
Pray for our men, some of which are suffering great grief tonight. And we keep him close to our hearts and in our prayers.
More to come, stay tuned…
It has been a good couple of days. Yesterday I hung around doing nothing but took me and a friend to a meeting. Our last Thursday at St. Matthias, since our new meeting opens in less than a week. Lots of things still to do. Shopping for this and that. The coffee urn has been purchased, and I am waiting on a few guys to get back to me since I asked them for some favors.
Last night the speaker was a young lady that we know from our Friday night meeting. She has been doing meetings on the English side for a while, and we saw her on Tuesday night at T.B.’s … I’d never heard her share but it was well worth the trip. Much of what she said resonated with me. She is a lot different from our women in a certain way, but then again, she is “in the book” 24/7. It’s all about identity and commonality.
I was in bed by 2 and up with the birdies today. It was another work day with my sponsor. This time we are moving an architect from his Guy offices to his home in Westmount. Boxes, and Boxes, and Boxes oh my !!! My sponsor has been working at this site for a few weeks redesigning the basement and building shelves and holders. We moved about 100 boxes or more, I didn’t keep a count, but they were numerous. We also moved roll after roll of architect drawings and plans to their new home.
What I noticed about this family is that they have a lot of stuff. Piled up all over the place. from gardening supplies to work benches to Christmas decorations and even set on wood train tracks that I image run beneath huge Christmas trees during the holidays. Tomorrow we are moving furniture, God Help Us, I don’t know where we are going to put all that stuff in an already crowded basement !
I got off work around 4 and came home and crashed. During the box portion of the moving I fell down a staircase, I was holding a heavy box on my right shoulder and went down on my left. Tonight my range of movement is not what it was yesterday on my left side. This will prove interesting tomorrow.
I showered and took a nap before this evenings outing to North End English. We finished As Bill Sees It tonight, with the Responsibility Statement.
The meeting was full the shares were sparse.
But you know I must say that I get a perverse satisfaction seeing certain people struggle. A certain man hating feminist is coming to that meeting. I’ve known her since she came in. More than eight years ago. And there are few words between us. She is always militant in her attitude. Somewhat self righteous, and indignant of men. Anyways, she came out a few weeks ago. Said that she was in a bad place, and WHY ??? Because she got complacent and decided that she didn’t need meetings anymore and that she needn’t be a member of the fellowship. And then her head went squirrely and she ended up contemplating the drink again.
There are just some people who know the drill, they come, for a while, and then they disappear, and she is just another tick in the box of what happens when we stop going to meetings, and turn on the fellowship. Boo Yah !!!
I said not one word to her tonight, nor did I recognize her from across the table. I guess that is my bad. Oh those character defects … They are dastardly !!!
We took a new route home, instead of walking to Parc and taking the 80 to Place des Arts, we took the 51 back to Laurier and the Orange to Green line transit across town to come home.
I did some supermarket safari on the way home for the weekend. Hubby is grading papers, and I think we need to eat soon.
That’s all for now.
More to come, stay tuned …
It has been a sunny past couple of days. And the excitement is rising. Hubby finally finished writing his 160 page thesis for his Masters Defense which comes tomorrow morning. Two years of blood, sweat and tears culminates in a twenty minute presentation in front of the M.A. Advisers and his thesis readers.
We are nearing the end of the month and May is just around the corner and the dawn of Changing Attitudes. Tomorrow night we will travel up town to pick up our new cabinet and bring it to the church for installation. And the ritual filling of that cabinet will follow soon after. There is a list of things we need to get sorted and purchased for the first meeting. It is all very exciting.
I met a friend to head over to Tuesday Beginners for the meeting tonight. Everyone was happy to see me since my absence from the group. My seat that I have always sat in was waiting for me with lots of love and hugs.
My sponsor had a gift for me, which is why I went there and not to Vendome Beginners tonight. I now have a copy of the original manuscript for the Big Book. prices run in the hundreds for copies of the manuscript. There is a link in the pages to the site where it can be purchased. That will be a good read.
Our ladies took us on a journey through Living Sober tonight and the topic read was “Getting rid of Old Ideas.” I was third from the end and we didn’t get all the way to the end to get everybody in.
I heard many good things that resonated with me. Having been in for a few years, Having left safe harbor and left to my own devices, I got to the point where I was ready to allow someone else do my thinking for me. I believed that I was missing something and someone and in allowing someone else into my thoughts, I invariably put myself in danger and that facilitated my slip.
But at some point, the end of June 2000, I had had enough. I was extricated from my no win scenario and the taking back of my life began. I put down the drugs and shady behavior and I never looked back. I had been beaten almost into the floor and I needed certain help, which came.
I never picked up a drug again. I did, however continue to drink because I “thought” that that would bring me into community. I “thought” that the drink would magically make me one of many instead of just the One I had been. I was living a sad existence and I would pour my sorrows into a cup and drink them away believing that things would magically change. Alas, they did not.
I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. I finally made my way back, through the help of another member. From that day forwards I began to change the tape in my head. I divorced myself from the thought that alcohol would solve my problems, and surrendered myself to the people who helped me sober up the second time.
The running theme in sobriety for me is that I allowed sober people to help me stay stopped. Certain people in sobriety presented themselves to me, I believe, on God’s dime, to help me and help me they did. I pulled that last geographic in sobriety and left the old me where he was. I never looked back.
I learned a great many lessons the first couple years I was sober. I found a sweet spot here and the people in my life were good for me. I could stay stopped. I became confident. I became strong. I became whole. All these things did not come over night. And it took work to get here.
I still had old ideas running in my brain when I got here and thank goodness the folks here saw them and God removed all those old ideas in due time. I learned to trust God again. And I trusted my friends and fellows. And here we are going on twelve years. The longest I have been sober in my life. I have no desire to go backwards, only forwards.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned…
It was a rather cool day today. Cool enough for a winter jacket. It has been a hodge podge of weather these past few days. A little of this, a little of that.
Today was the day Changing Attitudes got off its feet. We have settled on a cabinet that I have to pick up this week, we set the list of things we need to purchase prior to the meeting starting, and the selection of people who will be serving at the first couple of meetings. Our DCM will be making an appearance at the first meeting to make sure we are on the up and up and things are followed as per the traditions. There is money in the kitty to buy sundry items and members are set to get our coffee pot and inter-group necessities.
Our first meeting begins on May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. I’ve been drumming up support from all the young men I know at the other meetings I go to, so it should be a full house on our first night.
We had arrived at the church around 3:30, and the afternoon meeting was still in session and there was a concert going on in the sanctuary, which ended at the same time and folks were coming downstairs to use the restrooms. There was a tiff because the women’s bathroom is in the hall itself, and the men’s is out in the hallway, the group leader was not having women walking into their space while the meeting was going on, but the church has precedence over any space when an event is going on upstairs. I had to intervene with this matter.
The coffee was on much earlier than usual, but folks did not start showing up almost until quarter to six. And the chair just squeaked in prior to 6:15, he is a cool guy, and things run quite smoothly with him in the chair.
We read from Chapter 7 – Working with others. This entire chapter is dedicated to the twelfth step.
“Nothing will guarantee our sobriety like working with another alcoholic.”
We are told at the beginning to suit up and show up. But like we discussed the other night, obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. And whence we come to the point that a change needs to be made in our lives, we come to the rooms, and we soak in what we are hearing. I don’t subscribe to the throwing a big book at newcomers, they need time to sit and listen and to get comfortable with the people, the readings, and trying to stay sober, one day at a time.
I was lucky in the beginning to learn that my life must revolve around my meetings and not the other way around. I rooted and I have been able to maintain that ritual routine for almost twelve years now. I do service, I show up and I am just there. People need to come to on their own, but it is always good to just be there to listen, make coffee and to just be present.
I try each day to be of service to someone in one way or another. Once you begin to attend meetings you begin to fill your sober bank. In order to give, you have to live. Because it is in living that you learn what to give, when to give it and how. Even if you have a day or a week or a month, when we show up, by commonality, when others show up – you can be of service to others.
It was a good night.
More to come, stay tuned…
The days have been bright, and kinda windy. It was very blustery last night on the way to St. Matthias. The skies were darkening as we began our transit across town for our Friday meeting.
We are reaching the last pages of As Bill See’s It. And today’s reading was taken from page 164 in the Big Book. A vision for you.
When we first open the book, and begin on the blank page, there is actually a first blank page in the book. This reminds us of how blank our lives are, now that we have reached this point, and we are prepared, somewhat, to make some serious admissions and get into the program. The illness of body, mind and spirit are laid out for us and we read about the disease of alcoholism.
The book is laid out :
- The Forewards
- Bill’s Story
- There IS a Solution
- More about Alcoholism
- We Agnostics
- How it works
- Into Action
- Working with Others
- To Wives
- The Family Afterward
- To Employers … and
- A Vision for You
The first 164 pages of the book contains all you need to get the job done. We read and learn about the steps. We read the book, And we set out to clean up our side of the street, to the best of our ability, After a few readings of the book we come to learn that there are 182 promises in the book. And this last chapter, a Vision for you, is a recap of the 12 steps in short form. What we have read and worked on is reintroduced to the reader, once you complete the book work.
Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask him in your morning meditations what you can do for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others.
This is the great fact for us …
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellow. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
May God bless you and keep you until then.
Imagine 75 years ago when A.A. was in its infancy. The book was fresh off the press and began to be disseminated amongst groups and individuals scattered all over the United States, Canada and farther afield in time. Imagine what it must have been like to see the first peoples getting sober and coming to this page in the book. This was all they had before meetings grew and became organized.
Sobriety does not come over night. One day at a time. And I spoke on the line that says “Obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got …”
There are things that have to happen in order for you to be able to talk the talk, once you begin walking the walk. It is like collecting puzzle pieces and putting them in your tool box. Every meeting, Every share, Every reading and every day we don’t take a drink, we collect bank time. Every opportunity to learn something is bankable. In order to give – you have to live …
And from that living bank, we get to give it away because it was freely given to us. All those men and women who are long sober have given of themselves in opening meetings, sharing and talking, listening and being present, we learn from them.
Obviously, I cannot tell you things that I do not have experience with. otherwise I am talking smack or talking out of my ass. Every word I write comes from my heart, based on what I know and what I have learned. Every meeting I go to I get to experience a little more sobriety from someone else. And in turn I can return home and tell you what I learned.
Tonight it rained on us. We got soaked on the way home. I did not think to carry my umbrella – not that I like carrying an umbrella. But we made it home in one piece.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned…
It rained today. But more sun is on the way for tomorrow and much warmer temps by the end of the week.
The FLU has been a formidable foe here at home. It just won’t go away. And I’ve been plying hubby with pills and trying to get him to eat every day. I’ve been shopping for foods that he will eat and be able to keep down. I cooked for us last night and have left overs for tonight’s dinner. He asked for Indian for dinner tonight so I bought him a couple of meals that hopefully he will eat.
We’ve been hitting the hay earlier than usual for the last week. Which has totally thrown my schedule off – but sleep is something we need. My nightly ritual has been chopped to death and my body is not responding with proper working.
I was up early today because I had to drop labs for my HIV doc today, seeing my appointment is on May 15th, it takes a month to prep my labs. I marked the testosterone box on the lab sheet just to see where my numbers are, seeing my body is doing what it wants to do, and not what I want it to do !! UGH !!!
I walked over to the stop for the Cote de Neiges bus, and another bus was sitting there in its place. I got on. The bus pulled away from the stop and up Guy towards Sherbrooke. Instead of continuing up the hill he turned left and I freaked out. Where was he going? As the hill was blocked off because of construction and we ended up at Atwater to go up the hill the other way to get up the hill and cut across above the construction and to the hospital. Crisis averted…
I stopped by the diabetic clinic to get my appointment and lab sheet, I thought my doc would want to see me sooner that six months from now. He was out and the nurse said he would see me in six months unless my sugars were high, which they are not. They’ve gone down considerably on the double Glyburide.
I crossed the hall to the test center, the room was packed to the rafters. usually Tuesday early is a good day to drop labs because there aren’t so many people, usually. That wasn’t the case today. I took a number. I pulled a 53, and the number on the wall sign was on 20.
I had time to kill. So I prayed.
A couple of recitations of the Serenity Prayer worked its wonder. They ran the numbers and I got right in.
The phlebotomist, I think she was green, because she kept looking for a vein for about five minutes. I have good veins and I said to her, if you can’t get the needle in the first time, please find someone who can. She hit her mark, and nine vials later she let me go. I made it to the 144 stop with a few minutes to spare until the next bus passed by.
I came home and farted around while hubby built up some steam to get out of bed and I decided to take a nap and he followed. Sleep is good. I’ve been using my alarm clock frequently, and it seems that I set it and don’t use it because I get up just prior to it going off naturally. I sorted myself out and got ready to travel for tonight’s meeting.
It was a good meeting. I saw a bunch of friends I need to see often, because they are kind and I feel better when I am hanging with them. The topic was ANGER !!
Anger is a dubious luxury that alcoholics cannot afford to have. People are angry. Everyone is trying to navigate their feelings. Our emotions don’t just go away when we get sober. They are stronger without medication and inebriation.
Coming from the home I did – with all the mental, physical and spiritual abuse that was heaped on me – I always find it amazing that I never returned the favor. The older I got, I put distance between myself and those angry people.
It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with AIDS that anger took over my life. I was all over the place with emotions. I was spinning out of control. Trying to drink my feelings away until I took my last drink.
I learned a lot of lessons during that time. Working in a bar while getting sober was just what I needed to keep me busy. Todd kept my mind focused on work and my sponsor kept my sobriety in check. I had to learn how to harness my anger and turn it into useful energy, rather than a destructive source.
Do you know how much power negative emotions carry? If left to their own devices they will destroy you. Anger seeps into your soul and your heart. It bleeds power from your t-cells. When the body is in conflict, so the body goes.
Learning how to turn negative energy into healing energy took a long time. But I learned how that worked. Anger is wasted emotion, because in the end we are powerless over people, places and things. The more energy you waste on people that don’t matter – the farther down the ladder you get. We need to rise above our anger – pray – and let it go. Anger hurts us from the inside.
This is a tough lesson to teach newbies. They have to live into this way of life. And the only way we can transmit these lessons is to suit up and show up at as many meetings as is necessary for them to leech from us how it works.
We had two cakes at the end of the meeting. A 24 and a 27 year cake. Our man who took his 27the year cake has changed so much in the last year. He was hopeless for such a long time. And I’ve been seeing him on Tuesday nights regularly. He is 185 pounds lighter than he was a year ago. He has come a long way, and we all love him dearly because he is kind and gracious.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned…
“What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”
“Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.”
It is Sunday. And it seems that we have run our course with flu. After a week of sniffling and coughing and sleeping and not eating very much, because let’s face it, when we are unwell the last thing we want to do is cook full meals. I’ve tried to eat something good at least once a day. Hubby is feeling better today.
I had errands to run on the way out and arrived at the church on time. For some reason the coffee pot seemed slow in perking. I don’t know what’s up with that, but eventually we had good black coffee.
We had a good showing. And we finished reading Into Action and steps ten and eleven. The next chapter is totally devoted to Step twelve in Working with others.
This week was a study in how to be of service to others. Namely hubby. When push comes to shove and I practice these principles in all my affairs, it seems that everything works as it should – because I am not in the way of God.
It has been a very fluid week. Actively working my daily inventory for the house and for myself it is the action that matters. There were plenty of opportunities to meditate and pray as we spent a great amount of time in bed.
It is good we are reading through the book, and we get to hear other folks talk about how they understand the reading and how it applies in their lives.
If we ask God to direct our thinking at the beginning of the day, and we live in God’s will, our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
Take good thoughts in a send good thoughts out.
It was a good meeting. Everybody was happy. We took caravan home.
More to come, stay tuned…
“As we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward our instinctual drives need to undergo drastic revisions. Our demands for emotional security and wealth, for personal prestige and power all have to be tempered and redirected.” As Bill Sees It …
It snowed today. Big Wet Snow that piled up on street corners and on sidewalks making getting around very dicey. But we soldiered on to meet a fellow ay Laurier Metro, we were needed to be present and so we were. To support our chair and our fellows at the meeting. People come for fellowship and honest discussion. There was plenty of that for sure.
The reading was a warning … that life does not remain static, that everything changes and we must roll with changes and grow when it is called for. We can’t all remain seventeen or twenty when we are in our thirties, fourties and on and on.
As life changes, we change. The way we see the world changes over the years we remain sober. Because when we get sober, we do not do so to remain woefully miserable, but to become happy. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
It doesn’t come over night, and it doesn’t come easy. Life is challenge and we must work for every crumb we get.
Lots of friends at the meeting and blessedly a ride home. I had to shop and take care of house errands and grocery shop for us. I’ve been doing things that hubby usually does when he is well. I can be accountable.
More to come, stay tuned …
The week has begun. The flu is going around. Hubby has been hacking and choking for a couple of days. And I have been banking on the fact that I take so many pills a day, that my immune system should be jacked up.
However feeling discombobulated, my brain a little mushy, I headed to the Tuesday night meeting at Trinity. I like that meeting because many of my friends go to that meeting. And any excuse to see friends is good in my book.
The topic came from Living Sober and the first slogan … Live and Let Live…
Is there someone in your life that just gets under your skin? Someone that irks you no matter how good a mood you might find yourself in? I can think of only one person in my case. I’ve learned to pray that stupidity away over time. We don’t usually attend the same meetings so we don’t cross paths very often, praise Jesus.
Putting slogans to work early in sobriety is a good thing to do. They give you the ability to work on your life in 24 hour increments, which is all we have to start with.
That is all for right now.
Need some drugs and some sleep and maybe some food.
More to come, stay tuned…
The international Day of Remembrance has begun in Israel. The day that we remember the 6 million Jews, and many others that went to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps. Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
These – Bad Arolson is where the millions upon millions of files for Nazi records have been kept and for years now been open to the public for research purposes.
Yad Vashem. The Holocaust museum in Israel.
You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.
Survival in Auschwitz
Whew. What a week and weekend this has been. I remarked to a friend this evening that I haven’t been this busy with things to do in a long time. It is raining tonight, little wispy rain.
Our little meeting that is shaping up made a huge leap forwards today. The founders of the group met and we polished the minutes and readings, we talked about what we want to concentrate on and how things will play out. We also ponied up, paying our first months rent, which I will pay tomorrow. Word of mouth is working in our favor. All of the young men whom I have spoken to over the past few days seem positive that they will come. That may play out for a great showing on our first night (May 02 Thursday) …
We headed out to get the coffee perking and set up early for the Sunday Night Meeting. We sat a good group of folks. And we continued reading from the Big Book and Into Action through step 9.
” Made direct amends to such people, where ever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.”
We read in the book that “The Spiritual life is not a theory. We Have to Live It.
It was brought to attention that the end of that sentence is italicized, which means that it is important and should be made note of.
In my life, as it pertains to family, we had a tit for tat relationship. Many of the decisions I made, in sobriety the first time AND the second time, were in response to something that was done to me.
My father poisoned the well between my brother and myself and I haven’t been able to mend that fence. My mother was ambivalent, and she lives in resentment. In my life, if she copped a resentment against you, she would shut you off like flicking a light switch. And they did that to many family members, not only me.
Being Gay and HIV+ was a death knell. My father said some very hurtful things, and for a long time as I was growing up he would constantly tell me that I was a mistake and should never have been born. How do you counter something like that? What do you do? I did the only thing possible and I legally changed my name as to leave the family once in for all. And I was sober when I did that.
My father told me that I would never live up to the man he named me after, a soldier who was killed in Viet Nam. And a man I know my father felt something more than friendship, since a room in his house is dedicated to him openly.
Coming to Canada was another decision I made in sobriety. One because I could not afford to live in the states any more. And my mothers propensity for lying paid off for me giving me a birthright into Canada. How could I pass that up?
I tried for years to make amends. To keep communications open. I guess I expected blood from a rock, knowing my family history. The last things my mother said to me was that if they got sick and died, nobody would call me.
Fuck me for trying.
Amends are tricky things. And there were many takes on the topic tonight. Someday in sobriety I won’t be expectant of any kind of response, if there was a response. Silence is a bitter pill to swallow. But in my family silence is the tactic to punish those who have fallen out of favor.
That’s why we pray. To accept things I cannot change, and to accept that I am powerless over people, places and things.
I am grateful for the people in my life and the good things that come from meetings.
All is right in the world tonight.
More to come, stay tuned…
This evening we set out for Victoria Hall and the screening of the Bill W. documentary. A number of folks already saw the film when it came to theatres a few months ago up on Parc. It was considerably more expensive at a theatre than it did tonight. Members paid $2 a head for the showing and got free coffee and a muffin before the show.
We heard from our Public Information workers here in our area, which is Area 87 in Quebec. You might ask what public information does, it works to make sure that “when ever anyone anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. to always be there and for that we are responsible.”
We need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of Press, Radio, TV, and Film. Public Information is the group that handles dissemination of program materials to the public. Because we as members, if we are to do this work, of helping folks get and stay sober, we must always be ready to reach out a hand to the suffering alcoholic. For every member in A.A. there are 25 suffering alcoholics in our city. Exponentially there are hundreds of thousands of people in Quebec, 1/10th of those are in the program, on both the French and English sides.
There were hundreds of people at tonight’s screening. A great time was had in fellowship. It seemed that many of the folks present tonight were from our downtown meetings. Some from the West Island, and some, I had never seen before. The balcony was full of folks, as was the main floor.
Bill was not a saint. But he was just a man, who held the world on his shoulders in creating the fellowship and getting words to paper and into print. It was hard going in those early days. But when A.A. Came of Age in St. Louis, Bill handed over the fellowship to the members. But because of the man he was, a normal life was never close. He had his issues and problems. He suffered from depression and was close to many women in his life, including Lois his wife of more than fifty years.
The film documented the formation of A.A. out of the suffering of a handful of men who came together after their “spiritual experiences” to form the beginnings of A.A. We saw how the book came together, how the Steps and How it works came to be and finally the traditions, through the vehicle of the well known publication “The Grapevine” our meeting in print.
Bill used the Grapevine in its infancy to write his pieces on what he was thinking while he was writing the book Alcoholics Anonymous. The Steps keep us in line. Where as the Traditions keep the groups in line. Bill, working from the Oxford Group steps which were few, sat on his bed one night and wrote out the steps on a steno pad, coming up with the round number of 12. A providential number in Christian and sacred texts of other religions.
A.A. has changed the face of alcoholism and is found in hundreds of countries around the world and has been translated into many, many languages. Who knew that this little movement would save millions of people from a fate worse than death, the disease of alcoholism, the suffering Body, Mind and Spirit.
Some call Bill a genius, and he was just that. Many of us would not be here if not for the tireless work of those who came before us.
Lots of gratitude tonight.
Where do we aim what we thirst for ???
This question plagues the suffering alcoholic. Because we all thirst, for one thing or another. A drink, A drug, An addiction. This question is not lost on me, once we get over the desire and thirst for a drink, we eventually will have an experience that tells us that there is a God, one way or another.
The most important part of the steps is: God as we understood Him.
This was the inclusive sentence that would help us all come and come to.
Thirst was a theme that I wrote about on my tenth anniversary, so much that my Tattoo in Hebrew, on my arms speaks “I Thirst…” Mother Teresa spoke of Thirst, the thirst of Jesus for our love and prayers. And the program speaks about our thirst – once we come to the end of our alcoholic thirst, we set our eyes upon something spiritual to maintain our sobriety for months, years, decades and so on.
Where do you aim what you thirst for?
What a busy week it has been. And it has only just begun. Our new group is meeting on Sunday afternoon to go over the specifics and odds and ends of putting together a brand new meeting from scratch. Exciting and Daunting.
Tomorrow will be a busy day for our folks. The Tuesday meeting is having a group conscience tomorrow morning with all their new members. This may prove to be quite a meeting of minds and attitudes. Thankfully I won’t be there.
Saturday evening the community of sober Montreal will meet at Victoria Hall for fellowship and food and to meet trustees from New York City who will be speaking prior to the screening of “Bill W.” a documentary. It is a sold out event. There will be more than 200 folks showing up – which is always exciting.
Tonight we headed up the plateau for North End English. A new man is in the chair this month so we went to support him and to see the others who come. I am liking this meeting because there is open and honest discussion on the topic from the book we are reading, “As Bill Sees It.”
” Even so, when making specific requests, it will be well to add to each one of them this qualification: … if it be thy will.” A.B.S.I.#329
We spoke about prayer and we spoke about God. We heard good things from folks who have been waiting and trusting in God in their lives, and it was all good news. When we let go and trust, God seems to move vividly.
And some, even with time, are having a hard time navigating the “time of transition or down time.” The question, “What the fuck does God want from me came up…”
One of our men is on his way to finding a concept of God that works for him. It is a grace to witness someone coming to find their “god” small g. Because not a lot of people trust “God” Big G. But the process of coming to believe is one of grace and love. And what we heard tonight from him was this …
If I go within, and find that quiet place, where everything is good, and the feeling is good, and I contact “someone” and it is good, then it is good for me. It may not be God at the moment, but he is frustrated at fighting this “good.” But he has realized that there is “good.” And what is God, if he isn’t good ???
Many of us have come to realize that we don’t ask for things directly. It seems the direct route is harder to accomplish rather than thy will be done. In Catholic circles they say that if you wish anything of God, that you take the back door route and ask Mary to intervene on our behalf. Mary gets things done.
But you can’t offer that kind of advice at a meeting. With people having trouble with the God word, what are they going to do with Mary to boot ?
In my life, I’ve found that making plans, in the long run, is pointless. I have done this in the past, made lists and expected things prematurely, when in reality God had other plans. And with this I would get resentful and angry because I expect. And you know what happens when we expect !!!
I try to stay in my day today. To say my prayers and to turn it over and trust that God knows what he is doing. I kind of like, flying by the seat of my pants, not knowing all the answers, or know what is coming or how things are going to go.
It was a good night. Lots of friends and a little gratitude.
Always try to end your day saying Thank You and having a little Gratitude.
Thursday has come and almost gone. Things are moving ahead on our new meeting. We are gathering on Sunday to talk over the specifics and to contribute to the needs of the group. We need a coffee pot, We need a cabinet to store our things in. Both these items may run us $50.00 or more. People are moving here in the city and we may be able to pick up some things on the cheap.
This evening I met with a couple of friends for a meal and fellowship before the meeting, and we just squeaked in under the wire at the meeting itself, as the readings were going on. Thankfully there were seat available to sit in up front.
Our speaker had a good share. Some take away points:
- If you pull a geographic to change your surroundings when you drink, where ever you go – there you are.
- The journey into hell can take two shapes, short and fiery, or long and painful, which route did you take?
- Alcoholism is a bastard of a disease. Cunning, Baffling, Powerful and Patient.
- We should have had an idea in teen years the extent to which we would become alcoholics, but many of us missed that cue.
It doesn’t matter where you go in the world to escape your alcoholism, because beer and wine taste the same where ever you go. It may be exotic at first, but the effects and disaster of the drink is the same.
Sobriety is so very important, because it is mental, physical and spiritual. You have to cultivate sobriety and care for yourself. Once we get past the mental obsession, we maintain spirituality and the physical body for ever.
It was good to spend time with new friends just joking around and talking. I don’t have many friends who I gather with aside from meetings.
Just a little gratitude.
That is all…
More to come, stay tuned…
It was a busy day today. I was up early today to go meet with a friend to go ask for time and space at St. Leon’s for a new meeting that is starting up the beginning of May.
We have a history with the church having been members of Tuesday Beginner’s and Sunday Nighter’s, so that was in our favor. The new meeting will take place on Thursday Nights at St. Leon’s Church at 7 p.m. and will be called Changing Attitudes. The meeting will be a men’s only meeting.
This comes in response to the feminization of Tuesday Beginner’s from what it once was. And this is not a slight on the women there, but the men feel that they need a new meeting for themselves.
Since I am a key holder it falls to me to open and close.
I’ve been searching the internet for cabinets to put our stuff in, back in the store room. I have found a couple on Kajiji and they are local. That will run us $50 to $60.00 and a coffee pot is gonna run us somewhere in the range of $50.00 plus coffee, supplies and cups.
I have written out a rough draft of our meeting notes and steps, traditions and promises, since they are staple readings.
We are meeting over the weekend to gather the troops to pony up the rent money for our first months rent which is $100.00 split among the founders shouldn’t be a problem.
My sponsors advice is that “If the meeting is meant to be, God will provide.”
The stars are in alignment for the moment, and that is a good thing.
We need to update the blue sheets – they are only published every other month now. So word of mouth will be helpful for the moment.
More to come, soon. Stay tuned …
Courtesy: BBC News Europe Online
Pope Francis has delivered a passionate plea for peace in his first Easter Sunday message since being elected.
Francis used his “Urbi et Orbi” address to call for peace in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and across the globe.
He singled out “dear Syria”, saying: “How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution is found?”
Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar and pilgrims have attended church across the world.
‘Divided by greed’
Pope Francis, formerly Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected on 13 March, becoming the first non-European pope for almost 1,300 years.
He replaced Benedict XVI, who held the office for eight years and became the first pontiff in more than 700 years to resign, saying he no longer had the physical strength to continue.
In his Urbi et Orbi (To the city and the world) speech, Pope Francis began with a simple “Happy Easter!”
The 76-year-old Pope, who has begun his tenure by emphasising humility, went on: “Christ has risen! What a joy it is for me to announce this message… I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons.”
Later in his speech, Pope Francis said: “We ask the risen Jesus, who turns death into life, to change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace.”
The Pope then mentioned troubled regions of the world in turn
“Peace for the Middle East, and particularly between Israelis and Palestinians, who struggle to find the road of agreement, that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long.
“Peace in Iraq, that every act of violence may end, and above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict and for the many refugees who await help and comfort.”
For Africa, the Pope referred to Mali, Nigeria – “where attacks sadly continue” – the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
He added: “Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow.”
Pope Francis concluded by saying: “Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this 21st Century.”
BBC Rome correspondent, Alan Johnston, says the Pope has reinforced his image as a man of simple, down-to-earth tastes, not wearing the more ostentatious of papal costumes and, for the moment, not moving into the grandiose papal apartments.
One pilgrim in Rome on Sunday, Briton Tina Hughes, said that Francis represented a “new beginning”.
“I think he brings something special. He connects with people. I feel good about him,” she told Reuters.
In the days before Easter, the Pope had reached out to women and Muslims.
During a Holy Thursday Mass at a youth detention centre he washed and kissed the feet of 12 people, including two girls and two Muslims, and in a Good Friday procession referred to the “friendship of our Muslim brothers and sisters” in the Middle East.
But our correspondent says that, after Easter, the Pope will have to begin tackling the key issues facing the Catholic Church, such as reforming a Vatican bureaucracy riven by infighting and allegations of corruption, and tackling the issue of clerical sexual abuse.
Vatican watchers will also be keeping a keen eye on new appointments to key positions.
In his Easter homily, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, invited the Pope to visit.
The patriarch, the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, also urged the international community to take “concrete and effective decisions to find a balanced and just solution for the Palestinian cause, which lies at the heart of all the Middle East’s troubles”.