Fending off Loneliness …
It has been a blustery couple of days. Yesterday is was quite windy, because we could hear the wind howling through the window panes. This high up, when it gets windy, the windows shake in their frames. Last night it rained, but that did not last very long.
Today was quite cool. I bundled up before setting out this afternoon. I did some supermarket safari and made a couple of stops along the way, I cranked out set up and was finished before 5 o’clock.
I spent the down time with some cranking tunes, sitting outside watching people and cars go by the church. The majority of time my phone is a music player today was a busy afternoon with texts and calls coming and going.
We sat a full room. We added a couple more tables to the set up, now we sit 16 tables instead of 14. That’s 36 bodies around the table and 40 more on the outside ring. We were shy a full compliment due to some absences.
My sponsor has been on my ass about standing in the receiving line as a greeter, he came in and said that if I want what our women have I need to stand and greet at the door, so that is what I did tonight.
Once you come down the stairs into the church there is a receiving line of members to shake your hand and welcome you to the meeting.
A lot of the scuttle before and after the meetings as of late have been discussions about the Bill W. biography that is playing at Cinema Du Parc here in Montreal. My sponsor and I are going to see it tomorrow night.
We’ve heard a lot of comments about the movie, people with short time and people with long time sobriety were moved by the film. So we shall see tomorrow.
The chair chose a topic from Living Sober and “Fending off Loneliness.”
The quote that jumped off the page to me was this:
“Telling an A.A. group about himself, a fellow once said that being a drunk from his teen-age years to his forties (myself into my thirties) was a full time occupation, and he passed by most of the things North American males usually learn as they grow into young manhood.” pg.35
I was of the mind, growing up that alcohol was a social lubricant. That, as I was told, the drink would help me “Fit In.” That in order to be social in the gay world required assimilation, which in my case involved, tans, liquor, muscles and egos to match all those parts.
I didn’t really subscribe to the ego portion of the equation, because all that drinking did nothing for my ego but to rip it to shreds because I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag, when I drank.
My slip took me from the end of my twenties into my mid thirties. And I remained woefully ignorant of what really mattered. I was talking to a member before the meeting – she was familiar with South Beach – I told her that when I quit drinking, the club I did my drinking in, shut its doors. How convenient…
I’ve written about this before. There was no choice for me at the time I had my last drink. I was finished. Resigned to the fact that I would never fit into “gay, gym bunny, pretty pretty, society.”
I had outgrown my pants and my twenties. Hanging on to what had passed was over. It was time to buckle my belt and accept the decision to grow up. And that is what I did.
Getting sober right before the holidays was a challenge. Because how could you live through the holidays and NOT take a drink? Thank God for Sober on South Beach. My fellows – who were there to welcome me – kept me occupied every night – going to meetings, fellowship and meals every day. I did not have to be alone, I had someone to break bread with, and we had fellowship at folk’s homes on Christmas and New Years.
My friends kept me sane and sober. They did for me what I could not do for myself, and now I can think back on it and see God’s Grace in Action.
I came here and I networked. I went to meetings, sometimes three a day. Every day for more than a year. I got into aftercare, so I would not be alone. Thank God for my after care adviser. She took good care of me. We talked every day, the office fed us, gave us a place to “be” they hosted meetings and helped us stay clean and sober. That was a good start. I was never alone …
And when you walk in the door and down the stairs, You are Not Alone Any More. You may come in and roll your eye and find if off-putting that someone would offer their phone number or ask for yours in return…
The old timers would tell you to Keep Coming Back…
The book says “I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through (the Big Book) and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.”
William D. Silkworth, M.D.
It was a good night.
Tomorrow the sun will rise and it will be glorious.