Is there life after the drink? wait for it …
They say it is gonna rain. However I made my trip out and back without issue. But it was rather humid and a little sweaty … We are under a severe thunderstorm watch this evening.
It was a regular Tuesday night, all my friends were accounted for at the meeting, and the chair was out of town, a friend stepped up to chair, and he handed me the Big Book and asked me to find a topic for the evening.
Since we are reading from the book at another meeting, and over the last month, the same topics have been given to discuss, I was tiring of hearing the same lines over and over, (although some would say that we need that repetition to get it in our heads), I chose to go with something hopeful and encouraging.
“We have shown how to get out from under. You say, “Yes, I’m willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?”
Yes, There is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in A.A. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.
“How is that to come about?” you ask. “Where am I to find these people?”
You are going to meet these new friends in your own community. Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are the future fellows a A.A.
Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey.
Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of:
“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
*** *** *** ***
This was an interesting topic. Because it elicited a good amount of silence around the table. It is difficult for our newcomers to be given such hope so early. They are still getting used to coming, and learning and doing and learning how to “BE.” To become a human being instead of a human doing.
We’ve discussed over and over ad nauseum the problem, the solution, the problem and the solution. I thought it would be good to hear a major promise …
“The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead…”
That is a major promise. And we get it inside the first 164 pages of the book, in the lead up to the Vision for You statement.
We read previous to this passage on pages 152-153 that “he cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping off place. He will wish for the end…
Going from the insanity of the drink and life being in the tank, to the hope of finding out about the problem and finding the solution, and then learning that the best years are to come is massive in the life of the hopeless and downtrodden.
We are learning how to live within the book, because within those pages is hope and identity. Over the past few weeks the roller coaster has been running at full speed and I have been challenged like no other time in my relationship. Enough that I almost ended it. Save for wisdom from meetings and friends.
I have to hang on to the hope that the most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. I have to stay out of my head and keep the hamster off the wheel, because if I engage in insane thinking, insanity ensues, I will go crazy.
This is what happens when you try to get sober for two instead of one. UGH !!!
It was a good day. We are all hopeful.
More to come, stay tuned …