Sunday Sundries … A.A. Number Three
And it was a scorcher today. It was sunny, and it was HOT ! They say it might rain, and as the week comes, temps will be dropping into SINGLE digits !!!
That’s what we want to see … cooler temps so the trees begin turning. However it may take some time into September for that. It is well worth the wait to see just how many trees turn this year. It was spotty last year and in years past, the conditions were just right.
As usual, I departed early to make some stops on the way, took the tunnel because of a/c and arrived early. We cranked out set up and sat outside for a while. And as is the norm, a 6:15 start usually means folks are still coming in the door close to 6:30 !
Tonight’s reading … Alcoholics Anonymous Number Three … Or better yet, “The man in the bed” pictured above. This is the quintessential image captured and displayed all over the world in A.A. offices and homes. Bill, Dr. Bob, And Number three – from Akron’s group #1.
I related a story about how the message was carried to me, on two occasions.
The first time, it was the mid nineties. I was working in a bar, and I was still drinking. But my drama of life was not to pick up for a few months. Alas, at some point, a Big Book made its way into my field of vision. Courtesy of the man who would later become my first sponsor. In essence, it was a newcomer that would carry the message whether I wanted it or not. And it came to “or not.”
I would ask about that “big Book” on the register, and the response was always the same; “When you are ready to know, I will tell you.” It took a year.
The second time was the year 2001. I had begun to pray for the end, because I just could not keep drinking, blacking out, and not remembering how I got home.
Once again, it was another newcomer that carried the message, in the guise of a young man who would come into my shop day after day and tell me that “he did not drink today!” It took some time, of congratulating him on not drinking every day, for me to fess up and tell him I needed a meeting and that essentially, I was an alcoholic on a really long slip. It was his anniversary that I made my second “first meeting.”
The story in the book moves quickly from the problem, into the solution.
“… One of the fellows, I think it was Doc, said, “Well you want to quit?” I said “Yes, Doc, I would like to quit, at least for five, six, or eight months, until I get things straightened up, and begin to get the respect of my wife and some other people back, and get my finances fixed up and so on.”
And they both laughed very heartily and said,
“That’s better than you’ve been doing, isn’t it?” Which of course was true.
They said. “We’ve got some bad news for you. It was bad news for us, and it will probably be bad news for you.
“Whether you quit six days, months or years, if you go out and take a drink or two, you’ll end up in this hospital tied down, just like you have been in these past six months.
You are an alcoholic.
As far as I know that was the first time I had ever paid attention to that word. I figured I was just a drunk. And they said, “No you have a disease, and it doesn’t make any difference how long you do without it, after a drink or two you’ll end up just like you are now.
Bill and Bob introduced our man to the 24 hour plan. That he only had to stay sober for twenty four hours at a time.
How many of us faced the same direction? And hearing the same words. “you are an alcoholic, we have a solution, You can quit, and take it One day at a time.
How long did it take us, on our respective journeys to listen to AND comprehend that this was a One Day At A Time program? How long did it take us to learn how to live, one day at a time?
Many people talked about cravings tonight. And others spoke about the insanity that ensues when they don’t get to a meeting regularly.
And one spoke of this insanity that was going on – as she was on the way to her cake (read: anniversary) soon.
After the meeting I spoke to our woman and told her about the “PRE-CAKE Roller coaster.
This phenomena is well documented in sober circles in the lives of newbies and also long timer sober folks. At the thirty day mark OUT from your upcoming anniversary or CAKE, life tends to get squirrely. The mind begins to race and insanity tends to pick up. And the drama of life picks up fast enough to possibly derail sobriety enough that we might just drink !!!
Hence, 30 days out, pick up your program, add a few extra meetings, get on with your sponsor and work with others. So that the pre-cake roller coaster, not take you out. Because this disease wants us dead.
They say that “while we are in meetings, alcoholism is out in the parking lot doing push ups, waiting for us…”
Nothing guarantees our sobriety like directly working with another alcoholic.
Tonight it was all about maintenance. I think most left with solutions and a little more gratitude.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned …