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Sunday Sundries … Equinox

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Courtesy: Freshie

Overnight the rain came – in stops and starts. But today was the equinox and summer turned to fall. And it felt a little fall. I noticed that in the church yard, the leaves are falling from the trees, green … They haven’t begin to change and they are already falling.

It was a big day today for our fellow set up girl. I arrived and she was waiting for me to help set up, but more on her mind was the fact that today she was getting her first year chip.

It has been an uphill slog for her. In the beginning she was reticent and very angry and it took time for her to warm to the meetings. And it took many months for her to find her place, as in, a home group, and still to this day, she sometimes can’t find her voice. But today was not one of them.

An entire posse of women came to celebrate with her. They made cupcakes and brought cake which fed the crowd at the end of the meeting.

We are working our way through the first set of stories in the back of the Big Book, and today we read from “Our Southern Friend.” The room was packed so we did not get very far, in order to allow everyone to share.

There were many take away’s from the short portion we read from, a sad story, written a long time ago, it isn’t a pretty story, written in stiltish language.

At one point our writer is sitting an exam he can barely get through because he is hung over and needs a pick me up to complete the task. And the story goes on from there and only gets worse until he admits that “No, I can’t go on like this …”

A poignant episode in my life takes place early on in my drinking career, I was still in High School, and even then, I had the gene …

Every student dreads the S.A.T. test. Having to take it once is a challenge, and twice is torture, and three times is just plain wrong … It fell on us, back then, that we took that test three times during our high school careers. Because it was the almighty S.A.T. score that would get us into the right college.

College … there weren’t many choices for us in Florida, unless you had deep pockets and were able to travel, alas, those choices were not mine. So by the third pass at the test, I was over it before it even began.

The night before the test – my friends and I – a whole group of us drank. I drank until I could not stand up – in fact I was falling down drunk. You could say that even then, I was a true alcoholic. But nobody cautioned me to stop.

The next morning I was green. And hung.

My test site was in the library, which was in the biology wing, that also housed bathrooms and the varsity gym. Each section is timed. And the clock would start and I would run to the bathroom and heave. Hoping to return to the test and complete each section accordingly.

In the end, it was my best showing, score wise.

I was still an alcoholic.

What would my life had looked like if I had gotten sober that far back in my life? I will never know, because the disease took its toll on me and I had to walk this journey to get where I am today. A good friend of mine is coming home from Tokyo for a few days and will celebrate 14 years very soon. He was just a boy when he came in and now he is a man with a life and career.

Not many young people make it in so early and get the gift.

Most of us have to suffer into adulthood before we realize that we are licked and we need help. Which is why we still keep going to meetings, even after years and years. Because if we forget, we are destined to return to the hell that alcoholism is.

There was cake, and lots of conversation. On the way home, it was cooler than I had expected and for the first time this season, I grabbed my toque out of my bag and wore it home.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …

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