Tuesday … Ending Self Criticism
Today it was “Warm.” Warmer than it has been in as many days. This week will see single positive digits, and beginning next week, we will hit double positive digit temps.
I was out early to meet my sponsor at the church. And thankfully the trains were all running on time. I hit my appointment right on. Tonight we went over my Step Three homework and then said our prayer. Step four, I am told, or the “approach” to step four, is all about life, 46 years of it. Starting at the beginning and working my way up to the present, on an every other day schedule, looking at feelings and emotions that I experienced as early as I can peg them.
Today was a BIG day. Our little beginners meeting is Three Years Old.
You know what they say about meetings, right? All it takes is a resentment and a coffee pot and you too can open a meeting. And that is exactly how this meeting was started.
A long time ago, our Tuesday Beginners was a 2 meeting (meeting).
An early discussion and a later Speaker. But at one point, we could not populate the second meeting any more. So keeping it open was a waste. So we decided amongst the members to cut down to a single discussion meeting.
Some of our fellows, (read: not members of the group) wanted a set of keys to host the later meeting themselves in the same space. Out trusted servant nixed that idea right from the get go.
And a RESENTMENT was born.
Those fellows took their grievance away, bought a 100 cup coffee urn and then opened a Beginner’s Meeting right up against the Tuesday Beginners meeting at 6:30 p.m. Just up the road. As if thinking that they would pull all our guests away to populate their own meeting.
That did not happen. Tuesday Beginners was for a time, a handful of members, until the girls from W.O.W. came. (Women of Wisdom). That meeting has numbers in the 40 to 50 guest on a Tuesday Night.
Only one member (my sponsor) is the remaining original member who helped to open our meeting. A while back, a handful of original founders copped new resentments because of attitudes and assholes, and moved on. Where I was a member of T.B.’s for 12 years, I moved to Vendome last year, to work with the young guys who were there. It is all a full circle moment.
Our meeting, has since moved from its original location, further into N.D.G. We have lost a good portion of our young people. I am hoping that Spring will bring our numbers back up. It’s not like we are in a dead end portion of town. There is a Metro at the top of the hill and a Metro at the bottom of the hill, and a bus that runs between them. That bus stops at our doorstep, so getting there is not an issue. People need to decide to come to our meeting.
We have a handful of members today. We usually sit 10 to 15 on any given Tuesday, tonight we more than doubled our guest numbers because of the anniversary. We had food and drink. We have a newbie in the chair for the month of April.
It seems our Blue Sheet announcement did what it was supposed to do.
People actually came.
The chair read from a Daily Reflection Book that was not an approved piece of A.A. literature, but for another fellowship. Nobody said a word about that. So we just went with it. It would have been rude to say something when the room was full of guests.
The topic was Ending Self Criticism.
I spoke to the story that when I was still drinking, I was under that delusion that the drink was going to magically make me 1. Younger, 2. buffer, and 3. prettier, because I wanted into a social grouping that I was way out of league for.
The drink was not working, and I would tell myself that something was wrong and that I needed to step it up and to work harder. I was pointedly CRAZY !
I got to the last drink. And blessedly, some time after I got sober, the club I drank in shut it doors for good. Jokingly I said that “the last great drunk had left the building so they had to shut down.” It wasn’t funny at all.
What I must have looked like and who took care to get me home when I did not know how I got there myself.
I beat myself up for about a month. I felt sorry for myself, I was ashamed. I really did not see myself in good light. Thankfully, the fellows who took me in DID. And the first night I faced my friends who had been sober when I went out, and were still sober, when I came back was a bitter pill to swallow.
You know those pitying looks … “oh there he is, look at him!” For a while it was all about me. Which is a big part of the disease of alcoholism.
Or should we call it “Allaboutmeism.”
The more often I can point that light from myself to others is the key to stay out of “allaboutmeism.” The more I work with others, work my steps and work for the betterment of my fellows and my sponsees, the less I have to think about myself.
All this is outlined in the ninth step promises.
In total there are 182 promises in the Big Book.
It was a good night. People came and for that we are all grateful.
More to come, stay tuned …