“The Work …” Courtesy of The Atlantic Group NYC
Courtesy: Tyler Oakley
O.M.G. I am SPENT !!! Spent I tell you…
This weekend Dorval hosted the 40th Annual West Island Roundup. And our guests came from New York City, and the Gigantic – Atlantic Group of New York City.
They have meetings SEVEN nights a week, and the most anticipated meeting of the week brings out 600, yes that’s SIX HUNDRED people for a meeting.
Imagine a meeting that size here. I don’t think there is a hall open in our city that would hold that many people. HUGE !!!
The theme of the speakers was “The Work.”
You have to Do the Work. In order to be happy, joyous and free, you need to do “the work.” It was a similar message from all our speakers.
Last night, Saturday, we heard from the Founder of the Atlantic Group.
Today we heard from similar group members.
This morning our first speaker right out of the gate got up there and knocked it out of the park. Once that meeting was finished, the copies of his talk went up in smoke. They could not keep up with demand. And by the end of the day they took payment, addresses and told us that they would send us the talk, for those of us who bought ALL of the talks for the weekend.
Our guy got up there and extolled the virtues of “the work” and how it changed his life, from the life he was stuck in, using, abusing and hurting the ones who loved him, not to mention himself. That group is known for its bent on unapologetic Big Book Thumping.
The message here: Don’t waste your time with folks who don’t want it, because there is always someone in the wings waiting for you to work with them.
The odds of success are slim from the start. The percentages are not good. 1%
That only should embolden you to get up from your seat, get a book, and find someone to walk you through it.
Later on this morning we heard from an Al-Anon speaker.
And then they served everyone lunch from Scores restaurant. The place was packed for today’s events.
After lunch we got a One Two Punch by a couple who met in the Atlantic Group and later got married. We got to hear how a long sober couple works together in love and how they work with others.
Us alcoholics suffer from a hopeless malady of the body, mind and spirit.
And the way out of that misery and malady is through the solution that is laid out in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.
I spent the entire weekend with my friends. The people I love the most. The people who give to my life those things that nobody else can give me.
And a year to the date, exactly, I got to share this weekend with my guys. We listened, we chatted, we broke bread, and we discussed.
It is my hope that this weekend made some kind of impression on them that they can take into their lives and their respective sobrieties.
A year ago, I attended my first round up and it turned my world upside down. And I started doing “the work,” truthfully, I had a sponsor that was a hands off kind of sponsor, who really didn’t do “the work.” So I began to move away.
I changed up my meetings, I practiced my prayers for a year. I read the book. I participated in the lives of newbies for months. That is how I began “the work.”
I practiced until God put a new sponsor into my life. And after that my life changed again.
After 12 or so years, two men stepped into my life, and I got the opportunity to start “The Work” with them. Nothing makes sobriety more important or special that having someone to work with. Because they keep me on my toes. I must now do “The Work.” I must have a sponsor who does “The Work.”
I am, what they call, SANDWICHED…
I have a grand sponsor, I have a sponsor, I have myself, and I have my guys.
Not to mention all the others I work with or I am friends with. All those folks who come to my meetings, that I see every week. Meetings are important.
But more importantly, the guy who opens the door, sets up, makes coffee, welcomes guests, reads, shares, discusses, and then cleans up afterwards.
If there is no one there to do “The Work,” If there is no one to welcome the newcomer, then how would we survive? How would they survive without us?
Thankless jobs, but so vitally important. I have done that for the whole of my sobriety. Week in and week out. Month by month, year by year.
It is unrelenting work.
And in the end it all comes down to gratitude. Because I am only carrying on “the Work” that was shown to me by those who did “the work” before me.
And this weekend, I got to spend time with the one woman who welcomed me to my first meeting at the home group I began here in the city. She lives far away now and I don’t get to see her very often, so that was a treat.
It was a great weekend. And my batteries are charged. And so commences “The Work” that will carry us for the next year.
It was a great investment of time, talent and treasure for my guys.
And to close I got an email from the member who drove them out and took them home all weekend. saying how impressed she was with my guys’ kindness.
A great weekend was had by all.
IT IS TIME TO DO “THE WORK !”
Let us begin anew.
More to come, I am sure…