Monday – One Gift of Sobriety – We Can Laugh About it Now !!
It is the night after the First Night of the New Year 2017. I was terribly upset when, after an inquiry about our year end reports, to hear that Word Press decided not to produce them this year.
Today the holidays end. Everybody goes back to work tomorrow, and I get my house back. Having another soul sharing the same footprint for two weeks, is trying…
My friend Juan and I hit the Monday Big Book Meeting down the hill. And we were all glad to see that our hearty band of men and women survived the holidays clean and sober.
Tonight’s fare: The House wife who drank at home.
I had to hide, as a great many people in A.A. have had to do. I did my hiding in the hampers and in my dresser drawers. When we begin to do things like that with alcohol, something’s gone wrong. I needed it, and I knew I was drinking too much, but I wasn’t conscious of the fact that I should STOP. I kept on.
My home at that time was a place to mill around in. I wandered from room to room, THINKING, DRINKING, DRINKING, THINKING. And the mops would come out, the vacuum would come out, everything would come out, but nothing would get done.
Toward five o’clock, HELTER-SKELTER, I’d get everything put away and try to get supper on the table, and after supper I’d finish the job up and knock myself out.
I never knew which came first, the thinking or the drinking. If I could only stop thinking, I wouldn’t drink. If I could only stop drinking, maybe I wouldn’t think. But they were all mixed up together, and I was all mixed up inside.
And YET I had to have that drink…
This was my portion of the read this evening. Reading this passage soberly, with the appropriate emphases, speech and tone, we all laughed at the insanity.
It may not have been funny at all, when we were hiding bottles and drinking and thinking and being all over the map when it came to feelings, only to finally realize that we sat in the middle of the balance …
I can’t live with alcohol and I can’t live without it …
I just have to have that One Last Drink …
Coming to the rooms, in the very beginning, was no laughing matter for many of us. I know for me, it was One Very Long Slog the second time. I was shot to death. I was a sad human being, it was definitely NOT a laughing matter.
How can we laugh at someone’s misfortunes when it came to alcohol ?
Well, stop drinking, and come to the rooms. In time, as we read the Big Book, read, and re-read it again, and again, we realize just how bad it was, and with some sober time under our belts, how good it really is now.
Tonight, we all laughed. As was mentioned by some of our folks.
But the laughter, was tempered, by the fact that, some of our number have lost family over the holidays, and that it was not all shits and giggles for some. And we knew that.
But you know, they got through it, with us, Together. They were not, and are not alone.
It is the New Year. And there are those out there, who muddled through the holidays, spitting and sputtering. And there will be those who have realized that they cannot go on the way they have been carrying on, for how ever long the slog has been for them.
Numbers will bump over the next month.
- For those who think they drink too much
- For those who have decided to cut back and come in, but not to stay
- For those who KNOW for sure, they drink too much
- And those who come in via the courts
We who are in it to win it, will listen to people tell their stories and just how insane it was for them, and how they just need to get a handle on their drinking, and they will be good, and they can go back to their lives … and drink again.
The odds are not good, in the month of January, for those who come in and may not, or will not stay. They just need a place to DRY OUT for a bit.
In reading this story, our house wife speaks of SURRENDER…
I went to closed meetings and open meetings. And I took everything that A.A. had to give me. Easy does it, first things first, one day at a time. It was at that point that I reached SURRENDER. I heard one very ill woman say that she didn’t believe in the surrender part of the A.A. program. My Heavens !!!
Surrender to me has meant the ability to run my home, to face my responsibilities as they should be faced, to take life as it comes to me day by day and work my problems out. That’s what SURRENDER has meant to me.
I surrendered once to the bottle, and I couldn’t do these things. Since I gave my will over to A.A., whatever A.A. has wanted of me I’ve tried to do to the best of my ability…
A.A. gives us alcoholics DIRECTION into a way of life WITHOUT the need for ALCOHOL. That life for me is lived one day at a time, letting the problems of the future rest with the future. When the time comes to solve them, God will give me strength for that day.
My grandfather was a bottle hider, as was our house wife tonight. I identified with her story, because I had met her, early on in my life, She was my Grandfather.
My father did not hide bottles. He had a liquor cabinet and a rolling stock bar. He did not hide anything. He drank in open company. The more the better. My parent’s always encouraged us to DRINK. And drink at home, they would even supply the alcohol, no questions asked.
For me, I never kept alcohol at home. I never bought it at a liquor store. I had to go out to get it. That was the adventure. The Going out to Get It.
When I realized that I could not drink every day any longer, I became a BINGE drinker.
In my mid thirties, deluded still, in the belief that if I drank enough, someone would notice me. After the first drink, all bets were off.
In the end, I would have that first drink, and be totally smashed. Several more drinks would follow, and finally, I would go from the club to waking up in my bed, through two locked doors, after someone rushed me out of the club, into a taxi, and got me home.
To this day, I do not know who performed that chore every Saturday night, that I went out to BINGE.
But I am grateful for whomever it was, because this could have ended very badly, someone UP THERE was paying attention, and did for me what I could not do for myself.
You Don’t have to ever drink again.
There IS a SOLUTION.
The rooms await, with people in them, there to welcome you and to be your friends.
One day at a time.