We thought that the weather was going to get better, tonight, it snowed. It was cloudy when we started the meeting, and there was inches of snow on the ground when we left. Tomorrow’s hopeful positive digit temp, has been brought down to a solid zero (0c) tonight.
As of late, children have been in the news, and not for good reasons.
In What the Fuck News …
The first case, a mother was convicted because she poisoned her son with salt, that eventually killed him, all the while she was blogging about his illness, prior to his death …
A second case involves a Muslim mother, (we know this because proceedings are having to be translated into Arabic) she beat and starved her two twin daughters to death. A gruesome story, and the other day the judge stopped proceedings to ask the mother Why did you do that ???
I mean, WHAT THE FUCK OF IT ALL ???
A third story involves “Free Range” parenting … Two small children, were allowed to walk to the neighborhood park by themselves. Because the parents practice “free range parenting.”
The police were called and the children returned home and six police cars followed, with C.P.S service workers to indict the parents for child neglect… Meanwhile, the kids are playing outside in the yard, unsupervised, and the neighbors are going MADDDDDDD ….
I’ll tell you a secret story about children …
When I was in grade school, we used to be bused to daycare after school, my brother and I. We did that for a long time, but at one point, I was like, NO MORE DAYCARE … In those days we had private bus service with door to door transport for our neighborhood.
I forced the driver, to take us home, instead of day care. I was probably not more than ten. This was in the 1970’s in Miami. After that day, my parents gave me a copy of the house key, and from that point on, both my brother and myself went home after school, forever more. Nobody noticed. Well, the spinster lesbian couple across the street knew we were there alone, and minded us if need be.
Nobody blinked an eye, there was no C.P.S issues. Who would you call (back then) to report two small kinds home alone for a few hours, until their parents got home from work? I learned responsibility, I took care of the house, I cleaned, I cooked, (we got our first microwave oven) that was a bit of excitement.
I understand the safety issues of allowing children to navigate neighborhood streets alone, in today’s day and age. There are too many perverts, and sickos on the street and you never know who is going to harass, or kidnap and kill your children if you don’t have eyes/hands on them 24 – 7 …
Let’s just leash them and let them wander around the yard aimlessly, or keep them locked in the house or at some day care center where someone can watch them while the parents can’t !
It is not the same world I grew up in … sadly !!!
I just had to get that off my chest …
I’m better now
So it snowed. We sat a good group. We finished Bill’s Story, via Joe and Charlie.
This is important, why?
I’ve spent thirteen years reading the Big Book, over and over and over. I worked my steps several times and I am in them right now. Last year, our Sunday night group, finished a cover to cover read through the book as well. That took more than a year of Sundays.
There are meetings all over the world, and I know that many meetings use the book as source.
You could go from reading the book, to reading a chapter, to reading a page, reading a paragraph, and finally, reading a sentence. Each chapter/paragraph/word leads into the next in a specific way. Each chapter has its job, to tell you something certain, factual. Which leads into the next chapter, which tells you something certain and factual, so forth and so on.
You could parse down to sentences and words.
For the last year, I have had the honor of working with sponsees. Each of them see me weekly, for a chat/read/discussion. Over the past year, I’m reading the book four times, at the same time, with four guys. Separately.
Like I said I’ve read the book. But it wasn’t until I read it with a sponsee, that words began to jump off the page at me as we read together. I saw things, and realized things, that I had not, in the past. I’m fairly certain, that after spending years reading the book myself, with others (in a group setting), I learned something. So that wisdom was in my brain,
The first section of the book hasn’t changed in over seventy five years, so after so many years, we should have been able to memorize the front of the book. I do know certain sections by rote. And I know the rest of the read, because I’ve read it so many times now.
Nothing will guarantee us sobriety, like working with another alcoholic.
I mean, that’s how it works, doesn’t it?
I am working with a new guy and he is concerned that I should be getting paid for what I am doing in the meeting, and in working with him. I don’t think I explained how that works very well. Someone has to get paid for working with others, he asked ? I gave him his Big Book, and stuff to read, on the side, (we give books to newbies) better they go home with someone, rather than sit in the box collecting dust.
Tonight we heard Joe and Charlie talk about these insights from the book, in the chapter called, “Bill’s Story.” The steps hadn’t been written yet, as the book had not been thought of when Bill got sober in the beginning. But in writing Bill’s Story, the steps are written out. He tells us the steps he took to get sober. Those steps originated in Ebbie’s witness of the Oxford Group, Ebbie told Bill about getting sober himself, and they worked through the One, Two, Three Shuffle.
Bill wasn’t having any of that Religion Shit.
But he came around when ( in squiggly writing ) the book says, “Well why don’t you find a concept of your own ?” With that statement, Bill got on board. He then tells us how he saw, and understood the rest of Oxford’s Steps and how he turned their short list of proposals, into the twelve steps as we have them today.
Funny how Bill negated all that religious shit, when he got sober, but as he sat writing the book, he had religious men, who were advising him on spiritual matters.
And that’s the God’s Honest Truth.
There are those issues that split many people along fracture lines.
The concept of God is problematic. God is problematic. So find your own, but there lies the contradiction between the Big Book, and As Bill Sees It.
It reads: “You can find a concept of your own, whatever works for you is good, then the reading goes on to say, all that is well and good, but in the end it always comes back around to God.”
Well, fuck me sideways on Tuesday !!!
When we get sober, we get new hearts, new eyes, new livers, and new lives. The longer you stick around you get to polish the temple of God we inhabit and so on. The longer you stick around, the more we learn, and that knowledge comes to bear when we sit down with another alcoholic, and do The Work together.
It can be that good !!!
More to come, stay tuned …
It got warmer. Much warmer. Last night, we sunk to a new low of minus -32c, overnight.
It was so cold, that the water distribution system in Montreal, is frozen. In many places, pipes burst, and the frost is so deep, and the snow is so packed, and it is so cold, that city workers cannot keep up with trying to fix all those pipes. Many families in the city have been without running water for almost a week now. And with no fix coming soon, you would understand them getting very testy about now.
Lows this week will range in the mid teens, and daytime temps will run in the single minus digits. Which is a hell of a lot better than it has been these past two weeks. Mother Nature, it seems, just wants to fuck us all over a bit more, before it gets warmer. And warm cannot get here sooner.
Workers are doing all they can, but thawing pipes and fixing broken water mains, are a long term problem with no easy or quick solution. Not to mention, most of Montreal’s water distribution system is hundreds of years old, as it stands, and seriously needs an overhaul, sooner than later. And that brings with it the fact that there is not enough money in the coffers, not enough man power, and the people’s willingness to deal with massive construction ending up with traffic jams, closed roads, and a nightmare, that is playing out as we speak in several areas in the city.
Just as one large pipe is replaced and fixed, the traffic headaches that result from that work, is unacceptable by Montrealers. They need the work, and spend twice the time grumbling about traffic.
But we need this work and there is no good time to tear up roads and lots to replace infrastructure because people who use those roads and lots can’t. It is a never ending nightmare.
It has been an early start to the days, and tomorrow is my last early morning for this month.
Today I was up early, did some surfing, went back to bed, got up, did some more surfing and went back to bed, only to get up an hour later for good and had plenty of time to prepare to go out. I did get ready early, and I was You Tubing for a while, and at 4 o’clock I was like, “ok, I got to go now!” I suited up and layered appropriately and made it to the Metro.
I made my transit nicely. And got to the church and cranked it out and then I looked at my phone to see what time it was, and it was twenty to five. I had, left really early, and arrived really early, I had packed a book to read, in any case. The church lady came to see who was upstairs early, it was me, and we had a laugh together.
It was just a funny afternoon.
We sat a good number. Old timers, newbies, and several in between. We are in week 8 of Joe and Charlie, and today we listened to the first part of their discussion of Bill’s Story. It was a long episode.
When the First Edition of the Big Book was published, the first 164 pages, they were written and have never been changed to this day. Yet the First Edition, was targeted at very low bottoms, because that’s what you had in the 20’s and 30’s.
Over four publications, the stories have been changed, updated, some added, some taken out. In the fourth edition, you find a cross section of stories, that range from deep bottoms, to high bottoms. A little bit for everybody.
**** It is Wednesday right now, as I finish this post ****
Last night, I took the train home and got here and unloaded, and changed out and literally, as I sat down at my desk, my phone rang. Having a nest of pigeons, is a full time job. But I would not have it any other way right now. The calls lasted until dinner time, then, I was off to bed because I had to be up with the birdies this morning.
So, getting back to my story now …
Bill’s story is a complex story. And I’ve read it many times. But recently, I was reading it with one of my guys and stuff was jumping off the page. If you go back and read, you will indeed realize that steps are written into the story. Steps that had not yet been written by Bill, yet he takes you through them in his way.
He had a career that was going well, until alcohol was introduced to him. Then everything went South. After several drinking bouts, hospital stays, and sobering up, he met Dr. Silkworth. It was then that the light went on for him and he got sober.
Imagine, back then, he was alone in a world that did not have meetings nor fellowship. In order to stay sober, he had to find someone else to share his story with. We really have it good today. We have meetings, we have each other and we have the books to read.
Bill had to hit rock bottom and experience, Pitiful Incomprehensible Demoralization in order to finally “get it” and get sober. Thus the fellowship began to grow, one or two at a time, and not all succeeded, but eventually, they counted 100 folks sober in the fellowship.
I’ve twice hit that pitiful state. I don’t necessarily remember, at the moment, if I actually thought about drinking, when I drank. I was more apt to “follow the leader” and do what they did, because in 2001, times were tough. Tragedy was all around us, and the best escape was the bottle.
When I finally gave up, I was done. Finished. It was pretty bad, that my drinking had gotten so out of hand, incomprehensible. And I know, when I hit my first meeting, I was demoralized. I was ashamed of myself, and I certainly could not look myself in the mirror without cringing.
Once I got connected, it all became clear. I was told what to do, I realized what I wanted to do, what was in my best interest, and I did those things. And here we are, 13 plus years later.
I am living my best life. I am doing what I love. I might not be rich. But I have everything I need.
I work with my guys, daily. I call my sponsor, daily. And that is good.
I’ve seen hell several times. I don’t ever want to go back there.
My first guy takes his One Year Cake on Saturday night, and I could not be more proud of him.
Gratitude. Lots of Gratitude.
More to come, stay tuned…