It was a beautiful day, albeit a little steamy. Everyone was prepared for rain, that has not materialized yet tonight. Today is the first day of Summer, and it is also the longest DAY of the year.
I had a long discussion before the meeting with one of my friends about family, dogma, resentments and anger. And we both agreed that it takes a pretty good amount of energy to live with these issues in our everyday lives.
I wonder what it takes to tap that kind of negative energy and from what well it comes from and how some people can live that way and be fruitful and productive.
I don’t have that kind of spare energy to devote to those kinds of things. I need all the energy I can get just to live my life as freely as I do today.
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We sat a full house. Our men and women are engaged in step work, which is a very good thing for them and for us.
Today we read “Fired Again.” This particular story happens in the early teens and twenties, well before the conception of the fellowship. And one thinks, how did these people get better when help was still a ways away.
So the story, as it happened, fell before Dr. Bob and Bill were introduced, yet this story comes from the First Edition, which means, that our man, in this story, was introduced to the good doctor at some point in his life, and finds the solution.
Family alcoholism is not a new concept. This problem, for me, can be traced back, three generations. By the time I came along, and my brother as well, alcohol was a major food group.
It was part and parcel of everyday living. My father always said that he would rather have his children drink at home, then going out to get it. And that was the line we were fed early on, when getting beer from a 7/11 was the routine.
Alcohol, for our writer was the constant, around which he tried to build a life, get a job, find a wife, get married and have children.
You could say this story wreaks of “All About Me.”
From a very young age, driven by the disease of alcoholism, he would get work, want to be the best and make the most money, and if he found out that someone was making more than he was, he would quit said job and go somewhere else.
This routine repeated over and over again. Later he would end up fired from several jobs in succession.
This is All About Me, You aren’t paying me enough, turning to, I can’t get by, I need to make money, I want a life, a wife and money, but I am hampered by unrealistic expectations, and the desire to drink is stronger than the desire to get along with my life.
Unsatisfied with the mere gratitude and satisfaction of just having a job during that period of time, and making some money, where ever he went, alcohol followed.
We read shades of self importance, arrogance, self centeredness, and resentful attitudes.
There was no pleasing this guy, given the times he was living in. You might say that some one barely getting by, living from hand to mouth, would be satisfied with just having enough.
Just enough wouldn’t fly for him, he had to have MORE.
The disease of MORE was alive and well, even during those days.
Not only MORE, but MORE on his terms, or no terms at all.
You play the game my way, with my rules, or I am taking my ball and going home.
It is apparent that for many years, our alcoholic man, was living in his insanity, expectations that were well outside his ability to reach, and a drive that ended in the hole, monetarily, personally, physically, morally and spiritually.
Throughout the story, our guy realizes at certain points, that the drink, might be the problem. So he moderates and for a bit, even stops drinking, on his terms, by himself.
Well, we know how that routine usually works out.
The next step is sanitariums and institutions. Which he does several trips through. He attempts the Three Day Cure, once, twice, three times, and a longer stint in detox.
But he fails and drinks again.
In the end, facing a very distraught wife, sullen children, severe debts, and nothing to show for his efforts at working, due to his superior expectations, comes full circle. Finally, his wife, hears about the good doctor, in turn she turns her husband on to him as well.
Our man has a moment of clarity when he writes … “If these men can get sober and live within the means of The Solution, then I can get sober as well.”
He could not do it on his own. Alcoholics, left to their own devices, don’t have snowballs chance in hell of staying sober, without help.
Some, in today’s day and age, would beg to differ, and argue that one can, using one of many techniques today’s world can offer.
It came down to the one tried and true route …
One alcoholic talking to another.
By the end of the story, our man is introduced to no less than twenty men who found the solution, by common identification, and got sober. These first men would be the integral, core founders, of the fellowship.
Alcoholism is rampant way back. And the more dire the situations, the stronger the desire to drink. The whole mystery of alcohol is alive and well, and the attainment of alcohol was the most important task of those early alcoholics.
These first stories run on that common theme. One alcoholic talking to another. That’s all they had, each other. Can you imagine what that must have been like? It was by grace that these folks got and stayed sober. If not for them, we would not be here.
Everything we have and everything we are, comes because of those first 100 men and women.
We are lost, if we forget the contributions of the first founders.
More to come, stay tuned …