I love my collection of holiday photos. This particular image comes from my archives of old.
Yes, it is Halloween. And no, it didn’t snow, nor did it rain. Thankfully !!!
From end to end, there were hundreds of folks dressed up riding the rails to events all over the city. When I arrived at the church, which sits in a residential area, there were tons of kids trick or treating, Some of us sat outside watching and reminiscing about our days when we were kids.
There was a time, when I was much younger, that trick or treating began as soon as sundown occurred, and we walked for miles carrying king sized pillow cases full of candy, that supplied us with sugar, all the way until Easter the following year. Some of those trips lasted until the wee hours of the morning, when the getting was good. Oh, the memories …
After last weeks exciting visit to Bill’s house and grave, this week was terribly boring to say the least.
On Sunday night we took sage advice and hit the meeting to “De-press” from the weekend. On Tuesday we sat a nice group and read from the Twelve and Twelve and Step Eight. Very few people, amid their steps are at this point in The Work.
Our Thursday night Men’s group took another hit, we lost another founder due to medical issues, which leaves only two original founders and three additional members. We are down to Five now, we are hoping that God will provide for the meeting over the next few months.
Christmas and New Years fall on a Thursday this year, which means we will be hosting early dinner for guests on Christmas and then we will open to room for the meeting as usual. People actually show up on Christmas day for a meeting, which is always good.
Tonight’s reading from A.B.S.I. spoke to social events … Bars, nightclubs and parties, and the question of should I stay or should I go? This is a tedious question for folks in early sobriety, how to handle social events that involve liquor. That’s why I recommend Living Sober to people to read.
This topic brings me all the way back around to “Bitter Bernadette.”
Picture Sicily, 1910 …
It was the Pre-Christmas run up, a few years back. It was a Tuesday night. And people were agonizing about what to do about the holiday, and what kind of game plan they should have.
In the end, some folks drank, yet others did stay sober.
I can talk about Bernadette because she is no longer around. She was an older woman, with adult aged kids who lived in the U.K. She was scheduled to travel transatlantic for the holidays, but was worried about drinking. She mulled over drinking on the plane all the way across, then not drinking while visiting family, then she had a second plan, that also included drinking, and a bit of sobriety.
The fact that she was willing to drink again spoke volumes about where she was in sobriety.
I listened to her incessant worries in community. I was about five years sober. At the end of the meeting I took her aside and said, ” You know, your kids are adults, and right now you are sober, don’t you want to keep it that way? Why put your sobriety in jeopardy with trying to battle a demon that has you in its grips? If you can’t make the trip and NOT drink, then don’t go! Go another time, I’m sure they will understand…”
If you are so worried about drinking, then just Don’t Go !!! Change your plans.
She did not like that answer, she then said to me “that I wasn’t a parent and that I surely don’t understand what it is like to have kids,” and I admit, I don’t … then she gave me a one finger salute and told me to go fuck myself, she proceeded out the door, and never came back. That was the last time I ever saw Bernadette. She never returned to the meeting, nor did I ever see her again in any other meeting in the city after that.
In early sobriety there are plans of action we talk about. Things to do and not to do. We plan out game plans with our folks. We set them up with sponsors, contacts, phone numbers. We open meetings on holidays to make it a bit easier.
One must be in Good Spiritual Condition to walk into an event that liquor will be served. Do you need to go to that party, or that bar, or that nightclub? Do you have a good reason to put yourself in that kind of atmosphere? If not, then don’t go.
Now is the time we start talking about whether one should stay or should one go.
In the early years, this time around, I played around with going to nightclubs for a few years.
You must understand that when you live by mass transit, one must figure out the hours of operation, what you are bringing with you ( i.e. coats, jackets, scarves and such) during the Winter. Then you have to figure out how you are going to get home after hours, because the metro shuts down at 1 a.m. and you are stuck with the scary night bus or a taxi ride back into downtown, which usually ends up in a twenty dollar taxi ride, on top of what you are going to spend on drinks while out.
After all that organization, who wants to think about drinking ???
Going out in the Winter is a Bitch … Wearing the right clothing and the right shoes. Having to check your gear in a coat check, with tons of others at the same time. Then trying to navigate a taxi with snow on the ground all over the place … It became all too much to handle. So I stopped going out all together. Haven’t been to a club in probably a decade or more.
It wasn’t a question of the drink, but everything else.
Too Much Aggravation …
It is the weekend. It will get colder, but no snow as of yet.
More to come, stay tuned …