Watching your friends grow up and become who they are meant to be, and having played a part in that upbringing, makes me a little proud. It takes a village, and on Friday night, the village showed up to celebrate one of our own, in his Album Release Party.
The little club called “Upstairs” not far from home, was a great experience. It probably seats no more than maybe a seventy five people at once, with the tables and bar area filled to capacity. We dined on good food, we had great conversation among friends, and we marveled in the brilliance that is the group of musicians who played new music for us.
My friends are not only smart, they are brilliant in their own ways. I am really proud to call them my friends. A good time was had by all.
This weekend marked another first for us. I haven’t been to a live concert since before moving to Montreal. On Saturday we scored tickets to Madonna’s next concert, “Rebel Heart,” which plays in September. Madonna is one of those artists that every gay man must see in their lifetime. Cher, Bette Midler, Barbra, and a few others are required attendance. I got to see Bette back in the late 90’s.
So that is a thing …
We are really enjoying our new HD experience. Our tv habits have changed slightly, seeing we have channels we did not have before the switch. But we need to amend our package to enable more channels that are closed at this time.
Mother Nature is not finished with the snow as of late. We got a brief taste of Spring last week with positive temps, over the weekend, temps dropped, and that’s not the only thing that dropped, we got about five inches of snow last night. Temps are going to dance above and below freezing this week. UGH … when will it finally end ???
I departed as usual, and had to stop for milk on the way out. Our groupies showed up for read and discussion prior to the meeting. We were missing a number of folks on the night. Some of my friends came out to the meeting, and I took notice of them when they showed up, because I had not seen some of them in some time. Once again, the adage proved true, that if people stop showing up, it is a foregone conclusion that they might drink again …
Tonight, that was definitely true.
It doesn’t take much. One momentary lapse, one moment of indecision, and a drink is close at hand, and that little voice says to us …”Aw, you’ve got this drinking thing licked … You don’t need those meetings any more …” How about another one for good measure ?
The whole idea of the Twelfth Step, from one of my friends, is to become a better person.
I was in the chair tonight, as our gal who usually fills that position was out, and I was elected chair for the evening. One must be graceful under pressure, as friends get up and take chips again, after a long period of sobriety.
We are finishing up the steps this week and next. Step Twelve is a twenty page read, so we did half tonight, and the rest next week. We did not quite get around the room.
When I think of Step Twelve, the first thought that came to mind as I was reading this portion of the read was the line from A Vision for You, that
“Obviously, you cannot transmit something you haven’t got !”
There was a good reason that for a long time, I went to meetings, and did service. But that’s all I was doing at that time. I needed someone to tell me what I needed to do to get into the game in a new way. I had to return to the basics. Read the Book, Say my Prayers, and Work Hard at the game of sobriety. Well it isn’t a game, it is a solution for living.
I did all those things that I was told to do, God took care of the rest.
I finally had ears to hear and eyes to see and words to share. That didn’t come over night. Working with others, in twelve step fashion, did not come overnight either. I needed a message within me in order to share the message with another human being.
It is one thing to hit a meeting and share inside of a discussion. This, yes, is also a form of twelve step work. This work is on a different scale than working one on one with one person at a time.
When God saw fit that I was ready to give it away, my guys began to show up in my life, in one way or another. For the first time I was confident in my words, and in what I knew, but that was just a start. Over the last year, I have worked on my words, and the way I relate to my guys.
Working with others is a twenty four hour a day job. When ever Where ever for however long.
When the phone rings, I answer it.
This Winter has again proved it’s not the BIG things that take us out, it is those LITTLE things that sneak up on us from underneath. This is called the broken shoelace syndrome.
It’s not the bitching partner, but the broken shoelace that takes us out …
The words … Constant Vigilance are so important.
I do what ever I can. But sometimes, even that isn’t enough.
So it falls to the words I use and how I use them that will either help or hinder.
I have to know how much of me to put forwards, and how little as well. I feel like, to explain it better, I must find that “tremulous balance of just enough and not too much.”
That perfect amount is not always possible. Which is why I must practice daily.
The more I work, and the better my practice, the easier the balance comes.
It isn’t all about me, and never usually is. I must decrease so that He may increase.
I’m a little grateful, a little proud. A little sad, but a bit relieved.
All of our folks are sober tonight. And that is a start for the week.
More to come, stay tuned …