Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

The Solution

Sunday Sundries … Fired Again (read: Self Sabotage)

tumblr_mny6xdcYk61qmbg8bo1_500They warned us that it would pour down rain today … We are still waiting on that.

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.

**** **** ****

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 …


Sunday Sundries … Thoughts

7 cardinal rules for lifeI think these lessons kind of point to what I am going to write below.

The normal human being, is mostly concerned about themselves. It is always about them, and how the rest of the world perceives them, and also how they perceive themselves. For most, the insane amount of time we worry about the exterior parts of ourselves, is the obsession of millions of people. We see it every day on social media. All it takes is one troll to get the ball rolling, and then we get “wildfire.”

Then a kid kills themselves because of said troll and their minions.

What a blessing to have learned all these lessons in sobriety. Real lessons that I use on a daily basis. It isn’t all about me. And it never really is. i was so happy when I got this down.

**** **** ****

It has been a stellar weekend. Albeit a little chilly this evening on the way home. They told us that it was going to rain for days, and to be prepared for lots of rain. A few drops fell yesterday early on, but it did not last, and skies remained clear and blue all weekend.

Last night I hit an off meeting to spend time with some of my guys. And I will get to see them tomorrow for the groups anniversary. Funny that the anniversary for an M.A. meeting falling on 4/20 !!! There’s a joke in there somewhere.

I told my friends that I would bring the weed …

Sobriety – Life – Work – and Everything that comes with it …

People get sober for a myriad of reasons. When we have been to hell, one way or another, we need to find some way to pick up the pieces and move forwards. You know there are many types of people in meetings, those who have full lives, some who have half lives, and those who have no lives.

Sobriety – as the Big Book says, “The only thing you have to change in sobriety is everything.”

Most people balk at this idea and they find or invent ways in which they choose to do things. They do it their way, they make half measures, or they adopt this way of living and they make it work.

When I came to Montreal, I had no life. So what I did was meetings, all the time, every day, until the next activity came to pass for me. One thing led to another and then life began in earnest. BUT the one thing I did that I kept doing, was my meetings. I worked very hard at building my outside life, around my meeting nights. And I was successful and still am to this day.

You build your life around your meetings, not your meetings around your life.

If you put anything before your sobriety you will eventually loose it. That is fact, I can prove it if you need it.

People who have lives, may find it difficult to amend their lives, and add sobriety to those lives, because they say they have no time to devote to sober things, like meetings, calls and working with others.

Obviously, you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.

It took me 11 years to find the route to finding my message, and that took a lot of work, prayer and help of a sponsor.

Some people need sobriety,  then there are those who want it.

Sobriety is a gift that once in the game, we try to encourage you to adopt it and make it yours. We encourage you to find ways to make sobriety work for you instead of against you. Sobriety is something you live into on a daily basis.

It is a process that some find encumbering. They are reticent to adopt those rules or suggestions we give to to enhance your lives. BUT if you start with something small, and later find that it worked, then you add a little more and see if that works for you. So forth and so on.

Some people with full lives or busy schedules may find it a problem to HAVE TO do everything they are told to do, or suggested to do when they come in.

**** **** ****
It was a wonky start to the evening. I was up washed and ready to go early. Now several things were supposed to happen in a certain order. My cup man bought us cups for two meetings from Costco the other day, and I needed to bring him cash from one kitty.
.
.
I packed my bag, and left for the church. Halfway through the Forum complex, I noticed that I had forgotten my wallet at home. I was going to be late. I turned around and walked back home, got my wallet, returned an email to a friend while on this stop. I didn’t take any cash from my kitty bag, and made a second departure for the church.
.
.
I got to the church a few minutes before my early team got there. It was all good.
.
.
We were standing outside the church when my cup guy showed up, and I was like, “shit, I forgot the cash.” Thankfully I had some cash in my wallet, 2/3’s is better than none, I guess.
.
.
The reading was “The Businessman’s Recovery”
.
.
Another war story taking place at the dawn of A.A. Our man goes from good to terrible inside of two years. He worked far a field for a while prior to the War. He enlisted, became a member of the armed services and his drinking took off in earnest.
.
.
Fearing prohibition in the United States, and not being able to drink freely, he decided to remain in Europe to continue his drinking unabated. He ends up in a sanitarium, sick and confused.
.
.
Miraculously, he is introduced to Bill W.
.
.
Someone this evening said that when she got sober, all she had to do was Google A.A. and there it was.
.
.
Imagine the odds of finding Bill W. in ones hospital room in the 1940’s.
.
.
What are the odds ???
.
.
This guy seriously lucked out. Imagine finding another alcoholic where you lived in the 1930’s or 1940’s. There were no tools like social media or computers. I just find it amazing that for some, the most opportune moment presented itself to certain human beings.
.
.
Is that ODD or is that GOD ???
.
.
The story is told, we get his introduction to the program, and the story continues with our man telling us just how good he has it and how his life has changed, everything changed for the better.
.
.
An old timer commented that – the meat and potatoes were missing from the story …
.
.
How did he go from sad and destitute to happy in a few sentences?
.
.
Well, it is implied that “something” happened. In between down and out and utter happiness, comes all the work that we must do to attain sobriety. All those things it took me YEARS to figure out, because I had not seen it until it was introduced to me and I adopted the practice for myself, and then for my guys.
.
.
There is the Book, The Steps, The Work … so to speak.
.
.
You just don’t come in the door and miraculously get happy all at once. It just don’t work that way, and I’ve never seen it work that way either.
.
.
Some people balk when we make suggestion to them that “aren’t in the Book.” Why do I have to do, what I am told, everything we share is suggestive only. You either want to be in it to win it or you aren’t. Sobriety and happiness are progressive. The more you put into your sobriety, the happier you are going to be.
.
.
It’s really simple.
.
.
Alcoholics are painfully stubborn. We over think things, we philosophize ourselves to death, and we worry about things like “I really need to know the gender of God…” before I can move forwards.
.
.
Really, REALLY ??? are you serious?
.
.
It’s like that Nike slogan ………… Just Do It !
.
.
Do you want to be RIGHT or do you want to be HAPPY ?
.
.
Simple question.
.
.
A good night was had by all.
.
.
More to come, stay tuned …