We are sitting at a balmy (-1c/-7c w.c.). Today was grey and dreary. We did not even see the sun once today. And as I was leaving, snow fell over the city. It started slowly, but as we got to the church, it was really coming down. Just enough snow fell to pile up but not enough for a plow, however plows were out salting and carelessly and with no real effort, plowing the rut of the plow as it went by.
It was a careless day, I really did not have much to do, I sat and doodled around here for a few hours, then called it a day at 3:30 for an afternoon nap. I was up and ready to go by the time I had to go, and like I said, it was snowing when we left for the bus. Had I looked outside before I went downstairs, I would have chosen my rubber boots instead of my sneakers.
Cause they got WET !
It was a good evening. One of my friends spoke. I’ve known her since she came in, a few years ago. We travel in the same circles, and hit the same meetings during the week. There are several groups of young people who travel in packs all over the city.
The Girls, The Guys and The Gays.
Getting sober with your friends is the way to do it. Because when we were out there, many of us did not have many friends, and the ones we did have we eventually alienated them and ignored them into obscurity.
That’s a common theme amongst our young people.
It is also a really good thing that our young people embrace the thought that:
IT IS BETTER TO BE ON THE INSIDE … than on the outside.
That being on the inside, gives us the feeling of being part of, the direct opposite of how we felt when we were out there, being all alone in our misery.
All of our young people are in the rooms, and they are actively working and doing service.
Another common theme amongst our young people, is just that, they are young.
In the beginning when they first came around, they saw us old folks getting sober, and that little voice spoke to them saying “Aww you’re young, you still have a few years of good drinking and using to go, why get sober now, you can always come back when you are thirty or forty, and turn your lives around!”
So they may have stayed a bit, but eventually went back out only to prove to themselves that NO, they did not have any more youth to waste on misery and addiction.
Even then, the road was tough. The world is not kind to our young people. This is the third revelation for them, and in the beginning they found it a daunting process to stay sober, being so young and not having lots of them together (As they are NOW) It seemed to me, they came in, in stages and not all at once. So each of them needed to find their ways.
They did not initially get connected (As they are NOW).
That took some work, honesty, humility and self determination.
I can safely say that all of our young people are connected to home groups of their choosing, they are in their steps, and they are present all the time.
They are PRESENT in their recoveries.
Having them at the meeting tonight, gave us old timers the opportunity to speak to them and check in and chat for a bit. Our young people are truly kind people. We cheer for them and we hope for them, and in getting sober with them, we get to see them grow up into honest, humble young adults.
Growing up in the real world is a challenge for any human being, and many young people don’t make it. They come from other places, to Montreal, where it is Bright Lights and Big City, booze, liquor, beer and drugs are aplenty.
Many of them got caught in that web of misery, until they found their way to us.
Montreal is not New York, size wise. But you can surely find your way into depravity and darkness, because it is everywhere. Where there is a bar, there is darkness, for those who get caught up in addictive behavior.
Who didn’t Cheat, Lie and Steal, when they were out there?
Who didn’t ignore that little voice that said, “I don’t think you should do this!” and ignore it?”
And Who didn’t push the envelope when it came to MORE, and not More in a good way?
It seems to me that our young people suffered their own torment, and went to places they really should not have, but addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful. Their journey to hell. might have been shorter than ours, (We who came in much later in life, and went to the bitter end ourselves).
So they all now know, that had they stayed the course, they might not have survived, pounding the drugs and alcohol they way they did, because they were young and invincible…
We not only get to get sober with these young people, we get to participate in, hopefully a good way, in showing them how to grow up into sober adults. That this isn’t the end of the road for them socially, emotionally and mentally.
It takes a village to raise a child in the real world. It is no different in the rooms.
By being present to them, by listening to them, and by sharing with them, they listen to us and they either take it or leave it, but they are always respectful. Everybody in the rooms plays a part in raising our little village of young people.
There is no greater challenge for us than sponsoring a young person.
I mentioned at the top that many did not connect right away. Now, after several round ups and hearing how others, in other places got, and get sober, many of our young people are hooked into THE WORK. They are hooked up with sponsors who are taking them through The Work.
Hence … It is better to be on the inside, rather than the outside.
Hearing our young people talk about the rewards of sobriety so young fills my heart with joy.
Because that tells me that they’ve got it.
We just have to keep the fields fertile for them to flourish.
And that takes PRESENCE. Everybody’s presence.
Presence is the greatest gift you can give another human being.
All my guys, and all the girls, and all the gays are sober another night.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned …