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Posts tagged “Slips

Tuesday: The Importance of Time

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So you went back out, and you either DRANK or USED or BOTH.

What happens now ?

What happens with all that time you banked, before you walked out the door ?
Do you loose that time, or does that time still matter ?

There are two schools of thought on these questions. I’ve heard them discussed over the years, but in recent years, I’ve heard no mention of the options in open community.

Option #1: Time on the Continuum exists and is still in motion, your slip is but a blip on the time line, so keep moving forwards.

Option #2: You HAD time, but you slipped, your continuum has stopped running, NOW you go to the BACK of the line and start over.

This came up today while talking to my best friend.

I’ve mentioned over the past few months, the number of friends I have who decided against better advice, to go back out and drink and use.

Here, in Montreal, my “Core Group” is trying to figure out how to help our friends, and get them back on the horse and reconnected.

We decided, as a group, to give keys, jobs and responsibilities to those who need to reconnect. Service will keep you sober, because you become accountable. Turning, back benchers and slippers into Service Hounds is what we have decided to do.

Will it work ? That is yet to be seen.

When I accrued my four years and had orchestrated my slip, I really had nothing to return to, as in accrued sober knowledge and time. I was too busy trying to survive.

That was the greater challenge, even if I took that life for granted, and pissed away that time endangering my life with more drugs and more alcohol.

I have a friend, one of our men, who went out at almost the four year mark. He was good, and stable. In the end, he fucked off, and isolated, and that black hole swallowed him whole.

My friend speaks of it this way … “He needs to practice his Emergency Exit Plan.”

Everyone needs an Emergency Exit Plan …
Everybody, no matter how long you are Clean and Sober.
You need to put your oxygen mask on FIRST, before you can help someone else !!!

Had he done that, he could have avoided using again.

I’ve learned in sobriety that in certain cases, I must be liberal in my approach to my friends and fellows.

My friend, returned with three years banked in the hopper.

Does he go back to the end of the line, or does he just keep going ?

He has ALL that TIME, in history, knowledge and sobriety.

He knows what to do, it isn’t like he forgot.

Pushing him to the back of the line, is detrimental, I believe to his well being.

The time one spends on a slip has to be calculated on where you land when you return.

If you have some serious time banked, and your slip is brief, (sometimes that can also be disastrous) You need to figure out where you are in your head and in your life.

The worse the slip, the harder the climb back into life.

Some people don’t make it back. They resign themselves to sobriety loss, and decide to just pack it in. They might be in a meeting, but they have disconnected.

Time has no meaning for them any more.

What does my friend do ? Well, right now he is doing service and he’s pounding his meetings. He feels shame and fear because of what he did to himself, and now what came of his actions upon those he worked with and friends he has known.

We know he is his own worst critic.

My friend and I talked about the TWO OPTIONS plans.

We agree that Option #1 – works for him.

He needs to get back on the horse. Yes he is marking new time, but with years of sober time banked behind him. So he has all that experience to work with, in figuring out what he wants to do now.

There are those who come back, and they reconnect, but they need to re-engage with The Book, The Steps and Meetings. (also contingent on how long they were absent).

We need to provide for everybody ALL the TOOLS they need to recover.

We are human, and we need to be reminded that (If we had time) that time still exists, on the continuum. You just don’t STOP living, because you slipped.

So let’s give you tools and trades to get back into the game as quick as possible, so that this time, you STICK and STAY.

We don’t need to punish people by telling them to go to the back of the line, now you start over in sobriety, that none of your past time matters …

That is NOT true.

All time matters. It matters by the strength of that banked time.

In my case, my past time was pretty non-existent. What I got the second time around mattered more now, than it did the first time around. The messaging was off, I wasn’t in the book, I wasn’t connected to a sponsor and I was my own worst enemy.

So the second time I DID start over from scratch.

Because I had nothing to bank on …

What if YOU have TIME to bank ON ? And you SLIP ?

Would you rather get back on the horse and pick up where you left off, or would you like to go back to square one, and start over, as if your past banked time, did not exist in the first place ? Or that your past time did not matter ?

The choice is yours.


Monday: Flooded with Feeling …

Do you believe in Love

Friday night I saw some folks I don’t usually see at the Friday meeting. In fact, I haven’t seen either one of them since last September. Not a call, Not a meeting, Nothing …

Saturday I spent time with one of my women I work with. And she told me a story, about one of those men I saw the night prior. Many, Many months ago, our man went to Florida and he used, pissing away 11 years of sobriety … I know, of him, that he stopped coming to meetings for a long time, so long, that I was given his key and his treasury responsibility. He did not call, nor did he talk to me or anyone else in that particular room, for that matter.

Now I know why … He used and came home and isolated and kept a secret. For MONTHS. And I know, from his history, how hard he worked to get sober, quoting the book, like he knew the book, like the back of his hand … He didn’t …

Friday night, he sat next to me, and did not say two words to me all night long. He and my other friend left after the meeting and did not stay to talk.

This is what happens when you stop going to meetings, you stop talking to people, you keep secrets and your sobriety looses its priority.

Sad. That particular meeting did not feed him, like it needed to and he stayed away from meetings that might have fed him and kept him “on the beam.”

But addict for addict and alcoholic for alcoholic, we are going to do what we are going to do, and damn the torpedoes.

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

You never know what is going to rise to the surface, when you step into a room.

Tonight’s read talks about:

  • Drinking,
  • Drinking some more.
  • Driving Drunk,
  • Driving drunk some more.
  • Going to a meeting because it meant more for them, rather than for us,
  • Coming to realize that “hey, maybe I’m an alcoholic too !”
  • Coming, Coming to, and Making a decision …
  • Speaking the Third Step Prayer for themselves …

Flooded with Feeling, has been the story of my life for the past good chunk of months. Many of my friends, men and women, are in this mix right now, themselves. The Monday night meeting is a wealth of experience, strength and hope.

The line that stuck out in this story goes like this …

“I just wanted another drink …”

 

My Momma once said to me that: “You better Never find yourself in jail, because if you do, I will never bail you out, you will be on your own.”

I did listen to some of the advice she gave me, however backhanded that single piece of advice was, when it was delivered. I did, many times, get behind the wheel while intoxicated. And it is a good thing that nobody ever got hurt. Because I was seriously stupid. But what is an alcoholic going to do ?

Nothing stands between us and that next drink …

Happy hour only lasted from 4 to 7. Then you had to go home, change your office clothes for dance clothes, and return for the nightly debauchery. Over and Over and Over.

Until one day, You become a character written about in the Big Book, being that tornado, running ragged, in the life of someone trying to get sober at the same time.

Sadly, I would remain that tornado for three more years, until Todd stepped in and said the word STOP. I am amazed, that all the people I drank with, who got sober, before I did, never said a word to me, while I was IN IT. And to this day, I don’t know why they didn’t try to help me. Because the trajectory of my life would surely have been different, had that actually happened, but didn’t.

Our man, in this story, relates his approach to the Third Step and the Prayer. While on the phone, with the lady friend who took him to his first meeting, he writes that “while on the phone he read the Third Step Prayer to her… then afterwards he returns to the prayer and repeats it to himself.”

When I got sober the first time, I had Todd in my life. And every night, coming to work, the practice was, to turn my life over, every time I crossed the threshold into the bar. I practiced that task every night for two years. I learned how to do that and trusted in the man I was turning my life over to, because I am still alive.

When I got sober the second time, It was just me, and my prayer to God. There was nobody else out there, holding my hand. And let me tell you just how unsure I was of myself, not knowing IF I could TRUST myself alone … IF I could do it RIGHT.

It did not come for a long time, the revelation of Todd and Step Three, being the incarnation of God Himself in my life when I really needed it. I did not make that connection until I began to relate my memoirs on this blog many years ago.

I had seen God, in the flesh. I knew there was a God, all along. I knew the drill. I just did not trust anything that I did, on my own.

But I am getting better at it, today.

Over the years, I’ve watched the men I worked with, who for some, did not necessarily believe in God, how they worked around the Third Step, each for their specific sensibilities. The Friday meeting has been a proving ground for our young people, who also, many of them, could not see past the word God, and got and stayed sober.

Many of them came, stayed a bit, left, and never returned.

Even though we spent years studying the word God, trying to find work around’s to allow the belief in whatever worked until they figured God out for themselves.

Every day, we have an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves.

Do I want a thimble full of God, one day at a time, or
Do I want a bucket full of God, one day at a time ???

And when is it that I realize that I am a drop in the big ocean that is humanity (read: God). And that I am one with ALL that is, because a little of all that is OUT THERE, is within me, and that a little piece of WITHIN ME is one with all that is OUT THERE.

And that, as I live and breathe, the universe out there, knows, before I even utter a single thought, prayer or word …

How amazing is that ???

 

 


Friday – Updates and Thoughts

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Things are not as they should be right now. One of my sponsees is sitting in a hospital at this hour with a friend visiting from out of town, and during this evening, found out she has an ectopic pregnancy. She is going to loose the baby. Or more to the point, the baby is going to be removed, because it is not viable where it is.

A very sad note for this evening. But both women are doing the best they can at this hour.

Say a prayer for them both.

This evening I sat with an Old Timer from our Best Night of the Week Meeting, before the meeting. And I shared verbal diarrhea with him. We traded ideas of what should happen next, his first response to that question was “The Third Step Prayer…”

Discussion followed.

We have similar thought about a great many things. One thought that came up is that people don’t seem to appreciate the work that goes into a meeting. Starting with managing that space, paying the bills, doing the shopping, setting up, making coffee, washing dishes, and breaking down.

A whole host of people take part in the nightly event (Around the world).

Managing a meeting is a thankless job. And is never really truly appreciated, because you never hear a member come up to you, and say Thank You …BUT you will hear, occasionally from their seats, that they are grateful for the meeting.

Now, in the past, I have seen coffee makers and setter uppers, have mental breakdowns at certain meetings, bitching and complaining quite openly, to the meeting itself, while the meeting is still going on, how ungrateful folks really are, and that said setter upper demands a thank you from everyone sitting in the room.

We are cautioned quite often, that service is a gift of the program, because it keeps us humble and rooted to the reason why we need the meetings, because when we came in there were people doing just what we do today, for us, and at times we can get angry and resentful at the ingratitude of most people who walk through the door every week.

So beware your EGO.

Kindness was the other idea that was floated.

We do this work gladly, because it is necessary, because if we don’t do the service, the meeting isn’t going to happen at all. And he told me that people, over the years, as they come, form the meeting in their image, as they see it. Which leads to a meeting  ever changing. People come, people go. Formats come, and Formats go.

Meetings begin, get popular, have a good run, then, almost mysteriously, they fades to black, when the novelty of a particular meeting looses its shine. People get bored.

Boredom is also problematic.

We do the same rote actions week after week, month after month, year after year. Like a robot. We all have our assigned roles, per week. And on Friday night, we are a well oiled machine. We can crank out set up in twenty minutes with the right number of setter uppers.

People don’t seem to take notice of those of us who do this work.

And one thinks that maybe one day, something we have done is going to surface in someones life, that something we do or say, will make a difference in a life. That may come to pass, and maybe it won’t.

My counsel to folks is this … Pick a meeting. Find a seat, and STAY.

Watch, Listen and Pay Attention.

The reading from A.B.S.I. was long and convoluted. But the front room, went with the:

SLIP … Sobriety Looses Its Priority.

There are a number of young people who come, who are in rehabs across town. So the first horse out of the gate shared on the topic of a slip, and day counts.

There are two schools of thought in this area, and I’ve heard them both spoken over the years.

In the program, you come in, and begin your day count. if you decide to go out a drink again, you start over at day one.Then, there is a more linear view of a slip.

The thought that, when one comes back, that you do not punish the slipper by restarting their day count, but you keep counting to keep the momentum, even though, one drank again.

Well, that started the ball rolling and it just kept going until the top of the hour.

The odds that one enters the rooms, and stays, and makes it a one time drive, are slim. The odds that one returns after a slip, go down even further, the number of times you go back out. Most folks at our meeting has had a slip experience. For one reason or another.

It is usually common that once folks fall off the wagon and drink again, come back and never go back out. But these stories are far and few between. Statistics on this are proof.

An old timer spoke about Alcoholic.

  • The real alcoholic out there, usually would never admit he/she is one.
  • Then there are those who come in, leery, not knowing for sure.
  • There are also those who come in, knowing full well the facts.
  • There are also those who come in and need to figure it out for themselves.
  • And there are those who are mandated to show up by a judge.

Long Sober men and women that have been around double digit years, either ONE, stay put and stick to the rooms, and prosper and do well, or TWO, Long Sober men and women who also have double digit years, come for a while, then they fall off. They stop coming to meetings, and the tape begins to play in their heads …

  • Ah, you’re really not an alcoholic, look how long you’ve gone without a drink
  • Ah, its a waste of time and energy to go out, (in minus twenty temps)
  • Ah, I really don’t need a meeting
  • I deserve a break after so many years, I can take a breather
  • And you know what follows, if the tape continues, don’t you ?
  • They Drink Again … And the odds on return are almost nil

Some people, in sobriety, go through really dark times, either Mental, Emotional, Medical or Financial. They spin out into the darkness. Some find their way, others do not.

I’ve seen medical issues take people out. Men and women fight battles with Cancer, or AIDS, or MS, or any other myriad of diseases. And they either conquer, or they fall. There are just some illnesses that you never come back from.

Death is a forgone conclusion.

But many women, who have, (for example) Breast Cancer, they get diagnosed, and they begin treatment. Radiation, Chemo, Surgery, Reconstruction, and Recovery. This is one serious long haul drag for our women.

With a good support system, women to walk with them, and women who are present for them for the entire journey, those women return victoriously.

On the other hand, (in my own experience), I knew a woman, I was very good friends with. I was here, she was in Florida, getting treatment, surgery and reconstruction. She was victorious. She was long sober, more than twenty years at the time.

I spoke to her every day. We talked about everything, So I Thought.

One night, she went to Lincoln Road, on Miami Beach, for dinner. She ordered a glass of wine, then another. Over the next few weeks, she went to have dinner, with a glass of wine and several more.

She never expressed the desire to drink to me ever. She never spoke about it either.

A few months later, at twenty and some odd years, she returned to Montreal. One night, she walked into the meeting, and when the chip was offered, she got up and took it.

I was mortified.

I was so angry. Words passed between us, she left the meeting, and never came back. And we never spoke again, even though I can see her condo building from my living room windows. She lives that close.

She had been victorious at beating Breast Cancer, so she deserved a break, she said during the meeting. This is not a one off story … But it is my story about her.

Illness is a beast. It fucks with our minds, whatever other issue we are dealing with, falls by the wayside. The tape begins to play, like our men’s tape above, and women find themselves surviving a visit from death, drinking is the least of their worries.

So what does one do with this type of situation ?

I should have kept my mouth shut. Maybe I should have understood what I know today, but did not then. But what can you say when friends keep secrets ?

Secrets and Lies are two markers, that if they begin, a drink is not far away.

Women suffer too. Most in silence, because they don’t know what to do, who to talk to, nor what to say, when this takes place. I’m not a woman, but I know how I felt for her and for me, when she took that chip.

So you see, our jobs, in the meetings, are fraught with complications.

When Sobriety Looses Its Priority, all bets are off.

Man and Woman alike.

Knowing the warning signs, and being present when someone speaks, to have the right words, is a fine art. That does not come over night. It takes time. A lot of time, investment and friendship.

Relationships like that are far and few between.

You cannot walk into a meeting, and sit for very long, and NOT invest in its people.

Once you pick your seat, buckle up and hang on. Because it is going to be a bumpy ride.

It always is…

 

 

 


Thursday -When A Bad Day Lasts for Months

 

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My weekly meeting schedule took a huge hit over the last few months. I spend the bulk of my meeting time in M.A. these days. So my sober meetings are exclusively Sunday’s and Friday nights.

I have not written a whole deal about sobriety since my melt down in June. It has just been a very tense time, and I needed to return to basics, until I felt the emotional shift back into equilibrium.

I’ve stuck very close to my friends, who saw me through this period of time. I stayed away from most old timers, opting to only seek the counsel of two, my temporary sponsor, and another friend, I have yet to sit with. We haven’t been able to connect, since the “incident” but that meeting is in the works.

I learned early on, this time around, what needs to be done, when your world gets turned upside down in sobriety. The totally bad news about sobriety is this …

The time will come, and IT WILL COME, that something happens, either to you, or someone you love, or someone you know, or people you know, or a community you identify with, and you will feel. Let me say that again … YOU WILL FEEL.

Now, not every alcoholic or addict is going to respond well to this truth, because, when the chips fall, if you don’t have a sturdy plan of saving action, YOU WILL DRINK or USE AGAIN.

Now that I am on the other side of a serious sober meltdown, we talked about the “Bad Day” tonight. Sadly, I am the only long time member in the M.A. fellowship, at the moment. All of my friends are inside of five years, and some inside their first year, so I listen to them talk with close attention.

When all else fails, and the chips fall, you can do one of two things:

  1. You can go back out and self destruct OR
  2. You find the path through the fire and you live.

I know what to do, for me, when times get tough. I get out of the house/ I go to meetings/ I call my friends/ I talk to people/ I open/ I close/ I make coffee/ I set chairs/ I serve others.

I know this works, because I have used this method without fail for almost fifteen years now, and it has never failed me.

Now that I am on the other side, this experience I had was specific. I kind of went “off line.” I was showing up to meetings, but I was only halfway there, mentally and emotionally. I had conversations with friends, that in hindsight, were half conversations, and I did speak with those friends as it happened, and they remained with me, and they sat with me and they understood me, and they let me be me, even when I was only half there.

Those are real friends.

We need to know what to do, when things get really rough in sobriety, and the only thing we can do is wait for it to happen to us, then walk through that experience, learn from that experience, “in real time” then share it openly.

Traversing tragedy and Trauma differs from person to person. Because we all deal with adversity in our own ways. I don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on formal therapy, because, in the rooms, I get it for free.

Professional help, when needed, is needed, and should ALWAYS be an option, when necessary. Never go it alone, if you can’t go it alone. Sometimes we need that professional point of view to make sense of life at times.

My circle of friends are battle tested men and women, whom I trust with my life.

I knew, that I was not alone, at any point during this period.

I guess I had to find the end of this pain and emotion. And I guess that began when some guy pulled me aside after a Friday meeting, and said that he was tired of listening to me talk about it over and over.

I was like, “thank you for sharing …

” I hope you never find yourself in the shitter and need a safe place to fall, until you yourself can get back up …”

I just kept doing what I was taught to do, to insure that I would not drink or use again. And I did it naturally. I have a “Good Habit” routine now.

I’ve watched too many of my friends go back out and drink / use again. I watched a handful of my friends die, because they crashed and burned, and did not do what we were all taught to do, by those who knew what to do, instead taking life on, by themselves, taking back control, and killing themselves in the process.

Sometimes the adage: DO AS I SAY AND NOT AS I DO, applies
Other times the adage : IF YOU DO AS I SAY, YOU MAY STAY CLEAN AND SOBER.

The only way the second adage work is IF you have the experience to impart.

If you don’t, then shut up …

There are some folks, I’ve known, all along, through the years, were people I knew were sick people. Those who I stayed away from. Then there were those I gravitated towards because it was an opportunity.

Sadly, a major opportunity turned into a MASSIVE CRASH AND BURN.

The wisdom of the old timer is this …

YOU MAY HAVE THE TIME, BUT YOU MIGHT NOT NECESSARILY BE SOBER.

A friend of mine, a few months sober, was working with a friend, and they handed him the chair of the Friday night meeting. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Monday he went out and drank, and drank all week, and called me at 5:30 this evening to tell me that.

I asked him why he didn’t call his sponsor before he took that first drink, his answer was this … He does not connect with him, ergo, does not trust him, ergo, he drank again.

But when he finished, he thought to call ME instead of his sponsor.

Hopefully, he will be sober tomorrow night.

We give folks our numbers to make sure they are connected, Whenever they need it.

Sadly, most folks call a few times, then stop. Some never call at all, and they never come back to meetings.

If someone is SURE AS SHIT going to drink or use, they sure as shit aren’t going to call before they do it. Some, do call, when they get to the end.

What they do with our advice now matters.

They either want to stop or they don’t.

Thank God my bad day came to an end.

As it eventually would.

 

 


Saturday – Triggers

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It is written, in The Book, that:

At some point, the only thing that will stand between you and a “Drink/Drug” will be your Higher Power …

Because I straddle the lines between fellowships, I can speak to both arenas, with clarity.

The Saturday meeting, is usually sparse in attendance. But we sat a small group.

It seems, that even in sobriety/clean time, nobody is immune to the occasional mind fuck that takes us by surprise, when we least expect it.

When the weather gets good, and terraces are open, folks congregate on sidewalks, and they drink/drug and shoot the breeze. And I can tell you that, within 50 feet of where ever you are, in Montreal, someone is “smoking up.”

The Tams opened up a couple of weeks ago. This is an institution here in the city. At the foot of Mount Royal sits a park with a huge statue and obelisk. On Sunday afternoons, people congregate for “The Tams,” (read:Drums).

I enjoy this Sunday event. I hit the Mount Royal Metro and walk up to the park, at the foot of the mountain, I participate in the frivolity and drumming. Law enforcement usually tends to stay away, even though folks smoke up and play their drums and dance.

This came up in conversation on the way home tonight.

After a while, one tires of the drums, and so we take to the trail, and climb the mountain up to the Chalet House at the top. It is an afternoon event. When it is nice outside, one makes use of every hour of sunlight and warmth.

I went through the leftover topics from Thursday night, because the chair could not stay, so that left me to chair the meeting. A friend showed up and the topic I had picked came up in conversation before the meeting, so I went with it, which lent to the hour’s conversation that took on a life of its own.

The day I reach my geographic endpoint, I was given a choice between a joint and a beer. It wasn’t a trigger moment, It was a what do I do first moment.

When I put down the drugs finally, in my rehab house, a month into clean time, a friend offered me a joint, which I calmly declined. I never touched pot again.

When I moved back to Miami, it really wasn’t an issue. The drink was an issue still.

I lived alone, and had few friends, so triggers were almost non existent.

When I moved here, clean and sober, I was warned about certain facts.

Only twice, in early sobriety, was I hit with serious triggers, that were substantial.

One was on Jean Baptiste Day, the first summer, I was sitting on the pier at the Old Port, and folks were double fisting beer, I had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Along with quitting drugs/alcohol/AND cigarettes, I was attempting impossibility.

They say quitting smoking is as bad as quitting heroine.

A few months in, like I said, I was at the Old Port, in a celebratory, atmosphere, and watching folks drink and drug around me, I got thirsty and I wanted to smoke.

I was told that if I had a choice between a drink/drug or a cigarette, that the cigarette was the lesser of the evils.

I maintained my sobriety. But I walked off the pier and bought a pack of smokes, and that was that.

When I met hubby, the first job was to cleanse this apartment of the take out containers strewn all over the apartment, to get rid of 300 beer bottles stacked on the balcony, and to rid the apartment of his old drug paraphernalia.

Little by slowly, we returned the beer bottles, and over the next few months, I got rid of the rolling papers, the rolling machines, and left over baggies.

Over the long haul of sobriety, alcohol was something we avoided. But how can you avoid pot, when your neighbors smoke up, they deal in the hallways, and on every corner and alleyway, folks are smoking up outside ?

I don’t often think about smoking pot or drinking. But I dream about both incessantly.

I either drink or drug in my dreams, and I have conversations with the folks who were there, that I never got to speak to, in the end. And that all takes place in my head, when I am sleeping. And usually I wake up with a sick feeling and the residue of those dreams.

Sometimes, and it is often, at the end of a sleep period, I go into a dream, and I see it, smell it and feel it, I know I am dreaming, and sometimes I carry the dream out of dream state into waking up.

This drink/drug dream situation is common among folks getting clean and sober.

Which usually facilitates, a beating ones self up for even considering using, a feeling that we HAD INDEED drugged or drank, then a hurried call to someone close or to our sponsor, and then a tenth step in addition.

The other night, I was coming home, and I passed the alley way next door, and some kids were smoking up, and as I passed them to the building, the thought came …

I JUST WANT ONE HIT …

When was it ever just one hit ?

As quick as it came, the thought left, and I came home.

Some folks who are new to us, have problems with filling drinking/smoking time with something more substantial. Like calling others, or getting out of the house, or even, hitting a meeting or just doing something new.

Problems such as, “Oh, it’s Friday night, I should smoke up.” or “I am feeling down and stressed, let’s smoke up,” or “That exam is done, let’s celebrate, let’s go smoke up.”

Triggers and slipping are very prominent with many folks.

Those of us who came once, went back out, and then returned again, can attest to these things, quite clearly.

Another problem we see these past few years are old timers, going down the drain.

Old timers are one of two people. ONE, they are engaged and going to meetings, and maintaining fellowship and are IN The Work. Or, TWO, they are disconnected, they stop going to meetings and they avoid fellowship, because the young people, and those in the mid range aren’t connecting with them.

Once they disappear, the forgone conclusion is that it is highly likely that they would drink again, or use again, never return, and end up DEAD.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen it time and time again, old timers who just disconnect and end up down the drain.

It is sad, but entirely avoidable.

But I’ve heard from some old timers, how they are lacking in fellowship and are hitting meetings, filled with young people, but the young people don’t connect with them.

So it is falling to those of us in the mid range, to try and help them, by creating connection.

The One Certain Truth about those early first 100, and even Bill W, himself, the connection of one alcoholic and these days, one addict, with another is of prime importance.

The Connection between two suffering souls.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

I work to keep in contact with the old timers in my social circle, even though I call them and encourage them to return to the fold, many of them are resigned to self isolate and bemoan the fact that they are old and they believe they they are unwanted.

This is also entirely false.

These are some of the things our population is dealing with today.

It all begins with prayer and meditation. Hit those meetings. Find a Home Group, Get Connected, Find a sponsor, and sit down and get right into The Work, right away.

Because these things will save a life, even if they don’t see it now, eventually they will, because they stay clean and sober, in the long haul.

In the end everyone left a little bit stronger, after the discussion we had.

And we even had a five minute meditation, which was new for us.

It was a good evening.