I don’t want to spend too much time recounting some of the more dangerous and deadly ideas that were shared at the newcomer meeting I went to last night, but here’s a brief recap: (and please note, there was a wet drunk in the room!) Also, in the event that anyone finds this offensive due to the “what we see here stays here, here here…” just know that I have disguised things to protect the innocent (and the guilty!) So, to the drunk we (as a group) said:
“This thing is deadly …uhhh…I don’t know. If you’re one of us, you’re just fucked (umm..ok, I’m reserving judgement at this point…are we talking tough love? It could go either way, BUT THEN . ..) Sometimes I think the ones who died when they were drinking and using were the lucky ones. But we’re here for you…yeah.”
“You’re not unique. Every one of us has been exactly where you are (Great so far! But then a sharp left off the deep end...) I sat in exactly that chair 4 months ago and look at me now. Last week I was here sobbing. But I didn’t want to drink…I wanted to die, end it all, kill myself. (There’s something to look forward to, huh?)
Let’s call him SUNSHINE
Listen, no matter what, you’re going to feel better and better and better (mmm, ok, hard to predict where he’s going with this) If you stop drinking (you being the 40-year-old with sclerosis of the liver and a distended abdomen who is having bowel problems) just 24 hours and you’re going to feel better, so much better! And you’re just going to keep feeling better and better and better (he repeated this point a lot) That’s what happened for me!
Ahhh…sober drunks. You gotta love us for our eternal ability to take any person’s pain and make it all about us.
The truth is, if you’ve been around here for a while and you think the lucky ones were the ones who died using, you’re not getting it.
If after a length of sobriety you’re still trying to end it, you may want to seek some outside help.
And if you think that things get automatically better for every person who stops picking up…well, you’ve never been me. When I stopped drinking and using, things got worse…a lot worse, for a short while. Take my witty and charming personality and remove substances (back then) and you’ve got raw unleashed rage. Yuck!
That’s why Step 2 doesn’t say that the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous can restore us to sanity. It says we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity (note that it also does not say we are restored to sanity at this point…only that we come to believe in the possibility.) It’s why it is so very important to think about the message we are carrying to the newcomer. It’s why I’m writing this blog…to remind you that this blog will not restore you to sanity…but the steps, now the steps are where the power is.
We work the steps for one reason and one reason only: TO FIND A WAY TO A GOD OF OUR UNDERSTANDING, or whatever your version of that is. The process of the steps begins to clear away the trash that is cutting us off from the sunlight of the spirit. It cleans the closet, yeah, and that’s good stuff. Because you may have some really bad moments in sobriety (we call that life on life’s terms) and you don’t get to drink over them. You may take some vivid and wild rides and things may get so good that you suddenly wonder if you were ever even an alcoholic to begin with–but you still don’t get to drink. There are a lot of reasons to drink, but if you have any reservation that drinking can still be your solution, you’re dead–and I mean that literally.
We don’t drink or use no matter what. I can’t emphasize that point enough. And when you don’t drink/use no matter what for enough days in a row, what you discover is that you live through it (whatever it is…your feelings, someone’s death, losing your job) and it doesn’t kill you. It’s called acceptance people, or WELCOME TO REALITY, and it’s the price we pay around here for the high cost of survival and the extraordinary opportunity to be rocketed into the 4th dimension.