Thursday, July 10, 2008

Alcoholics Anonymous--

Alcoholics Anonymous has been for me--the second 15 years--like one forever Santa Clause. The gifts just keep pouring onto a pile, I use them, and then I give them away. And then more gifts arrive for me to use and enjoy.

When we were very young (before my first pint of wine!) my mother would have us gather and pack up our toys. We piled them into the car and took all the "good-conditioned" ones to a poor family downtown. Then, Santa would come and give us whole new bags full of stuff.

Well, AA is quite the same to me. I give, I get (but I do NOT give JUST to get!). Giving is fun, as is "getting". Which brings me to a (Ha!) sober thought. Alcoholics Anonymous is always giving stuff: Twelve Steps, Traditions, Peace, Love, Serenity, yes, even Happiness and, of course, friends, new relationships with family, Confidence, and finally, the best gift, a Friendship with a Higher Power, for me...God--that IS His name--right? I can talk to Him, it's just like talking to a buddy. Or, I can content myself by just BEing in His Presence, with not a single thought in my head to mar our momentary Union. Like I might sit on a park bench with a loved one, not a word passing between us...just love!

However, as well and often as these gifts are offered, they are not really gifts unless I accept them. Although I did not know it at the time...God offered to me AA and the Twelve Steps--which is a nice gift--but WAIT! It is not a gift until I take it (and use it?). If I give to you a book, but you do not reach out and grab it with your hand, there is no gift. The old saying, "It takes two to Tango" fits right in here.

Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice has his character say, in the "Quality of Mercy" speach "A gift is twice blest--in him that gives and him that takes." I love that line, for it explains to me why so many of us don't "make it" here in Alcoholics Anonymous. We did not accept the offered gift. A gift cannot by it's very nature, cannot be "blest" only once.It is not God's fault, or AA's fault. Yet we say things like "AA didn't work for me", as if AA is a hired hand on the farm. Well, I'm here to tell whoever cares to read it: "AA DID work for me, because we worked together--key words "we" and "together". So my last drink was the night before my first AA meeting, and that was 34 years ago, March 18, 1974. Of all the gifts I've received from this program, the only one I really OWN is that date, my sobriety date. Everything else is borrowed, like at the library. I take it out, and I bring it back, for someone else to use. All life is such.

That's enuff out of me today.
Steve E.


Mary Christine said...

Very nice post. Thank you very much.

Pam said...

and thank you for stopping by my blog !!!!

Banana Girl said...

Mary Christine said I should come over and give you a hug as a new blogger. Welcome and it is so wonderful to have long term sobriety in the ranks. I have much to learn from you. I agree about Santa. I will remember that every day is just like Christmas, if He is sought. So keep on Blogging and I will put your link on my site. See you around the sphere.

steveroni said...

Thank youse girls, Mary C, Pam, and Banana Girl (for hug!)..you all make me feel very much at home here. When that happens, I got to back off, and realize that I have LOADS to learn, about blogging...AND about living this wonderful AA Way of Life. Steve E.

J-Online said...

Very insightful for this newbie. Thank you! Jenn

dAAve said...

Hey there Steveroni!

Welcome to the neighborhood. Stop by and chat (or read) anytime you wish. I'll do the same.


Syd said...

Glad to have found your site. It's amazing what we get from these programs if we are just willing.

Ann P. said...

Glad to find your blog, thanks to Mary Christine. I, too, am 75 and my sobriety date is March 1, 1975...just about a year after yours. My husband has 31 years of recovery.
Yes, we've been given a wonderful GIFT and thankfully we were able to ACCEPT it!
Looking forward to more of your blogs.
Ann P.

Zane-nawwaa said...

Hey Steveroni. Loved the fifth, the quart, and the pint reference.
Came over from Mary C. I like humor and you've got it. It's another of those gifts. Stop by and welcome to the sobersphere.

♥Shann♥ said...

Hello Steve! Glad to come over and read ya. MC told us to come and check you out and I am glad I did! Hope you have a great day!

BHM said...

for a new guy, you are doing great with the blogging.Welcome, and your mom was a smart woman.

Scott W said...

Sorry it took me so long to get over to your place, feels comfortable around here. Welcome!