Friday, January 9, 2009


Is this how AA will one day appear to the drunk at the door?


Friday morning I attended two really great meetings--they usually are! After B & B (That's Breakfast & Blogging! for you Benedictine addicts!), I biked to some errands. On way home from the bank, I passed a little meeting room called "The Serenity Club", just before 12 noon. What does one do, when a situation like that presents itself? Well, I stopped in.

Now, this is a place very near to my house, but where I seldom attend meetings--don't really know why, bad vibes from the past, maybe? Well, I knew several of the ten in attendance. The chairperson I used to sponsor (Mr.soberwetpants), couple years ago, until he fired me (something about a resentment? -grin). And the meeting was a 12X12 reading, then discussion.

Mr.soberwetpants announced we were on Step NINE, that he had several weeks before, started the step study on Step TWELVE, and was moving backwards. I truly thought he was joking, but everyone just turned to step 9, as if this was a common way to work and learn about the steps.

I hate to be (always, lately, it seems?) the "bad guy" and so I usually sprinkle lots of sugar on my remarks when I'm telling people they are waaaay off the beam. But I had to let them know that our beautiful God-given Steps, forged through the hard experiences of early members, were numbered in such a way as the plans for a building are numbered. Most of the guys there were out-of-work construction employees, so they fully understood the analogy of a solid foundation on which the rest of the building is placed.

So, I was more than attentive, as the small group "shared" on Step NINE. It seemed to be all about saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry", to all who might listen: family, friends, co-workers, strangers. And there was lots of talk about "forgiveness". Mr.soberwetpants said, "I first had to forgive myself"...UGH! I nearly threw up!

I HAD to let them know my incredulousness at how little was really being understood in this room, regarding this step. The fact that this--and the Fourth Step--more than all others, required a sponsor was unheard of. The fact that "Making Amends" meant that somewhere along the line a CHANGE was necessary, was unknown in that room.

This group meets in Naples, where AA and Alanon is much alive, very strong, showing muscle-flexing growth--in every way. To think I just "happened to be riding by" this particular meeting at 12 noon was, of course, a coincidence, as we all now know -BIG GRIN!

However, when I go there Friday, it will not be coincidence, it will be an act of willingness to do God's will, if indeed it IS God's will.

Funny thing, we'll probably be on Step EIGHT, where we "make a list" of those people to whom we "made amends to" the day before!

Hey, Blogger Peeps, I am grinning at the preposterousness of this "backward method" of working the steps. I just cannot BELIEVE it! But I can and do believe God is in charge, and that God works mainly through people, in God's Own Time.

"In love and service" (I don't use those words often, or lightly),
Steve E.


Mary LA said...

I hear you Steve -- funny but excruciating misunderstandings --


Shadow said...

maybe you were just meant to go in there so you could pull your hair out... just a joke!

Prayer Girl said...

When I heard this yesterday, my mouth dropped so wide open - you could have driven a truck into my head. In point of fact, maybe something did drive in there - I felt like my head would explode.

I believe in group conscience, but this seems to be carrying it a little too far - at least for me. (I'm probably giving the group more credit than it deserves.) Thank God there are tons of meetings here in our fair city.

I guess I sound pretty harsh and judgmental - I'll work on that!

Lou said...

Uhmmm..so backwards is wrong..LOL.

You set 'em straight, Steve-O-Enforcer!

Kristin H. said...

That is a rather bizarre way of working the Steps. What's next? Making up Steps that don't really exist?

~Tyra~ said...

Wow, doing the steps backwards would totally confuse me.

Syd said...

I don't see how Bill W. and the first 100 aren't whirling around in their graves. What a mess...It makes me wonder hard about the future of AA.

Faith said...

I'm alive! And sober! I hope you are having a good 2009. Sorry for the disappearing act - just haven't had much to say. *hugs*

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Fantastic that God still shows us daily how to be of service.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Very odd...I hear a lot of folks talk about how they had to forgive themselves first; this is so weird to me. I guess studying religion in college made me think about the meaning of forgiveness and what we are really called to do in an orderly fashion...Good Orderly Direction!!!


Cat said...

Hmm...I think you were meant to happen upon that group and enlighten them in that sugary way you do! *big grin back!*

Prayer Girl said...

Had to double-dip.

Who told you you could post my picture on your blog?????


steveroni said...

Prayer Girl, you said you wanted to look slim and trim for New Year's Eve.

Who said, "Careful whatcha wish for"?

dAAve said...

An AA speaker once told the story of working the steps backwards, one at a time, until a drink was the next thing to do.

Mary Christine said...

I don't see my comment here, so I am thinking it went off into the ether.

These are times when I have to trust God that people who really want to get sober will find their way to a REAL meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Good grief!

idenmw said...

grateful to have found you.

steveroni said...

idenmw WELCOME!!!

I am glad to have "found" you also...both here (blogspot)...and here (Naples)
Steve E.

PS I'm amazed!