DRINKING ALCOHOL TAUGHT ME HOW TO FLY
THEN IT TOOK AWAY THE SKY

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shhhhh! LISTEN! HEAR!


"Listening" or "Hearing"...or BOTH

First off, I am not a dictionary. Second, I would benefit greatly if I used one. Third, I would become so engrossed in words, I would quit every other productive activity--except staying sober. And that is only a 'maybe'. So this discussion will be one of interpretation rather than denotation. (See, I would be commenting on how close is the word 'denotation' to 'detonation'.)

These past few years I've been hearing lax interpretations of the Twelve Steps, my "rules" for living.

Big Book, page 59 states,
"Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery." OK? Now, I heard a guy on Thursday (today is Thursday!) say these ..."steps are mere suggestions. We choose to take them or not." (He has been in the program--sober, I'd guess. Maybe?--24 years.) I do not recall the words "MERELY suggested" in our Big book!

I shut my eyes, and prayed to God that someone new in AA was not listening, not paying attention, because the fellow DID sound authoritative, confident, and Program-knowledgeable. I had trouble waiting until he finished, to "jump in"--usually a mistake for me. But today, I was not doing the jumping! I believe god was "pushing hard"! It is difficult to set a room back on the A.A. track, when I'm the only one who recognizes, or is willing to address a problem, unless God is doing the driving. He was this time. (Thank god? -grin!)

People do not realize the seriousness of "playing with" the words, the meaning, of this Program, these Steps and Traditions. It was here for me when I came crawling in. My life was in chaos, my body in pain, my mind about gone, spirituality non-existent. If ANYTHING is changed, there will not be the help here which I needed to stay sober--for almost 35 years!

Remember, Alcoholics Anonymous is for those who want to STAY sober--OK? And that's what we're going to do again today. Right?

Be happy, friends, bloggers!
Sincerely,
Steve E.


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PHOTO CREDIT: LEONARD NEMOY

11 comments:

Findon said...

Well. My weekend post was to be about something I heard said recently in a meeting and is directly concerend with Step One. I totally agree with you, how things are said lead to how things are interpreted. Which is why I have spent the last few weeks mulling over step one, seeing if what this guy said fits in with what the step says.

mile191 said...

hey...nice post. Very timely for me. I am up. Using a dictionary to try to process some things. And hoping some sleep will help. Just came by...well, because you are you and I always find peace in what you write. Thanks...

Shadow said...

one words, as many interpretations as there are people reading them...

Syd said...

Good post. We talked about how our meetings can get "diverted" by people from the other fellowship. And that in Al-Anon, we speak Al-Anon. I think regarding the steps, there are those who really don't want to do them, so they seek the easier softer way to manipulate them to their own liking. Not good.

I left you an award over on my site.

Kathy Lynne said...

I'm glad you stepped in...Thank God for you....because like you said..it is a matter of life and death. And I just watched a friend die. And that guy is right..noone HAS to take the steps. And noone HAS to recover. They can not drink, maybe, if they're lucky. No guarantees with the just go to meetings and ask for help gang. Maybe you'll make it and maybe you won't. Maybe you'll drink, maybe you'll die or maybe you'll just live your life with the obsession to drink clinging to you like a wet jacket. That's an awfully nice feeling.

But the BB does just about does guarantee that if you follow this simple program you will recover. The choice is there to make. One of my friends spent 14 years in AA with the first group. She didn't drink and she went to meetings. Never even cracked the book. I remember hearing her as a speaker in my first month and I almost ran away screaming...this isn't going to work I thought. Now.. she is a little ticked off ....now that she has finally begun to work the steps...and where that is bringing her....and that she wasn't directed there in the beginning. Thankfully she survived...and I think it is true that everyone goes at their own pace and perhaps that was hers...

Thanks steve for being there to carry the message of the Big Book.

Zanejabbers said...

That is one reason I try not to quote the big book. I don't always get it right. But the biggies like "suggested" need to be right on. Merely sounds like it's no big deal. I'm sorry, but Life is serious and most of us are here to save our big ass. Lordy I feel a Soap Box Growing neath my feet.

Akannie said...

LOL...

Freaking alkies...always looking for the loopholes.

PS: Be careful about those dictionaries...I am addicted and probably have about 10 of 'em. Once you get started you can't stop, and there are no 12 step programs yet. :)

Femin Susan said...

wow!
the way you writes is extremely beautiful and different.i loved the way your talent goes.
happy week end....

Indigo said...

It's amazing how a play on words changes the meaning of things. I agree some things are NOT meant to be touched. (Hugs)Indigo

Banana Girl said...

Powerful. Tell Mr.Suggestion to find out how many times the word "Must" is used in the BB. Then ask him if he has ever read the "musts" as they relate to the steps. Ask him if he has read the rationale for the use of the word "suggestion." He will come to realize that the suggestions are called that to invite, not hold. But in order to take hold, we must do certain things. It is a choice, it is a path. There are no other options, therefore, despite the "suggestion", the mandate is clear. This took me a while to learn, but the denotation for me was so important because as you said today....I didn't want to detonate! J.

steveroni said...

Banana Girl, you are SO "with me" today! People like you and comments likeyour are what make blogging so much fun, which is why I "keep coming back"!

Thanks