Sunday, March 1, 2009



NOTE: I want you all to know, this is an especially happy day for me. I got to chat with, laugh with, and enjoy for the first time, someone who seems like an old friend (well, not OLD old!)--steveroni


A girl "N", who has been trying to 'stay' sober--well, it turns out she is not really trying too hard, in my opinion. She has been 'trying' for about 22 years. I'm trying to decide what trying means, in many of these cases where someone claims to be trying to stay sober.

My own history of early sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous did not know or use the word 'trying'. It was rather a history of doing things--and don't give me this crap about "We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS!" (I 'tried' that once and got nowhere! I even chanted: "Hmmmm!... Hmmmm!...Hmmmm"!)

If I'm not DOING anything in AA, I'm not GOING anywhere in sobriety, peace, happiness, self-fulfillment, being loving and helpful to and for others. I saw others "not doing things". They only seemed to place themselves in that revolving door...or on the downward-hurtling elevator, spiraling into an unhappy life of loneliness, sometimes into that bottomless pit of chaos, sickness, and premature death.

N says often that she wants to stay sober. She claims our famous "...all that's required is a desire to stop drinking..." as her mantra. And she desires to stop, each and every day. Well, so did I have that desire--many times each day--BEFORE I was pulled into the room of my very first meeting. My desire immediately changed to a commitment, to not drink, to come back next week, and to read the Big Book. And I became true to that promise to myself.

I did not really WANT to "not drink"--hell, I wanted to drink so badly that you could take one of the fingers off my right hand..for a quart of vodka, and that is truth! Only thing which kept me from drinking was that I might honor my commitment--"don't drink, and come back next week", they said. (I was a bartender six nights and "did AA" on my night off.)

And so the hours became days, which soon were weeks, which merged into months, which added themselves up to years, and here I am, still honoring my commitment to me, One-Day-At-A-Time! And now I go to meetings (and blogospheres) where I feel welcome, at home, respected, appreciated and supported. I hang around in AA recovery places--on or off-line--where I might be of some help to someone now and then, and where--as in the TV CHEERS--everyone knows my name. Actually, I do not really need "everyone to know my name", it just sounded cute to me to write that! -grin!

I sponsor three people right now, one 23-year long-timer (I see him at meetings), one short-timer (he calls), and one four-year guy who is in Chicago at this time. But boy!, do I have some stories about people God has sent me with whom to work...in years past. Some good blog material...

This has been so far a positively wonderful ride, and there's no reason to get off the bus now, since I finally have an idea where it is headed.

As someone reminded me on the telephone tonight, "God does not need my help, but He DOES ask my cooperation."

Please pray for N. She does not have many more shots at this thing. Thank you.

May the God within you, and the God within me, help us to share what we have with one another, in true love of the spirit.

Steve E


Prayer Girl said...

I will pray for "N".

I am so very grateful for my own sobriety and for the sobriety of those who share the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous with me. I never underestimate the value of this priceless gift.


Mary Christine said...

Someone told me when I was new
"if you're tryin', you're lyin'"
And I think it's true.

Shadow said...

the thing about admitting you're powerless means you actually have to do something about it, and that makes it hard, since then there are no more excuses left. n's in my prayers.

Kristin H. said...

I have never had a desire to see the future but in N's case, I wish I could capture her future in a snapshot and show her where the drinking will take her. Even then, she probably wouldn't get it. In the meantime, I will pray.

Akannie said...

I don't think this is the exact quote, but it's close...(if you an quote an animated character...)

"TRY ?? There is no try. Either you DO or you DON'T.!!
~~~~~~~~~~Yoda (StarWars)

It gets pretty simple, when you come right down to it.


steveroni said...

Thanks PG for prayers for N...you know her!

Mary did you realize you wrote a POEM there? A "first" on my blog comments! Thank you.

Shadow, running out of excuses is like running out of air if you're 120 feet under the Atlantic's top waves.

Kristin: She would "get it" but she would not "get it"...know what I mean?

Annie K, Betcha a LOT of people quote Yoda! Ya mean he's not REAL?

Indigo said...

I keep a snapshot in my head of where I would be if I continued to drink. It's a picture of a gravestone. I will definitely be keeping "N" in my prayers on the smoke. (Hugs)Indigo

Cat said...

I am keeping N in my prayers.

My husband and I joke about the Yoda quote - there is no try - do or do not...

He had done - almost 500 days now! Woohoo!

Mike Golch said...

I will N in my prayers.I am greatful for the gift of sobriety as well.It took me a long time to finaly decide to turn my life ever to God,and let Him help me stay sober.Thank God for A.A. Mike G. said that.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

N will be in my prayres and meditations. It is true what Indigo said, my future would be a grave. I just hope that somehow that "aha" moment hits her.

I also heard what Mary Christine said, "if you're tryin' your lyin'" and know that to be true in my life.

Many hugs!

Zanejabbers said...

I think we all know an "N" person.
Wonderful post. She must be so miserable, but won't SURRENDER.
And it is so sad. I pray for thes N types all the time and have seen a couple of them finally choose to follow direction and surrender. Those are the true miracles.

Lou said...

Well said, and with Steve-O-Humor as usual. Thanks.

Woman said...

Mm.. yeah I'm a great believer in the doing rather than the chatting. I did a book a few years ago called The Artist's Way which is 12 weeks, Twelve steps and written by an ex alcholic and in it she says don't try to do something just do.
Great post.) Happy day, Mr Bach.

Molls said...

Love this picture Steve!

I wonder what YOU would think of this book I'm reading--An Altar in the World, by Barbara Brown Taylor. If you're so inclined to check it out, let me know what you think about her take on Being and Doing.

Syd said...

I hope that N gives up trying and starts doing. Thanks for posting about your E,S, and H.

The photo is great. Reminds me of some places around here.

vicariousrising said...

Yah, I tried to take a "break" from alcohol once, with the full intention of going back to it after I got the issue "back under control."

Yep, I can laugh about that "attempt" now.

There I'd only one choice for me: do not drink and do whatever is necessary to not drink. There is no try. Yoda be my swami. I must say, though, I believe in being a human BEING also. Doing like a robot doesn't work for me. It's got to have my heart and spirit behind it too.

judith ellis said...

"My own history of early sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous did not know or use the word 'trying'. It was rather a history of doing things--and don't give me this crap about "We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS!" (I 'tried' that once and got nowhere! I even chanted: "Hmmmm!... Hmmmm!...Hmmmm"!)"

What a powerful statement. This goes for many situations in life. Thank you for this.