Friday, March 6, 2009


Li'l Beaver says: "You Betchum, Red Ryder"


A blogger wrote me concerning a problem they were experiencing, and it was so in tune with some of my own life's trials. In reviewing my own--however reluctant--willingness to humbly ask God to help me in this regard, and to pass along this information (Third Step Prayer) I answered the letter as follows...

TO: (Name Deleted)

Glad to have a chance to talk to you here, in reference to your comment on my blog this morning, and how you see me as "easily meeting and talking with people". It was not always like that. In fact, fifteen years sober in Alcoholics Anonymous, I was as yet quite shy, although beginning to mask it with emotional outbursts of anger, joy, sadness, and the like--I mean real outbursts!

Wow, this could turn into a blong (a long blog-grin!)...but I was very shy as a child. Alcohol, of course alleviated that to some extent. But, as they say., my problems began when I stopped drinking. Before that, drinking solved all my problems. I became reclusive, and isolated like you-know-what--a skeleton in a closet.

"And then one day"...as the story goes, I guess (don't know) I got tired of seeing all these people--some of them with one year sobriety--enjoying life, enjoying themselves and each other while I, with fifteen 'sober' years in AA, embarrassingly sat somewhere alone. I even wrote a poem "I was alone and lonely. Also I spoke to no one, and the world seemed a strange place....etc"

So I began to 'force' myself to talk to strangers. They seemed to be the easiest, because people who didn't priorly know me entertained no prejudgment. Little by little, I just started pretending, by smiling, acting happy, talking to everyone, saying exactly what I thought, no matter what.

I do not hide any more behind words. And now I AM happy! I walk across the street any time we have new neighbors, to meet and greet them. Most are foreigners, Latin, and I can 'feel' their love after a time. I have some stories about that also. Here is one:

An early morning knock at our front door brought me face-to-face with new the owner of the house next door. He is Haitian, could not even speak English. But his sounds and gesturing let me know, that the water company employee was outside shutting off the water supply to our house. I got outside in a hurry. As it turned out, the water company staff had 'fingered' the wrong house, even the wrong street.

This all happened because I went over in December as they were moving in, and offered to help by watching them work -grin! (In times not long back, I'd have never even glanced at the new neighbors, not known where they were from, what work they do, how many children.) I was even then learning to get away from 'me' and into 'others'. How much more beautiful a life does this make? I cannot tell you, since each of us must find our own path in these matters. For me, it makes my life indescribably better, more fulfilled, more at peace, more happy!

Everywhere--yes everywhere--I go on my bike, I wave to people and smile (big). It amazes, it awes me, how many people now wave back and smile with me. They 'know' me now. I always talk with people at meetings who I do not know--I've become real good at that "first responder" type of encouraging, enthusiastic, meeting with a new person.

And now it has become EASY!!!! And I forget how it used to be (in sobriety for years) until you or someone reminds me. So I thank you more than you know--for letting me see what God has done in my life, what I could not do for myself. And NONE of this is my pride, what I'm writing you now...just the way it is. I believe that is why God keeps us blogging--to share with one another what marvelous changes He has brought about in our separate lives, changes we could never have accomplished alone.

Of course I make mistakes, talk out of turn, gossip a little, whisper to a neighbor during a meeting, whatever. I get by with some stuff because of age, and 'time' sober, and 'grinning'. God smiles at me, and I cooperate--daily--which gets me through almost each and every day in a safe, happy way. Nothing could make me happier at this moment however, than that something I wrote here might be of help to you.

And with that all said, I've got to get to a meeting--it's 5:10 AM here. I may use this as my blog tonight, but of course, I would delete your name from it.

Truly, I LOVE your work, your words, your pictures--as do SO many. Thank you for all that you do here and elsewhere!

In love and service,
Steve E.


vicariousrising said...

Steve, you know, sometimes I think you might be Santa Claus. Why not retire to Naples?

Shadow said...

thank you, steveroni!

Syd said...

Very good, honest letter about your E,S, and H. I also have been shy. And still am but I make myself talk to people after meetings. I do my best not to be so serious (which I am by nature). It's work but worth it.

Anonymous said...

This post could be an addendum to "How It Works" in the Big Book. Beautifully said m'dear.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I'm with vicarious!!! You ARE a Santa Claus, you give gifts unseen all the time!!!

I am so glad you wrote about this, it inspired me. :)

Banana Girl said...

Once again you are revealing the gifts....thank you J.

molly said...

i thought this was the sweetest post. sometimes i make the mistake of looking too far into the future as to how i WANT to be - improve this, change that, yada yada.. it's so much nicer to look BACK at where we've come and be able to smile.. we notice so many 'little' things that we are NOT anymore. and oh it is those little things - they add up and you turn into this person even you don't recognize. and you smile at this new being. it's cool how it works really.

Christy said...

Awww I love this post. I'm the exact opposite of you. I used to be the very opposite of shy, but since I've lost most of my hearing, I now tend to shy away from conversations.

I love the fact that you smile and wave at strangers. One of my New Yorker friends told me that if you did that up there, people would think you have some alternative intention... like mugging or murder. :) I'm not sure that's really true, but it was funny.

Mary Christine said...

Glad you came out of your shell.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

What an amazing letter to all of us..thank you Steve O Roni...you are such a great gift from god indeed and you express the feelings that I have felt so well, thank you as usual and much love to you!

Selchie said...

I enjoyed this, getting to know a bit more about your life. I was thinking about addiction this morning and I was wondering if you might write a bit about it on your blog. As in for example what's the difference between a heavy drinker and an alcoholic? Is there a difference? Can an addict then become someone who can drink moderately that kind of thing. I hope you don't mind me asking but I would be interested to know your thoughts.)

Linda S. Socha said...

Excellent post....Love your honest letters....I can picture you riding your bike and waving most any time. This is part of how it all works