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

Monday, April 20, 2009

BUMPER STICKERS YES OR NO


WILL THAT STICKER STICK?

The "Goodfellow" said:

"Who do these people think they are, putting stickers all over their vehicles, saying to the world, "I am a recovering alcoholic"? That triangle-enclosed circle is nothing more than that. And..."Easy Does It"...who, while driving and fighting the traffic, needs to read THAT trash?


Back when I got sober, we did not advertise.It's a program of attraction, not promotion.

I just don't know what's happening to AA anymore...it's just not like I remember it."

I heard the previous statements said by a self-designated AA guru long-timer, at a recent morning meeting. I remember wondering what business of his it was WHAT I put on my bike. He was making Tradition points, "Attraction rather than promotion", and "Anonymity" particularly. However, more and more I'm letting those kinds of remarks bounce right off my "easily bruised, ultra-sensitive, self centered" Psyche.

A week or so later, the following incident occurred, REALLY:

Coming back to Naples on my bike last night, from an out-of-town wedding, at which I played violin, I was stopped at a red light, and an "older" pickup truck pulled right along side me. "Older" means c.1980. The driver looked to me like he would be at home--as a brand new member--at any of our early morning meetings. He needed more and cleaner shirt, and less--and cleaner--hair...everywhere! And he spoke to me:

"Hey, I almos' din't see ya." I nodded. He continued, "Ya wanna yeller vest? It'll he'p keep ya safe!" Again, I nodded. He threw at me a not-too-clean (or sober!) nearly- yellow vest, the type of which which is worn by many highway workers. At this long light on a busy, busy six-lane roadway, he went on talking (yelling) to me.

"I saw your triangle-and-circle emblem, and figgered you was AA, and then I saw the bumper sticker which reads "SOBER" (Thank you, Scott W!) on your bike's rear tire guard, then I KNEW you was an "OK" guy. I used to be in the "Double A", but it didn't work for me, but you people were sure good to me, and I'm returning the favor. END OF STORY!

Whatever works peeps. and as long as I have a sponsor, I'm working the Steps, doing Service, sponsoring, loving God, AA, my family, my peeps, my AA friends, my meetings, I am in good shape. And as long as I maintain my spiritual condition, I'll be OK. And as long as I'm OK, I am able to love LIFE, and I'm allowed to love YOU!

In LOVE and Service,
Sincerely,
Steve E.

21 comments:

Queenneenee said...

Yea I have lots of bumper stickers. AA and non-AA ones. I would have them stuck to my bumper if I wasn't too lazy to go out and wash my vehicle so they'd actually STICK to the bumper. lol. I am a work in a very loooooong process. And I am OK with that!

Mary Christine said...

What a great story. It reminded me of something that happened to me in Canada a long time ago. I need to write about that sometime.

Lou said...

"it didn't work" for him, but he remembered that people tried. I like that story, Steve-0-Fable.

Kristin H. said...

I love love love bumber stickers and emblems. I love seeing them on the road (I always give a big honk and a thumbs up.) Sometimes I just need to know that there are others out there. And that circle triangle feels like home.

And that was a great story!

Ed G. said...

Great story, Steve - I was thinking about my anonymity thang tonight anyway - must be something in the air...

I might write something tomorrow...

Zanejabbers said...

My sticker is Sober and Crazy.

Rainbow said...

great story, Steve! remember going to AA and feeling safe and accepted. that was a loving gesture from that man....hope he remains safe and finds his way back to AA.

Rainbow

Just Be Real said...

Hey Stevie-Cool posts! Bumper stickers can say a whole lot! Thanks dear for posting this one! Blessings to a new Monday!

Kathy Lynne said...

That's a great story and who knows, maybe your friend will try again...maybe you were the reminder he needed that there is help, to try again.

While I do have stickers on my car, they are not AA. I'm just not ready to let the whole world in...but I do appreciate seeing them on other's cars. I saw one once and only once, one that I would consider putting on my car and it read.."Taking a Trip, Not Taking a Trip"...since we read a portion of More About Alcoholism at my morning meeting it really resonated with me and its just obscure enough that ONLY alcoholics who had read the BB would get it.

Shadow said...

this really happened??? you are gifted in crossing paths with so very many interesting people...

and to answer you. some days, i sit down with a blank mind and blank screen and without thinking type a sentence. usually things flow from there. some days i see a picture or something in life, and immediately the words pop into my head. but i pretty much just write, and if the flow doesn't come naturally i toss it and find something else to write about...

Indigo said...

Paul my other half has been sober for almost 20 years. When I first starting talking about my alcoholism online, he made a point to say something about the anonymity of AA. Kind of a tell your story, not theirs deal. You should of seen the fit he threw when I found a relvoving Triangle to post on my blog (It was on my old journal - it hasn't been put on this one yet).

Finally I told him AA offers guidelines, today is a far different generation than the one Bill W wrote about. I truly believe Bill would of been online and passing all he knew on to who ever would read and listen. Honestly these days it's not a stigma against you if you're an alcoholic. Too many are. My feelings are share and share alike.

Let someone else see the beauty that comes from your sobriety. (Hugs)Indigo

Steve E. said...

Thank you all for "good-shit" responses/comments here.

INDIGO...Yessssss!

Shadow-girl,

Sorry you think I manufacture these happenings, but they are ALL REAL. (I maybe color them a bit, but--you know what?--after being sober for many years, I can look back and find hundreds (maybe more!) of incidents (happenings), each of which can produce a blog entry.

I have kept a log through the years (not every day) and sometimes go there for inspiration. But USUALLY, there is now something of note which happens DAILY in my life.

clean and crazy said...

you know I do understand the 12th tradition of anonymity. But I love being who i am today, and I am proud of who I am becoming. I believe the 11th tradition says attraction rather than promotion, so how attractive is it to see a member who is no longer ashamed of who they are by having bumper stickers or wearing recovery related shirts, and when i am wearing a shirt with NA on it I smile more at strangers, I behave a little better knowing with that shirt on i am representing my fellowship and I am OK with that, I believe it is anonymity at the "level of press, radio and film.." not amongst ourselves. thanks for the awesome post.

Cat said...

loved the story Steve and the great attitude - that works for me!

Recovery Road London said...

Steve

Thanks for your good wishes at my place. I hope you have a good, safe and sober day!

Best wishes

Kenny

Cheryl said...

I loved this story - I try to do this in Al-Anon, keep an open mind, and say, "whatever works for you."

Calli said...

Oh Steve! You have so much to share and you're such a wonderful guy to all of your peeps!

I may not be a peep, but I am a kindred- so basically same thing right? :)

all in fun and it's all good!
~Calli

Bob Francis, LICDC said...

When I was a year sober I went to my Sponsor's house. He handed me a razor blade and told me to go outside and take the AA bumper sticker off my truck. I asked why and he said, you give us a bad name! You drive like a jerk. To this day, no bumper stickers. Keep it simple. Bob Francis

vicariousrising said...

How is anyone supposed to know what a positive example a member of AA can set if we are constantly told to hide our affliation? I'm proud of how I addressed my alcoholism, still carry my keys on the 90 days key ring I got from NA (because that happened to be the only meeting available for me at that day when I needed one) and I've already outer myself as a sober alkie to a couple gals here at the conference I'm attending.

Be proud! And wear your new yellow vest with pride. It needs an AA bumper sticker too.

Syd said...

I like this story Steve. I like what the guy did. He remembered the kindness shown to him and returned it. Maybe that gesture of giving to you might make him want to go back. Who knows? It was a good thing and you accepted the vest like it was an important gift. And it was.

Shadow said...

dear steve e, i don't for a minute think you manufacture these happening. i truly believe they happen. but how so many happen to one person, surely makes you a blessing indeed. and i mean this sincerely.