Monday, May 18, 2009




For a Blong time I have been an in-and-outwardly shy, timid and bashful person. Of course, alcohol loosed some of my inhibitions for about 25 years. But even in Alcoholics Anonymous I continued to suffer with delusions of inadequacy, when outside my group setting, away from the meeting hall.

Sitting in meetings, sharing and working, I am very, VERY enthusiastic, and feel totally "at home". Confidence is my middle name. This is the truth, in any meeting, any city, anywhere, any time.

Outside of the meeting rooms is a different story. I began two months ago having "breakfast with a few of the guys" every Friday after the morning meetings. It has been enjoyable for me, but continues to be an uneasy affair. For one thing, the guys are 20-30 years younger than me. For another, they are all successful in business and life, in their prime. I do not believe any one of them has ever drank under a bridge, unless they were building it, or painting it. Pretty sure none of them ever slept under one. I did. In winter. In Cincinnati. Drunk.

However, we do all suffer from a common, deadly disease, alcoholism, that killer illness which told me I was F.I.N.E., when my life was utter chaos.

Mary C wrote in her Sunday blog, "If you are new to AA, please avail yourself of the fellowship." How timely those words arrived as an addend to my thoughts on a blog for tonight...

Well, I am not new to AA, but I have suffered an inability to avail myself of the full benefit of the fellowship--for many years. At Christmas parties, Gratitude Dinners, Conferences, I have either been, or 'felt like being' a wallflower, unable to join socially with others. Understand, this HAS gotten better as the years zipped by, but I felt a real lacking in my program, which truly affected my peace and serenity.

Today, Anna and I attended an AA birthday party for a friend, at which were about 40-50 local peeps. A girl had handed me an invitation only a week ago, which in the past, I likely might have turned down, thinking I had to go there and "put on a front" of being happy, etc. And I thought, "What in the hell. I AM happy! There is no acting on that score, so what IS the problem...Steve?" Seems as it is a habit, formed long ago in early childhood--like age 4-5-6--when I would not allow ANY one to know me.

We went to the party, and were one of the last to leave, I had such a good time--also I believe Anna enjoyed it. Probably a dozen or more people I've known for years, in actuality I never 'knew' them. And I'm sure some got to know me, because I AM not a quiet guy after a few drinks--COFFEE, guys!

I learned what a pleasure, what FUN it is, to "...avail myself of the fellowship." It is free, it is simply for the asking, it is for participation, and for me, it is learning. And how do I learn? Certainly not by listening, reading, thinking, meditating...but by DOING!

And do you know, God was at that birthday party! God was in almost every conversation which happened there. It was evident in behaviors--no fights, no quarreling, no harsh words or looks. It was evidenced in the genuine caring, sharing and laughter, and the love shown by all to all.

How wonderful is our fellowship. To think that I used to hate the word: Fellowship. Without it I might not continue to grow along spiritual lines--note that word CONTINUE? Important!

I truly love you, bloggers, and that love grows as I listen to what you tell me, and then DO it! Thank you, all! And today is a sober day for all of us. Right? "Yep!"

Peace and Love,
Steve E


Queenneenee said...

I never thought I could have fun unless I was hammered. I am so glad I know different now. I love my sober peeps too! Did you EAT at this party??

Shadow said...

i think those guys are privileged to have you for company at breakfast!

Steve E. said...

Shadow, you are so nice to my blog, "faithful folower"--and you do it with such panache. Thank you.

Queeneeneeneenee Thank You!

I forgot to mention in the blog--Yep, broke my fast on 13th day with a delicacy we call a Hamburger grilled...SO good!

Gin said...

I can be a wallflower a lot of times too. I was a shy child and many times that comes out when I am at parties or social functions. Thanks for reminding me that I don't have to "act" happy because I am happy. Last night when I wrote by blog for today bloggers was one of the things I listed that I was thankful for. By the way, I think a burger is the perfect thing to break a diet for!

Laura said...

Great day, Steve...and GOd can be present, alcohol absent and we still get to have fun! Imagine that!!

Nice post!

Mary Christine said...

hmmm, fellowship AND a grilled hamburger. Sounds good.

Ed G. said...

Glad to hear you're back in the land of the eating.

My solution to my introversion was to marry an extrovert. The standing joke in our circles is that, between the 2 of us, we probably average out to a normal social person.

I hate going to meetings where there are no chairs to put away while she's doing the socializing that she needs to be complete with a meeting.

Isolation is not my friend or a solution - thanx for reminding me to "avail myself of the fellowship" as well...

Cat said...

My husband and I went to our first sober party - no drinking at it at all - about three weekends ago and we were a bit apprehensive - worried, could we actually socialize without booze - but it was great - and one less thing for us to worry about now - because we know its all gonna be OK.

Findon said...

I started a mens dinner e years ago. Once a month we meet, any one can come, and have a curry or chinese meal. We laugh, take the mickey out of each other, assassinate a few people, talk about the girls, especially the ones we aren't married to, and play the would you wouldn't you game. Its about kicking off our shoes and just being men, no criticism, no guilt, no shame. It's become a release valve for many and a door through to a more normal life. The isolation, on many levels can end. Thanks for the post and I hope the breakfasts continue.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I have "realized enough power" to move out to a few new social occasions outside of my normal comfort zone and found in each case that I had a really nice time. Just recently I've been to a pig roast, a benefit dinner and was invited by some other district committee members to hang out after a district meeting... all of which were fun occasions to get to know new people and hear about their experience carrying God to new places always stretches my wings and allows me a little more exercise in the world....thankfully so!

Indigo said...

I once had a friend tell me when I was going through a period of hating life (not long after I lost the last of my hearing), "If you want to be a part of life you have to participate."

It took me awhile to fully grasp what she meant. The only one overshadowing my life due to my deafness was me...(Hugs)Indigo

wolfie185 said...

Hi Steve, nice post and I understand where you are coming from! I am not the most comfortable person in social settings and it use to really eat at me but I have come to understand that part of my make up is the fact that I can't just rattle on about stuff the way others do. If I talk about something I am passionate about like recovery I am fine but just normal mingling is hard for me. I love Fellowship so I go to things even if I don't say a lot and I am completely alright with it. I am very active in service work, CPC chair for my distict, plus do meetings at the mental health hospital and jail, these things have given me an oppertunity to get comfortable speaking to strangers and also trusting the Higher Power, many a time I have been extremely nervous prior to speaking, but by speaking from the heart using the HP's help what I say comes of just right.
Thanks for sharing your awareness, experience, strength and hope with me.

Syd said...

I'm still an introvert. And unless I have some person to talk to that is interesting, I generally leave parties early. I don't do well with small talk. I can't seem to focus on what all the jabber is about. But if I "connect" with another who has something to say, then I can listen/chat for hours. Funny about that.