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,