Friday, June 26, 2009



Now that it is Friday, I am particularly glad to be home, for it is my night to attend a small meeting at "detox". This is one of our locked areas of room-and-board in Naples where people go to slowly have removed from their bodies (maybe also their minds? No, maybe not!) whatever they were using to make themselves 'feel good'.

Their 'stay' is usually 4-6 days, and so if I see any of them more than once, it would likely be at an AA meeting, or when I pick them up to go to a meeting. A guy asked me this morning (at 6:30 AM) "Why do you go to detox meetings, after you've been sober for 35 years?"

Good question! With all the great wisdom I could muster, I told him, "I really don't know. It's been too long since I've asked myself 'Why' about activities like that. I've finally come to the point where I just do it. Whatever 'it' is.

(LATER) Wait! I DO know why I am drawn to detox for a meeting. That is where it all begins, for some. And I need to witness that beginning stage of "soberism". I have found that, for me, many years of sobriety can create a tendency to become distant from "how it was".

Sure, I attend speaker meetings, I sponsor a couple (three) guys, I get to lots of meetings, at least two a day. Big Book, Steps, and Tradition meetings are a regular part of my diet. Along with some service work, I still find that, for me, nothing, but nothing, brings my disease so close to home, to reality, as a meeting with those suffering in a detox unit.

This is where the hair on my violin bow meets with the strings on my violin. Without that 'meeting' there will be no music played. And so THAT'S why I feel so blest to be allowed to share my ESH with the newest of the new.

Lets go back to: "I've finally come to the point where I just do it. Whatever 'it' is.

NOTE: Sometimes as I look back at a particular 'it', I recall how embarrassed I would have been 20 or 30 years ago, doing the same 'it'. Because not every 'it' is commonly, usually normal. But at my age, at my stage, I just move on, trying to let go and let God take care of the outcome. Frequently I'll pretend I'm "looking" at God, and I'll say (not pretending!), "Are You kidding, God? You want me to do THAT? You want me to say WHAT? 'They' will laugh at me, God!"

But, when that (heavenly? Hmmm?) urge keeps rattling the brain, I finally say, instead of "Why?"...well, I say, "Why not?" And ....away we go.

At the detox tonight were 6 patients, and six of us from outside. Of the six incarcerated, two snored somewhat, one said he never had a drink in his liar--ooops, I meant, in his LIFE! And three seemed as if they figured we'd see them again.

Outside after the meeting, the six of us from AA had another shared thought--we knew we had been where we should have been, at least for one hour, today! Thank You, God. Thank you, AA. Thank you, blogger Peeps!


Barnyard hogs kill more people every year than sharks do.
--Taken from L.M. Boyd's Curiosity Shop

In love and service.

Steve E


Findon said...

"I've finally come to the point where I just do it. Whatever 'it' is.
I love that and it is so true. I need people like you as well as the newcomers. I have to be able to see both bookends.
Take care.

Linda S. Socha said...

I have lived with alcoholism in one form or another...with one loved one or another to the point it is one of my earliest memories. I know the ....Just do it....really is the right of it. I like what you had to say and how you said it Steve

Gin said...

I like your point about wanting to be where it all starts for some. It must be nice to be reminded of how it all began and in your case knowing where it can all end up. I am glad you do "it". Oh yeah, and barnyard hogs? Really?

Mary Christine said...

You make retirement sound really good.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I love detox meetings. They really do show the beginning of a process of determination for people and you can see it in each of the patients.

My old sponsor likes to make an observation about a detox meeting in the past:

(Talking to patients in detox)

"So how are you tonight?"
(chorus of) "Fine"

(Scratches head)"So how many of you are here because you decided to be?"

(hands raise)

"Really..(scratches head) You do know where you are right?"

The height of delusion is right there in the room. Because those of us who understand disease (I was told and now believe) know that there was a Power working on us that DROVE us to that point.

Prayer Girl said...

I'm a work in progress when it comes to just doing 'it' - whatever 'it' might be.

Fear of embarrassment and what people might think is still with me to a degree - - - I know it is EGO!

God so often nudges me in directions that cause me to think just as you wrote, "Are You kidding, God? You want me to do THAT? You want me to say WHAT? 'They' will laugh at me, God!"

I go ahead and answer His urging more often than I used to, but not enough to satisfy.
I pray for release from EGO.


Ed G. said...

That does it! You convinced me! I will NEVER swim with barnyard hogs again.

As someone who's on the "I just do it plan" as well, I think it's also worthwhile to notice that the 6 from AA stayed sober for an hour... Maybe even didn't think totally about themselves for an hour.

A miracle!

Blessings and aloha...

Ann H. said...

Steve, I'm a little over a year sober and when I see someone with 20-plus years, I have hope. Especially early on. Like, you think its not possible but then they talk and they were really not so different than me, so maybe I can do it too. By doing it how you did, odaat.

Lou said...

I'm grateful for each and every person who shares their ES&H with Andrew..even when they may believe he does not have chance in hell. I truly feel each of these people lay a piece of hope on the path to his salvation.

vicariousrising said...

I was such a mess my first three days in detox that they didn't send me to the AA meetings. Eek.

Carol said...

It makes sense what you say. I have to believe that my higher power sends me where I'm supposed to go.

Carol said...

(double dipping) I don't have to perform miracles, I just have to show up, pay attention, do my best and let go of the outcome.