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

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FRIENDS FOREVER!




Note to "xxx"
...Forgive easily, laugh joyfully, and serve
others with Love and compassion.
There happiness is.
And keep writing.
US

FELLOWSHIP OR FRIENDSHIP

Tuesday I chair the 8 AM "Early Risers" AA meeting. It is the one for which I was a 'no-show' last Tuesday. Do you remember the meeting in which I apologized the next day, and they looked at me as if to say, "Whatcha talkin' 'bout, man?" What a beautiful moment in my week! A moment of virtue being learned.

Anyway, topic tomorrow is about FRIENDS in AA, and what they mean to me. My AA friends mean more to me than all 'friends' before. These are the people--finally--who accept me at face value, who neither fame nor defame, neither applaud nor blame, neither rate, nor berate. They only share out of love.

Friends, the night after my first AA meeting--I did not even know their names--came to the cocktail lounge where I worked and sat at the bar, in what I figured was the AA way to 'police' their own. How wrong was I! They (usually three guys) came in to be supportive for me, at my job, which was pouring a tank-truck-load of alcohol into glasses for people to drink. In fact, these bar visits by my new AA friends probably are a huge reason why I did not drink since the night before my first AA meeting, a long time ago.

So many who helped, spent time--and money, so many who lent their expert advice, so many who did actual physical labor at my house, so many who patiently tolerated my ranting , my lengthy 'shares', my stupid perspectives, my truth-stretching, so many of these are friends today. Most who were here when I first walked into the room, have passed on. But I find myself frequently quoting them, verbatim, though I do not remember who said what...nor when.

Without friends like mine from sober day one, I would not have had "sober day TWO"! I would not be here today. And so for me there is but one goal left...that is to pass it on, help others to recover from alcoholism. And I only can do that by practicing certain principles in ALL my living of life today. Yep, those Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. A spiritual way of living.

In several areas (family?) I have run into brick walls, walls that maybe I have built. God will either remove them, or let them be. He has not yet 'talked' to me about that -grin! Or perhaps I've not listened to the Spirit-Voice.

Back to topic: FRIENDS.

Fellowship means Friendship. I prefer the friendly term, maybe because I felt so friendless for so many years. So empty. So alone. So forsaken, so abandoned. SO DRUNK! I chose the prison I had built for myself, to be the place where i should die. Death did not come. It did not happen. God intervened. New friends, many of whom had lost everything, saw in me something worth saving. And there I was. God intervened. And here I am.

Two of the alcoholics I know have mountain homes, one in Colorado, one in North Carolina. We have a standing invitation to visit, and enjoy what they have worked so hard for. Isn't that just miracle stuff? For me, it is.

And now, with some years of sobriety, God has sent me to you bloggers. What a profound difference you have made in my life. I have a new motivation to write, to learn, to share, to just be among you. I have learned how to better meditate, pray, spread happiness and good cheer, relate and identify with the new person in the room. I am learning where God is, and where He is not.

Without you bloggers, and our unseen but extremely personal and spiritual relationships, my life today might not be overflowing with love, and I might not be eternally grateful. I might never have translated gratitude into action.

PRAYER REQUEST

Two specific matters in the lives of young people close to us which are very disturbing, will be ongoing for some time. And if anyone has room on their prayer list, please add our intentions. Thank you, dear blogger peeps.


Love,
Steve E

TRIVIA

Did you know the literal meaning of Bethlehem? "House of Bread".

WOW!

14 comments:

Shadow said...

you've just brought it home to me just how hard it is to do it without friends.... it's desperately needed...

Gin said...

Steve I am so honored to count you and PG as my friends. Your post was absolutely beautiful. It almost brought me to tears...I SAID ALMOST! :-) Have a wonderful Monday Steve.

Madison said...

Isn't it odd that when you are leaving behind this stoned out life you think you'll lose all your friends? Then, you end up with more true friends than most people. I wonder why it's so difficult for all of us to leave behind, let go and trust that God really does have our backs. Nice reminder.

Gin said...

I said Monday didn't I? It's Tuesday. Don't worry I didn't have a black-out...

Prayer Girl said...

You asked me recently if I thought my closest non-alcoholic friends for 25 years would still be my friends if I were still drinking. I answered in less time than it takes for my heart to beat once, "I would be dead."

They are still my friends and since that day of reckoning and surrender my friends list has multiplied beyond my wildest dreams. They include so many AA and Al-Anon friends and of course all my new blog friends.

ME

G-Man said...

A friend in need is a friend indeed..

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Praying for your young friends, God knows their hearts too and is moving already, I just know it.

I did not know the true meaning of Bethlehem, how cool!

Ed G. said...

All that I know about true friendship and love I learned in the rooms and fellowship of AA.

Good, bad, all of it...

Blessings and aloha...

Zanejabbers said...

I've made some very good friends through the fellowship of AA. One in particular is always there, no matter what. Sobriety is no longer a choice for me, it is a way of lif.

Indigo said...

I spent years thinking all I needed was me, myself and I. It took getting sober to see the beauty a friendship offers. (Hugs)Indigo

mile191 said...

absolutely. you and they will have our and my prayers. hugs for all you do for me and others. thanks for blogging and for being such a support to me.

I am hosting the blog carnival this month. Come join in if you would like. hugs, mile 191

Carol said...

You've provided inspiration for my post today. Thank you!

vicariousrising said...

My good thoughts are going out to those having difficult times.

I am blessed to have friends that have been true to me through my sobriety although they are not AA folk. I think it is because they all became a part of my life as a long part of my own personal recovery from problems before my alcoholism took ahold -- I have taken a strange path, but I have been seeking recovery for a long time. (hummm. I'm not sure any of that made sense. Well, what it comes down to is I have been picky with my friendships because my childhood taught me so, so I guess those who have hung with me are true and wonderful and have stuck by me through my worst and support me thoroughly now).

I adore my online recovery buddies. I'm still close to one real life AA friend, but my main two AA friends ditched me when I stopped attending meetings. When I called them to meet up socially, they didn't return calls. It's sad, but they did not stand by me so long as my mind was not aligned with theirs. Perhaps it was simply the case of those two. I'm glad to have found AA friends here that have not shunned me the same way.

Friends forever is a terrific thing. I love the idea of being in touch with wonderful people whose hearts are filled with joy.

Andrew said...

Where would any of us be without the support of friends and family?

Emptiness I would guess.