AS IT WAS...AS IT IS
At a meeting this morning, I heard a new member say she wished she could have at once a lot of knowledge about AA and how AA works. She just "wanted to know more", in order to stay sober.
I sat there thinking back to my early days in Alcoholics Anonymous. I wanted to read everything I could, to immerse myself in the program. I soon owned a collection of recovery literature. "AA Comes of Age", "The AA Way of Life" (Later to become "As Bill Sees It"). In our library at home was a complete set of vinyl recordings of talks by AA's first alcoholic priest, Father John Doe (Ralph Pfau).
I really thought that more knowledge would help me stay sober. WRONG! In fact, how could reading a book help me? I would read one short paragraph, and the plague of my life would take hold. 10 seconds later I could not recall a thing about that paragraph. So reading, and listening were not to be the way to sobriety for me.
At the very end, I was mentally incapacitated and physically burdened, so that I was ordered by a counselor to drink one (no more, no less) pint of Vodka every 24-hour period, just to stay in survival mode. (Notice--I still capitalize the word Vodka.) And I did that for several weeks. So getting sober was not so bad after all, right? --grin!
For some time, I really thought that consumption of one pint of Vodka every day WAS sobriety! Because it SURE didn't make me drunk, since I was used to several pints a day simply for maintenance of my stuporous condition.
Back to the real point of this post--I discovered that what they had said to me was correct. GETTING this program was not a series of lessons learned from reading books or listening to talks. It was NOT "Don't drink and go to meetings!" GETTING the program of Alcoholics Anonymous required DOING things, not turning pages in a book. I had to do what I was told. My first job was cleaning ash trays, and I became very good at that, they sparkled. In fact, I would gather ash trays during a meeting, empty and wipe clean...
My first meeting was a Step Study, as were the next dozen or so, except for a few speaker meetings. I never heard "Meeting Makers Make It" until I was sober 20 years. I never heard a LOT of the crap that is bantered about now, until I had been sober many years. I DID hear "Help another alcoholic who is suffering."
And that is where my program IS!
I was so fortunate to be surrounded by some wonderful, helpful, loving, long-timers, who took me along with them on this wild ride.
And I am blest today, this very day, to have been surrounded with some wonderful friends who love me, and I them. At tonight's meeting (Monday) I was made to feel like, well...someone special, ya know what I mean? Thank God this does not happen often --grin!
And I am simply honored today, these past 16 months, to be surrounded with you AMAZING Peeps online in this part of the blog world. Almost all of you are extremely honest, forgiving, fun and funny, truly non-fake spiritual Peeps.
We all want to share, and do so with integrity (trying to not hurt others) our experience, strength, and hope. We are ALL trying, as best we know, to do the will of a Power outside of ourselves, to grow. We all pray, meditate, and help one another in these endeavors.
When all is said and done, THIS blog-world is a great part of my sober life, where I learn (sometimes the hard way --grin!) by reading, writing, and commenting. All is well in my world at this time, many thanks to many of you!
I am SO grateful, and I LOVE you all, and wish you the PEACE of untroubled mind, the PEACE of being wonderfully sober and connected with the universe.