WARNING: THE FOLLOWING
IS ABOUT MY EXPERIENCES
IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
|WHAT? NO UMBRELLA?|
During my earliest memory--about age 5-8--Grown-up Peeps would ask me questions like, "What do you want to be when you grow up, young man?" Oh how I hated that condescending-sounded question! I mean, they didn't give a rat's ass about "what I wanted to be", right? RIGHT! So I began to make up things they wanted to hear, like "I want to be a farmer" (like my father) or, "I want to play violin in the Symphony!"
The old joke here is;
Kid: "I want to grow up and be a musician".
Response: "Well, son you can't do both!"
DEFINITELY I do not recall saying--or thinking--"I want to grow up and be a drunk and sleep under a bridge, and eat out of McDonald's dumpsters, and puke a lot, and die all alone of sclerosis while laying frozen in a snowbank!"
Sometimes I would say what I REALLY wanted to be my career...psychologist or psychiatrist. Even at that early age, I felt in myself a special gift for "helping" people sort things out in their lives. Not MY life, understand...please! But I wished to "direct" the lives of others...hmmmmmm? Some bad vibes there?...
So, I played the violin--in symphony orchestras, in cabarets, on street corners, on boats, on airplanes (twice), in String Trios and Quartets, in recording studios, on the beaches of SW Florida, in churches, in Men's Toilet Rooms, for weddings, for funerals, for Christmas midnight masses...
Many years have swept by in hindsighted warp-speed. Today I find myself--not unusual at all in recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous--with several new Peeps to sponsor...which means three men asked me to be their sponsor, AND I became willing to let God use me to help them stay sober.
It is a full life, allowing my time to be taken up by the needs of others. It is satisfying, fulfilling, rewarding.
The reason I am uniquely qualified to be of help, to peeps in real deep-shit trouble is because I have been where they are...I had completely clothed myself in utter chaos, even long since my last drink. Several times!
Staying sober (not drinking alcohol) did not, nor does not guarantee a happy, joyous, free life. Staying sober is simply the beginning. For me it was a prerequisite. Becoming honest, open-minded and WILLING was then necessary. Next came surrender, action, complete change--prayer to some form of Higher Power (my choice)--as requisites.
And THAT is what I guide Peeps through, this 'simple' maze of twelve steps, to somewhat stressless peace, serenity, calmness of spirit, and a sober, happy and satisfyingly productive life.
The reason--again--how I am qualified for this new (volunteer) job, is that I myself did everything WRONG! And learned the hard way. Many Peeps have forgiven and forgotten...one or two have not. God will sort that all out in time.
One of my personal needs is spiritual help to grant me patience, tolerance and calm understanding to allow other Peeps the RIGHT TO BE WRONG! I heard those words at my second AA meeting, more than 36 years ago.
And so, in a way, these three peeps I met this week, have entrusted their lives to...who, ME? OMG! Already I feel sorry for them who have asked me to be their sponsor, their guide through the program of AA. But I shall not back away from this responsibility, because it keeps ME sober, you know?
In fact, that is more than half of the whole idea--grin!