I have really been struggling with something lately. I have written about it a teeny bit, but not much. Yesterday I had a bit of an awakening, so I am going to write about it.
I have been going to a 5:30 meeting for several months. I had never been to it prior to August of this year. It used to be a smoking meeting and I didn't go to smoking meetings. I love this group. There are so many new people there. There are a lot of women there. There are some oldtimers there too. However, as I have sat there night after night for months, I have noticed something. The people with more than 20 years of sobriety give speeches every night. They have canned spiels that they give every single day. They have tag lines that they throw in the beginning of their share and at the end of their shares. This stuff seems to have a lot of appeal to people newer in sobriety because I think it sounds good. They talk about what happened 20 years ago, but not what is happening today.
OK, that is enough of me taking their inventory. That is their business. MY problem is that I have begun to have doubts about what I am doing. I share honestly, from my heart, about what is going on today, and it doesn't always look so good. I am going through challenges right now, as you all know, with my son in Iraq, my daughter on meth, my grandchildren in flux, my son-in-law in rehab, my finances beginning to buckle under the strain of trying to do what I can for my grandchildren, etc. I talk about this stuff. I am not sober FOR YOU. I am sober for me. I must help other drunks if I expect to stay sober, but I am clear on the fact that we are all only sober 24 hours at a time. I cannot stay sober today on yesterday's sobriety, and I have not graduated to some higher level of "recovery" where all I do is tell you what to do. I am here to stay sober. Me, Mary Christine, the terrible, terrible drunk. Sober (for 22 and a half years) only by the Grace of a loving God. Not by all of my tremendous "work".
So, of late, I have decided to shut my mouth in meetings. And I sit there and feel like I don't belong. And that I haven't got a clue because I haven't got a canned speech, etc. This is all self-centered bullshit. This is my EGO at its finest.
Last night, as I was slinking out of the meeting, feeling like I have lost my way - honestly - I am that dramatic... a newer woman came over to me and said this. "I am always so happy to see you here because I know I am going to hear you laugh. I love to hear your laugh, it makes me laugh no matter now bad I am feeling. I love it when you share in the meeting because you are always so honest..." After I expressed my gratitude to this woman, another woman came over and told me basically the same thing. They told me they are so grateful that I started coming to that meeting and that I am an "integral part of the group." And then I realized that I just need to be willing to share what ever gifts God has given me. It is not up to me to judge them. And it certainly isn't up to me to decide that I have nothing to offer because I haven't graduated to Sobriety Sainthood.
That's it. I feel better. Thanks for listening, and caring. I really appreciate you bloggers too. I wish my ego wasn't out to get me, but it is. It is what tells me that I am separate from you and that I am not good enough, or that I am too good, but that I am not a part of, I am apart from.
"In my view, we of this world are pupils in a great school of life. It is intended that we try to grow, and that we try to help our fellow travelers to grow in the kind of love that makes no demands. In short, we try to move toward the image and likeness of God as we understand Him." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 306