Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Morning Fellowship

I just got home from breakfast, after a meeting of my old home group. It is the first time I have made it up there in 2007! I really needed to be there this morning. Once again, I sat and looked around the room at all of the people who I have known for so long. People who know my story from day 1. Day 1. It was my friend Janet's 27th birthday (yes, 27 years sober.) It was nice to see that everyone who shared talked about what a pain in the ass she is, how difficult to get along with she is, and some folks even called her a bitch. But no one denied that she is sober, has been for a long time, is an absolute miracle, and has helped a lot of people over the years. I am glad that we can talk like this to each other. I am really, really glad.

Yesterday I did run my 10 miles and it actually felt really good. I managed to have a full day after the run too, which was nice because the big runs tend to wipe me out. Maybe all this training is actually working.

Last night was my 6:30 a.m. group's monthly Night Watch. It was at Jack's house. Jack was celebrating 34 years of sobriety. A lot, a lot, a lot of people showed up at his house. It was a nice event. After that, I went over to someone else's house and he went out on a limb and told me that my cussing really detracts from my message at meetings. He also told me that I probably share a bit too much personal stuff in meetings. I told him that I appreciate him telling me this stuff, because that is what friends are for - especially friends in this fellowship. I would truly like to stop cussing because I cuss like a sailor and I think it IS detracting from my message. I would not, however, like to stop sharing personal stuff in meetings because I can't tell you how many times I have realized that it was the hand of God that had me say something that seemed maybe wacky in a meeting. Then I later find out that it was something someone else (usually a new woman) needed to hear. It is not about ME and sounding good, and looking good, and protecting my precious image... it is about carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. And furthermore, no one has to agree with me on this one. My sponsor does and that is all that matters to me.

But I felt bad. I really like the man who told me these things and I really respect him. I cried. I really cried. When I woke up this morning, I realized that I needed to drive across town and be with my "peeps". Thank God I got to sit with Thomas and Richard and Jim at breakfast. I asked them about this stuff, and then I listened. I have known them since I got sober. They have been sober longer than me, and I respect them. They, of course, think the guy who told me this stuff is full of s***. They wondered why he is so concerned with what I am doing in meetings... I know the answer to that, but it isn't important.

Anyway, as I sat there, I realized that part of the problem is the fact that my sobriety is bimodal. For my first ten years, I was pretty dysfunctional. I was staying sober, living from hand to mouth, living a pretty immoral life, not involved in my church, pretty difficult to get along with... hell, I was known to throw coffee at people in fits of rage at meetings, and as you know, I once beat up a clown for God's sake! BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, I did stay sober. And after about 10 years, 10 years of working the steps on an annual basis, my life really changed. I went back to school. I went back to church. I got a job that I still have. I went from being a punk to being a respected member of my community.

The people on THIS side of town know me only as the "respectable" woman they have never seen angry or in a rage. They have never known me to sleep around because I don't do that anymore. They have never known the unemployed, unemployable totally dysfunctional woman that I was. I think their expectations of me may be a little bit high.

And that is OK. They can learn how to deal with expectations. I am very clear on the fact that my feet are made of clay. I am fully fallible alcoholic! And I am sober by the Grace of God today. And for that I am grateful!

"We hope no one will consider these self-revealing accounts in bad taste. Our hope is that many alcoholic men and women, desperately in need, will see these pages, and we believe that it is only by fully disclosing ourselves and our problems that they will be persuaded to say, 'Yes, I am one of them too; I must have this thing.'" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 29


dAAve said...

What a wonderful collection of thoughts and words. You are an amazing woman. I am so glad that you are here to carry the message to this guy who is middle aged but young in sobriety. I have to stay teachable.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mary Christine, just when I respect you, I respect you even more when you share the "old" side of you.

I learn a lot from these sober blogs, such as yours. THANK YOU.

Willa - 381 days sober.

Scott W said...

I am grateful I was able to say, 'Yes, I am one of them too; I must have this thing.'

It strikes me as absolutely hysterical that you beat up a clown.

recoveryroad said...

27 years. 10 miles. 34 years. Your blog wears me, hon! But it inspires me - when I'm werll enough I'm going to start on my bike (cycle) and then move to gentle road work (running). Keep the numbers coming - sobriety dates, running dates, races. You inspire me.

Dave is right - that guy is 'lucky' his HP put you in his path.

Keep on keepin' on and thank you for your strong message today.

K x

Gwen said...

I use to swear like a truck driver too. Somehow it just left me. If I get really angry it comes back quickly.

I have had that discussion with my sponsor about sharing and what to share. I have changed but again it just happened. I did not work at it or consciously make some decision. I feel people need to share from the heart. That is God speaking and it is not for us to judge what is said or even how it is said. Take it or leave it but don't judge it. That is my own personal feeling.

Happy Monday and have a wonderful week.

lushgurl said...

I am jumping on the 'MC fan club bandwagon again'!!!
When I irst attempted this program (20 years ago), I rarely shared anything. When I did it was only to parrot the good stuff I had heard, or to quote from the Big Book, to show I was listening!
A great sponsor I had told me to start getting honest, and so I have begun to share ME- the good, the bad and the ugly! She also told me that if someone at the meeting was paying attention to the cussing, or a baby fussing, or to someone picking their nose- that is what they would take from that meeting.And THAT is not MY responsibility! If I am to carry the message, I have to share IT ALL, and I am grateful to you and others for showing me where you have been and where you are today, this gives me such HOPE...
Love ya MC....*HUGS*

Christine said...

Mary Christine I hope you never stop sharing personal stuff in meetings. I have found cussing distracting when someone shares from the podium. Funny how it doesn't seem to bother me when I hear it anywhere else.

I could relate to the dysfunctional stuff you wrote of in this post. I did it all stone cold sober. I'm so glad I don't have to live that way anymore too. Thanks for the reminder of how far I've come.


Shannon said...

Mary Christine, I love you! I really respect you so much because of your honesty and willingness to be so honest.
maybe this person who said these things, is just where he is at, whatever. I think you need to just keep being youu! Share yourself they way you do. But if you want to work on not cussing, then work on it. At my homegroup alot of people cuss alot, shit, you should hear me share, LOL.
have a super wonderful day. I am sooo glad you talked to your buddies. :)

Shannon said...

OH and freakin A 10 MILES you go gurl! I am up to a mile and a half!

Meg Moran said...

I admire you even more now.....thanks for letting us "in" more. I share what I share....I HATE AA mockingbirds. You carry your own message girl. I love it.