I am posting on Wednesday night instead of Thursday morning. Shock! Horror! I am feeling much better since I met my deadlines today. Phew. That is out of my life - at least for now. Writing for weeks at a time about suicides is bound to get to you, well, at least it got to me.
I went to a meeting this morning. It was a good meeting. A newcomer came to the meeting (late) and "shared" about someone saying something rude to her at another meeting. It seems the guy told her she probably ought to try to not drink at ALL. Imagine! After she talked, she got a bunch of validation from folks who told her that the guy should have minded his own business, and that he was sick to tell her what to do.
Miraculously, I kept my mouth shut! After the meeting, I talked with another fellow who sobered up in the same era I did. He agreed that we are being so "kind" to the newcomers, they are getting no freaking clue that AA is about not drinking. It is not about "slipping", and "keep coming back" just come back, it doesn't matter if you drink, etc.
Let me say - BULLSHIT.
Some people never make it back. I have been to many funerals of people who were sure they were going to make it back some day. And everyone reassured them that they would be "welcomed" when they came back... and that we don't kill our wounded, etc. Isn't that nice? Yes, it sounds nice. It doesn't sound nice to tell someone that perhaps they ought to try STAYING sober - no matter what.
I wonder how many people in prison thought they were having a "slip" and would come back when they felt like it? Probably a couple. I know a couple.
When I got sober, they told me to just not drink - even if my ass fell off. I thought that was just silly, who ever heard of someone's ass falling off? Well, when my ass fell off, I went to a meeting and didn't take a drink. That is how one stays sober. It is not about serenity and feeling great all the time. It is not about accepting everything in the world and loving everybody.
It is about living life - which is sometimes incredibly difficult - without taking a drink. Sometimes that isn't pretty. But it beats the hell out of the alternative.
And if you get through those ugly days without a drink, you get a chance at getting that serenity and happiness and love and peace and joy. But you don't get that overnight, and you don't get to will yourself into it. It is a result of not putting a drink of booze in your mouth and swallowing it. If you don't put it there, it won't get drunk. It is the result of living in a way congruent with values and morals - your own - which are probably evolving on a daily basis. That is good. It is a result of cleaning up the past and trusting God.
We need to tell the truth. We are doing no one any favors by sugar-coating a lethal, terminal, fatal disease.
So, that's what I have to say.
"If he is not interested in your solution, if he expects you to act only as a banker for his financial difficulties or a nurse for his sprees, you may have to drop him until he changes his mind. This he may do after he gets hurt some more." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 95