Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Loving them to death?

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


vegan.mama said...

I am sorry to hear that people said those things to the newcomer -- I know where I go to meetings, that wouldn't be the reaction. There is a big emphasis here placed on the most important thing to be to NOT DRINK. That's the whole point. Ah, well. But I'm still a newcomer myself, so perhaps my perspective will change as I get more time.

dAAve said...

I'm glad you made it through the work stuff. I was pretty sure you could do it. And do it sober.

Scott W said...

Yes, ma'am. That is the stuff about staying sober. Don't drink and you won't get drunk. It's not rocket science. But I have seen so many people that cannot surrender to the fact that they cannot drink again as a 'normal' person. The obsession is still there in a big way. They cannot put together enough days to truly know what it feels like to be in recovery.

It can be so simple, or it can be so terribly hard. We do have a choice, but some do not have the ability to be constitutionally honest with themselves.

YamadogGirl said...

Amen sister! We are slowly killing alcoholics everyday by not being honest with them. We get mad when we hear the truth, and don't get our way, that's the selfish alcoholic in us. But for all of us to drink is to die. Do we want to live today or die today? It's that simple. Some are not ready for the truth.

Relapse is NOT part of sobriety, it's not a prerequisite to get this program, but so many seem to think it is. Old timers always told us to "put a plug in the jug, clean house, work with others, and pray to a God of your understanding" Keep it simple.

The odds are stacked against us as it is. Did you know 9 out of 10 alcoholics still drink??? That means for every 1 of us in a meeting, there are 9 more out there drunk!!! -WOW

Thanks for the post!

Trudging said...

People say stupid things don't they. And we are all so freakin sensitive on top of it. The real mircle is that she made it to another meeting rather than just saying F it and picking up.

Banana Girl said...

Are you making any money from mind reading? If not you should be. You read mine. Even considering a different meeting because ours seems to have jumped into the touchy feely it's ok poor baby routine. It is always the same ones too. Go wonder they jump for a bottle instead of a big book. Love ya.

Christine said...


barbra said...

I'm glad you have that work stuff over with. I agree with your opinion... and like scott w said.. don't drink and you won't get drunk! It works!

Pam said...

Oh girl, you know I'm with you on this one!
I think that sometimes when people keep going "in" and "out"..they become immune to the solution.
I'm glad you are done with a lot of the work stress...whew!
Little cinnamon stick.

Pam said...

MC-last year was my first time to see a basement. We are right above sea level down here, and I had only seen them on TV before.

Nigel said...

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

Here Here
Nigel Wales