Monday, January 14, 2008

Back on the Hamster Wheel...

hmmmm, that's a rather negative way of looking at it, isn't it? Last week I got a real taste of how wonderful my life usually is, by contrast with the kind of hellish way it was last week. I don't know what this week will bring. I hope it is boring and dull and ordinary... but I doubt that will be the case.

I want to write about this startling revelation I had, but I am so limited in time. I want to be at the 6:30 meeting, it is now 5:51, and I am sitting here in my jammies. I will give it a shot:

When I got sober, there were a bunch of old men who I now call "those old sages." They are all dead now. There was Dick S., who smoked a pipe (back when you could smoke inside a building!) and his eyes twinkled, and he could cut you to the quick, and you would still be smiling because you didn't even know you had been injured! And on and on. There were a bunch of them. I loved them.

Now that I am sober for 23 years, I suppose I could sit back and try to act the sage at every moment. But that is not my nature. So, I watch the guys who came up behind me... guys (sorry they are all guys, not gals) puffing up their chests and talking about the good old days, and the old clubs that are no longer in existence, and talking about how they started this meeting and that meeting and how many people they have sponsored, etc. And it makes me sick.

A week or so ago, I squirmed through one of these orations by one of these guys. He has been sober for almost 21 years and he can't ever talk without mentioning that. He can't talk without yelling it. He cannot talk without telling us all how long he has been sober. He can't talk without mentioning "the old club" and the old things. He will sprinkle his talks with name drops of dead members. I have no idea how he is doing today, because he never mentions it.

I, with the subtlety of a chainsaw I am sure, mentioned to a woman sitting next to me that this guy gets on my last nerve. She looked at me with shocked amazement and said "I LOVE him!" And I thought - gee, maybe for her, this guy and others like him are the old sages. Probably those old guys I thought were so great were just like this. I really couldn't say. I just remember what I remember and I don't remember them puffing themselves up with their length of sobriety.

So, I need to work on smiling. Sitting back and smiling. When I want to tell them to get real, I can realize that they are probably helping someone.

Gotta run...

8 comments:

YamadogGirl said...

Sometimes our ego still gets in the way, as do our perceptions of situations, and our judgments of others. Sometimes it still bristles us in the wrong way, other times we can smile and laugh it away. But whether we have 24 hours or 24 years, "it's sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but it will always materialize if we work for them." Thanks!

Love,
Kimberly

Scott W said...

I am grateful I do not run into that kind of sharing. It would be very hard for me to sit through that over and over. I am an attention seeker, but I do it through the back door, so that kind of self aggrandizement would cause me to closely identify, and as a result make me uncomfortable.

Mark said...

After reading that again and again, I think I'd find it sad that someone with almost 21 years seemingly has nothing else to speak of and can't address today's deal, whatever today's deal might be.

Somewhere along the way they taught me to keep it in today because I couldn't live on yesterday's sobriety and I was real good about regretting what I'd done yesterday and fearing what I'd do tomorrow.

Thanks for the mind push MC :)

dAAve said...

Good thoughts to remember.
While I can't afford to forget the past, I need to live for today.

Zane-nawwaa said...

Hey GHURL. I do have a habit of saying almost 16 years or whatever milestone I am at, but not each and everytime. HOW BORING. A friend of mine in LA, Dennis C., used to tell me when I would say something unkind about someone that I don't have to LIKE them but I do have to LOVE them. Dennis is a retread and has about 5 years less sobriety than I. But I love his QUALITY. Thanks.

Scott said...

lol, ain't people funny?? I always wanted to be one of those "salty dogs..." not so much any more

dirtydishes said...

We have to remember that they are sick alcoholics just you and I, and God has kept them sober too. You can have lots of years of sobriety, but not as many of actual recovery. Sounds like you did learn something from that big old blowhard though.

Pam said...

If there are no newcomers in a meeting,then it does not bother me when people like that share. But if I see a shakey person in the room, and that puffed up stuff starts...I just cringe. I don't want the newcomer to think it is representative of the rest of us.
Hoping your day is good ...little Fig Newton