Saturday, May 31, 2008


I read an article in the New York Times yesterday about blogging.  It was sort of a confessions of an attention whore kind of thing.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  Disclosure.  Too much.  Not enough.  What is right?

First disclosure is:  I am in pain.  I am not running. I am very upset that I am likely not going to be able to even do a half-marathon in 3 weeks when I am in Alaska and registered to run.  I have taken some prescribed vicodin for pain (a lot less than prescribed).  All of these things are adding up to me being somewhat wacky this morning I am afraid.  

I went to my usual 6:30 a.m. Saturday meeting this morning.  It was a good meeting.  Someone actually opened up and talked about something that was really upsetting to him.  I had just been sitting there looking around the room and wondering what we were all doing there.  I looked around the room and thought "how much do I know about any of these people?"  Do we just sit around and repeat the same things over and over?  People are pretty good at talking about "what it was like, and what happened."  But I think people aren't so good about talking about "what it is like now."  Other than in broad generalities... like I got sober and now everything is great.  Oh really, how does that work?  

So, I talked.  I talked about the lady who is new to our group who last week put her hand on my shoulder and told me in a loud and over-annunciated voice that she was glad I was still coming... that a month ago I looked really bad... but I look better now.  I was dumbfounded - to realize that she thought I was new, and that this must be how she treats new people.  Wow.  So condescending and insulting!  

I guess because I don't preface every share of mine with my sobriety date (because I think that is just arrogant) and because I don't pretend I am the picture of serenity every second of every day, I don't look that great.  Too bad.  So I shared about this today.   And got quite a bit of shit for it.

I have an attitude this morning I guess.  

Tonight I am going to visit my daughter in rehab.  It is probably an hour and a half drive each way.  It will be good for me to hit the road and see my girl.  


Zane-nawwaa said...

To hell with the story on bloggers.
To hell with the lady patting your
little head. It's your sobriety, and if you need to talk about something, do it. I revel in people that do that. It's being - or I don't know - REAL! Honey, sorry you won't be able to run, but you literally put your best foot forward, so enjoy your trip.

Scott W said...

You got shit for sharing what's going on with you? Well, isn't it just too bad those people that heard your share thought they had to tell you all about it? That just doesn't sit right with me. That is what the rooms are for, to tell on ourselves and to ask for help when we need it, even sometimes to just say life is grand.

Anonymous said...

You spoke from your heart; that's the deal as I understand it; and maybe someone in the room heard something they needed to hear (not what they wanted to hear).

Just because we've put some time together doesn't mean we're the picture of serenity 24/7 does it? (I can cite numerous examples of my serenity and humility or lack thereof) The still suffering alcoholic is not always the new person in the room. Another fine example of why we should be very careful on what we say because we never know who's listening. Life is life, it goes up and it goes down. I was told that life doesn't change after coming to aa; that we change to life; that we see things not for how they are, but for how we are at the time. When I talk with new people I tell them that feelings and thoughts are just passing things and that the best gage is to look to see where your feet are, are they in a meeting or in a bar? We all get a pass. As for the blogging article, who give a crap what the ny times thinks, you know what you do and why you do it they don't need to explain it to us...Keep it up MC; and hope your daughter is doing well. You're in my thoughts and prayers! -Dave from Maryland

Mark said...

Thanks MC!!! Seriously - thanks!

Through the years some things have developed, like not mentioning or mentioning my sobriety date as needed. I understand. I also understand the insanity of condescending jacka**es.

What has also developed that I usually don't talk about is that I have a passionate belief, and have seen again and again, that condescending folks usually find God laying a reality check on them that gives them a "decision." Many of them make the wrong decision.

And wind up drunk.

It behooves me to maintain constant vigilance for quite a few principles. Nowadays, the most important principle is to stay humble enough that the God I understand keeps me from harm. That is, imho, what you did and what that person did not do.

I believe the "end result" becomes inevitable and I must pray for goofs like that.

Have a great day - I hope you feel better...

Pam said...

I have read that every which way and don't understand what you got shit about??? 'splain yourself little jalepeno

Bill said...

I love what Dave in MD had to say.

I also got a chuckle over the story about what Condescending Woman said to you. Isn't it jarring when we suddenly realize how some folks view us? I think my HP does that to me now & then for a laugh.

I try to stay aware of the new AA members of my regular group when they are at the 1-3 month period in sobriety. Amidst all the 'life is grand' talk, I tell about how hard it was for me then, because I started feeling things again. I was angry, confused, yearning, bitter, and hopeful all at the same time. I will always have rough days, but it's leveled off. If we can't be honest about how we currently feel in the rooms (like Scott said) then we might as well go to garden parties and talk about the roses.

It's funny that you brought this up, because I was just saying to my sponsor earlier this week that maybe I should stop sharing in meetings. He said "I would not want you to do that. When you share, you speak from the heart, and we need that."

That's what he'd say to you, too.

Melissa said...

I read that you were going to visit your daughter in re-hab. And sorry for the trouble you received for sharing. I came across recently that I thought you might really enjoy and possibly relate to. Alive! is a book about family, recovery, and forgiveness. There is so much more to this true story. It's amazing how we all deal with very similar struggles in our lives.