Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wednesday , in a hurry...

Yesterday I got sick again.  This is getting OLD I tell you!  Migraine with its attendant nausea.  I got home from work and placed myself on the sofa and swathed myself in a wonderful hand-knit (by me) afghan and read a wonderful book on the Saints that my sponsor sent me.  Then the phone started ringing.  

Why do people call me when they know I am going to tell them off?  I try so hard to bite my tongue, and then I try to say it with love, and then I try to at least say it softly... but it always sounds so hard to me.  

But when a fellow sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous calls and asks me what they should be doing - am I supposed to candy coat that?   My first question was: do you have a sponsor?  I knew the answer was no, but I felt the question was still worthy.  My next question was:  why don't you get a sponsor?  Well, this man has been sober for over 20  years and therefore knows more than anyone else.... hmmmm.  I told him there were plenty of people who are sober longer than 20 years who could sponsor him.  Well, he said he has history with all of them.  Well.  That does sound like a problem.  

A problem of arrogance.  

God help us when we think we have all the answers and have no more to learn.  

God help us when we can no longer humble ourselves to people we may not like, but need to love.  

We don't come to Alcoholics Anonymous to show off our great selves, but to humble ourselves to our problem.  We share a common problem, and a common solution.  COMMON.  Not special.  Common.  Humble.  

I happen to believe that is why we start our shares with "My name is Mary, I am an alcoholic." Plain old Mary.  Plain old alcoholic.  Not special.  Not hyphenated.  We are all on the same level.  We share a problem and a solution.  

Unless of course you don't need it.  And if you are an alcoholic, God help you.  


Lou said...

I gave the talk (on step 8) last night at my Al-A group. After, 3 people offered to meet with me to talk about something I brought up.
I was thrilled!

Banana Girl said...

Great post. There is a story in the "Emotional Sobriety" published by the Grapevine that tells of a sponsor of a short short time taking on a sponsee of many years sobriety. It is a very moving story and reminds me that whether I am 500 feet down the Broad Highway or many miles, I am still right next to the ditch! Get well, my friend. You have suffered with these pangs so much it makes me ache. Take care, J.

AlkySeltzer said...

Thank you MC. Maybe your 'sick time' this year is borrowing from next year
and that is called ULTRA projection!

And, (inspired by your blog post), Banana's "..right next to the ditch!" LOVE it!

Syd said...

I also have a friend who has been in AA for 18 years but has no sponsor and doesn't see the need for one. For me, it is a matter of checks and balances. I need to be checked on my thinking and in balance. My sponsor helps me see that.

Trailboss said...

Well said MC.

AlkySeltzer said...

Nice picture, it SO reminds me of scenes on the farm where I was raised.

At age 10 I got to ride my horse, and camp out in the same woods, by the same creek, just like in the photo above.

Ooops! I'll bet I've double-dipped--Plumb forgot. Sorry! I'm gonna send it anyway, you can reject...


I appreciated your post today.
Prayers going your way that the migraines will QUIT!
I think we have to tell it the way it is. One time a girl called me, whining and moaning (pretty new) and I asked if she had a sponsor and she said no. I told her I really couldn't help her with her "boy" problems or any other problems and that the only way I could see her getting any better was to get a sponsor and work the steps.
I felt horrible afterward - that I had been too harsh (it was Christmas time), but as it turned out, she ended up getting a sponsor and has thanked me many times since. After getting a sponsor, she began to change in a big way. Wonderful to see.

Scott W said...

A problem of arrogance. I met with my sponsor regarding that email I shared with you. It put some closure on the issue, with me owing nothing to the writer of the email. How I would love to read your post at a meeting. There are so many who need to hear that message.

Thanks. Sweetie.

PATRICK said...

Rarely have we seen a person fail who thoroughly followed us home. Those who are not BRAINWASHED are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this garbage, usually men and women who are constitutionally capable of thinking for themselves.

There are such fortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born premature.They are naturally capable of building and developing muscles, which demands rigorous training. Their chances are 6/4 on.

There are those, too, who are gravediggers and undertakers, but many of them do become ZOMBIES if they have the capacity to be dishonest.

Our stories disclose in a twisted way, who we like, what happened, and who we hate now. If you have decided you want a cup of tea and are willing to go to any lengths to become emotionally shutdown, SHAPE SHIFTING REPTILES - then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked, we thought we could find someone to 13TH STEP. And we knew, we could. With all the madness at our command, we beg of you to become BILL WILSON CLONES - from the very start.

Some of us have tried to hold on to our BIG BOOKS and the result was nil until we let go of our SPONSORS.

Remember that we deal with alcohol, frothy, bubbly, and powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is one who has all power that one is the BARMAN. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the bar. We asked
the BARMAN for a couple of stiff vodka's.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program to INSANITY:
1.We admitted we were powerless over Coca - Cola, and decided to drink Pepsi, instead.
2.Came to believe that Cold Power was a detergent.
3.Made a decision to turn our heads when we saw an attractive blonde.
4.Did a body search of the new members.
5.Admitted to our DOG, to elves, and to another super being the exact nature of our songs.
6.Were entirely ready to have SUPERMAN remove the effects of kryptonite.
7.Humbly asked CLARK KENTto remove our brains.
8.Made a list of all persons who owed us money, and became willing to charge them interest.
9.Made direct hits wherever possible, except when someone moved the target.
10.Continued to talk crap and when we were wrong, promptly talked more crap.
11.Sought through our mail and computer to improve our conscious contact with BATMAN, as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of ROBIN and the return of SPIDERMAN.
12.Having had a stroke as the result of these steps, we tried to carry out the garbage, and fell flat on our backs.

Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain their homes and 13th Step the newcomers, at the same time.

We are not psychopaths. The point is, that we are willing to become PSYCHOTIC. The principles we have set down are guides to psychosis. We claim that BILL WILSON was a PSYCHOPATH.

Our description of the landscape, the chapter to the Gnostic, and our family photos before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were ugly and could not manage our own appearance.
(b) That probably no photographer could have improved our looks.
(c) That a PLASTIC SURGEON could and would if he were sought.


Anonymous said...

I see your friend is back; how distressing.

Anyway, great post. Special thanks to Banana Girl for the ditch analogy; I needed to hear that and will be repeating it undoubtedly.

I was taught that you owe people the truth; because there may come a day where they have to repeat it back to you.

-Dave from Maryland

dAAve said...

I don't understand why a person with 20 years of sobriety can't have a sponsor with, say, 15 years of sobriety.