Wednesday, June 03, 2009

What it was like: Year Two

Gee, reading these old journals is really enlightening.  I have forgotten most of the things I wrote about.  I write about a lot of people and from 24 years later, I have no idea who they even are!  Even some women I was sponsoring I have no recollection of (yes, in my second year I was sponsoring women - at one point I said I was sponsoring 3 women and felt it was saving my life).  

My first job in sobriety had gone very very wrong.  I was working for a company that was rapidly going out of business, mainly due to serious mismanagement.  I was the president of the company's administrative assistant, so I was in "the know" about some of the shadiness.  It was awful.  At one point, he talked me into writing a personal check to American Express for over a thousand dollars - to pay his bill... he told me he would pay me before the check ever hit my bank... but he didn't.  The check bounced, and American Express took a dim view of that!  I did finally get the money, but that episode cost me dearly.  This is just an example of some of the chicanery that was going on with that job.

On one night in October of that year (1985), I took the books home as I did most nights.  I was working at home, my children were nagging me for something, my boyfriend wanted me to go to a movie with him, but I couldn't do anything because of the work I had brought home, and I was just miserable.  I decided that the only solution was suicide.  I drove my kids to Target to get the puzzles they wanted and planned to come home and hang myself.  Oh, it is hard to write this!  I thought maybe I should make a phone call... I called everyone.  In those pre-cell phone days, people just were home or not.  There was no other option.  And that night, no one was home.  I finally called my ex-husband, that's how desperate I was.  He had the nerve to suggest I try reading the big book!

Well, I just opened it up to wherever it opened.  And here is what I read:
"We had a new employer.  Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well."  Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

So, that night, I decided not to take my life. I decided to take what I had read literally and quit my job!  I went in to work the next day and tried to have a conversation with my boss, which ended with me walking out the door - never to return.  

I was out of work for 6 weeks.  Six weeks off that I seriously needed.  In that 6 weeks, I received a check in the mail (totally unexpected) for more than what had been 2 months salary.  At the end of that 6 weeks, I got a temporary job that was a Godsend.   The first day there, there were two of us temps.  In our orientation, the woman said there were two jobs available, one was pretty orderly, and one was to try to make sense of a big mess someone else had left.  I volunteered for the awful job because I thought it sounded better.  In that moment, they decided they wanted to hire me permanently.  The loved me and I loved them.  It was a very good job.  

And that was when I began to realize that God's plan for me can frequently be better than anything I can dream up.  It may look funky for a while, but it is good.  

I loved that job.  I moved into another condo, which was on the second floor, and the patio door in the dining room overlooked the front range of the rockies and the flatirons.  It was beautiful.  I loved my home.  I loved so much about my life.  I loved being sober.  

By the time I celebrated 2 years in July, I felt like I firmly belonged in AA.  I was sponsoring women, chairing meetings, being asked to speak around town, it was good.  I wrote this about the big speaker meeting on Saturday night where Joe and I celebrated:
"Me and Joey packed them into the club so good they were out on the sidewalk and back in the other rooms.  And damn it, it was for us!  Me and Joe! Patti asked me to pray to feel the love people had for me that night, and I did.  2 years is a long time.  I'm going to make it.  Wonderful Jim gave me 2 dozen roses for my birthday.  He just loves me for me.  Not for anything but me."  

Oh, yeah, that sounds like a lot of ego.  It came before a fall, that is for certain.  But it was necessary, I think.  

What a beautiful trip it has been. 

And thanks for reading these long posts.  This is rather indulgent, isn't it?  


Gin said...

I love that you are letting us into your life this way. Your honesty is awesome and I am so glad that you opened up the big book that night and found exactly what you needed.

Hope said...

If it's indulgent then I am being blessed by your indulgence.

Ed G. said...

Thank you for you and thank you for sharing yourself. I can't wait to hear the next 23 installments!!!

Pam said...

I'm loving these Mary! It's so nice to know a persons history.

p160 said...

Dear Mary,
As I mentioned earlier, I apologise for my judgmental & shaming comments to you & many other 12 STEP BLOGGERS.

We prayed for you, Scott W, dAAve, Pam, & ZaneJabbers at Rosary - today.

God Bless You

Scott W said...

Indulgent? Maybe. Chicanery, no!

Trailboss said...

I am enjoying these posts a lot. Thanks for sharing with us.

Steve E. said...

Mary, if you--and I--and others--are not indulgent, how are we ever to 'know' one another? Especially since we shall probably never meet face-to-face.

Where indulgence IMO is out of place in an AA meeting, I believe it to be somewhat necessary in the AA blog-world, where we really learn more about each other than anyone anywhere else will ever know about us--besides God Himself!

But you knew all that, didn't you?

This is really GOOD SHIT, these "annual memory blogs."

kel said...

Your indulgent posts read to me like a great book that I cant put down, I am dissapointed as I come to the end of each, because I have to wait another day to read the next chapter!

Syd said...

It isn't indulgent to me but a fascinating recanting of what happened. Thanks for sharing that.

Cat said...

What a personal glimpse inside your world... you make it feel daring and fragile all at the same time as I read it.

Carol said...

I love it. Our higher powers hand in things can sometimes be better seen in retrospect. And by others. It mystifies me.

Willa said...

I am thankful you want to share this with us!

Thank you, Mary Christine!!!

Annette said...

Indulgent???Isn't that what *our* blogs are all about? Us having a space to share whatever we want. I am loving reading about your journey.

~C~ said...

I love your blog, its very helpful to read of your experiences....god bless.