I'm discouraged today. Don't lecture me please. It is difficult to spend a day with a bunch of people who are about to lose their jobs - some after many years. Some break your heart with their selfless devotion to patients. Some make you sick with their narcissistic focus on their own retirement benefits, etc. For many where I work, this has been so much more than a "job" it has been their life's passion.
I went to a meeting this morning. A man who shows up twice a year, once for his AA birthday and again for his wife's, chaired the meeting for some reason. He interrupted a man who was sharing to tell him he wasn't talking about "alcohol." Our format uses the Blue Card -
This is an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are glad you are all here - especially newcomers. In keeping with our singleness of purpose and our Third Tradition which states that "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking," we ask that all who participate confine their discussion to their problem with alcohol.
This poor guy was talking about how he was going to have to file for bankruptcy and how he was going to hurt some people he really cared about. It was very heartfelt, in fact, he had tears in his eyes. He did assert that this did have something to do with his alcoholism and got the chairman to let him continue.
I sat dumbfounded. I thought about the fact that I have been sober for 2 and a half decades. When was the last time I talked about "alcohol?" Probably the last time I told my story.
I LOVE the traditions and I believe the structure and discipline of these are very beneficial. But holy rigidity batman, are we going to get this crazy about this? Will I no longer be able to share in a meeting because it has been a while since I have had a drink or have had the desire to have a drink - thereby evidencing the fact that our beautiful program WORKS?!
I got to meet with one of my beloved sponsees after the meeting and we talked about this. It was a good discussion.
I am tired and going to bed - way too early. I will wake up tomorrow and get out and take a walk and go to work and it will be good.