Friday, January 08, 2010

The Hazards of Success

Somebody came by today and dropped what I call a "turd" - a little comment that stinks up the place.

Every time he comes by he needs to tell me that he has been sober for nearly 24 years!!!!!!!!!!! And he has sponsored lots of men!!!!!!!!!!!! And they have called him and worked steps with him, and he has attended retreats and Bible studies with them, etc. In other words, I guess he must be the perfect AA.

He leaves a link to his website which is basically about how screwed up AA is and how Christianity is the only answer. This is a real problem for me as a Christian. I sure wish we wouldn't do that. It makes both AA and Christianity look bad - totally unnecessarily. They really are compatible, but we can't shove this down the throats of others. The steps are clear that people get to have the God of their understanding.

But he has been sober for "SO LONG" I am sure he feels entitled to do any darn thing he wants. And he is sure he is right. OK.

Why does he need to come by my blog every now and then and lecture me?

I don't need to tell you every single day:
  • I am sober for over 25 years.
  • I have been an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for all of that time.
  • I have sponsored women for nearly all of that time - and they probably number in the hundreds - but I find it offensive when others count them... that is ego feeding and gross.
  • I have been active in AA service for a number of years and then took seriously the suggestion of rotation.
  • I have never strayed. Honestly, I have never strayed.
  • But I know that this is not my doing. I know that.
I have utter and complete faith that God did for me what I absolutely could not do for myself. I believe that AA was inspired by God and it is a gift - I don't know why out of the millenia, He has chosen this time to allow us this incredible chance at recovery from alcoholism, but I thank Him for it every single day. And then I try to pass that on.

How you can get arrogance out of that constantly amazes me. But I see it almost every day. The puffed up chests, boasting about tenure of sobriety. Instead of humbly thanking God, they are bragging about it and talking about all the "work" they have done and all the thousands of poor unwashed drunks they have unselfishly helped.

If you have a full knowledge of your condition and you have an idea of what a blessing it is to be able to help another soul with this malady, I don't know how you could do anything other gladly render the service and then humbly thank God for the opportunity.

I am grateful, so very grateful, that I showed up on the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, threw myself at your mercy, and you took me and lovingly cared for me and showed me how to stand up and stop crawling. You showed me how to start living like a self-respecting human being. Once my behavior improved, my feelings about myself improved exponentially. You told me on that first day to ask God for help and I did. I believe He answered my prayer that day and every day since. Almost 25 and a half years of Him answering my prayer for help.

And I can gladly pass that on.

Does AA work? Yes, it works. It works very well. I have not had a drink in all those years. The person I am today barely resembles the person who showed up a trembling mess 25 years ago. But can I pat myself on the back for that? no.

I am clear that I am sober by the Grace of a Loving God. Pride and Ego are my enemies. Leveling of pride is something that enables me to get and stay well. Humility is something hardwired into our program. It is necessary for the maintenance of a spiritual condition that is necessary for a peaceful and happy sobriety.


Mike Golch said...


Annette said...

Well he's an attorney....doesn't that explain at least some of his actions? No offense to all attorneys who do not behave like they are God.

Findon said...

Wit you all the way Mary, again. If its the same man, then I sent him an email asking not to post on my blog. I really found his condescending manner and boasting a very negative experience. Still goes to show, 24 years and sober!! Go figure.

Lou said...

I get comments and "awards" from treatment center portals. These web sites, of course, make money from the impulsive, desperate attempts of distraught parents/loved ones to help the substance abuser. The more I learn of the treatment industry, the more I think buyer beware.

Pam said...

If I reach the age of 84, I hope the only thing I'm boasting about is that I was able to drive myself to the meeting and that my hair style is cute.

Scott W said...

Just because someone is sober doesn't mean they are well.

Kim A. said...

If I had heard even one iota of "religious speak" at my first Alanon meeting, I would have run out of there and NEVER come back. I tried religion and everything else. Alanon works for me because it doesn't define and tell me what my HP "should" be. Grrrr...yep, I have strong feeling about this one. I need to work on this.

I love how you work it, MC, for lots of reasons.


Ed G. said...

Glad you're where you are and doing what you do. I believe that AA will only be successful (yet, in my opinion, to be proven - we only have 75 years of experience this far) if we do what we do and pass it on.

Sad, really sad, some can't or won't ever understand.

Blessings and aloha...

Syd said...

MC, I guess as an Al-Anoner I don't see the problem with his comment. He seemed to be saying that he keeps in touch with lots of AA people and that he believes in the program. Maybe at age 84, he is reminiscing about his time in the program. I don't know. I just read and not look for motives. It might just be that I am way off base and naive.

Anonymous said...

At 84 years old and 22 years sober he sure is a late bloomer! I am grateful that I did not have to suffer that long.

Why do people announce their anniversary's months in advance?

Madison said...

I'm thinking better to hit the 'delete' button and never let the comment see the light of day.

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Anonymous said...

I wonder if maybe you overreacted to Dick B's comment?! I agree with the wise words of Syd. Dick mentioned 'bible' once as well as other activities he participated with other sober men in AA - no shoving of Christianity down other people's throat. thank Gid he reached his hand out to these men and 'was responsible' (our pledge'). If someone writes/says/does something that offends me as a 19 year sober woman, I ask myself what does that say about me ... maybe I need to learn tolerance and acceptance. God bless!

Mary Christine said...

Yes, Anonymous, maybe you do need to learn tolerance and acceptance.