Saturday, March 06, 2010

Tough Guys v. Nice Girls

Oh no, I've been reading blogs again. Last night I was so tired I just sat and clicked and clicked and clicked and read various blogs of sober bloggers.

Please know that I am overgeneralizing, but I was struck by a dichotomy of types.

There are the tough guys. They are the only ones who know how to WORK the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. They have read 164 pages and sponsored a few gents and therefore are the world's experts on all things AA. The thing that I find striking is that they think they are the only ones who "get" AA. They are uber-critical of all who are not them. They stress the life threatening feature of the disease of alcoholism. Life and Death.

There are the nice girls. They write poetry. They believe in angels. They talk a lot about "miracles." They read a lot of literature that makes them feel good. Some of it "seems" to be AA literature, but is anything but. They write nice flowery blogs full of nice things. And Please Do Not Take Offense to This - None of My Regular Readers Are This Type.

Do I think that one group is superior to the other? Nope. But If I had to go to one to save my life, I think I would go to those hard asses. I got sober with a bunch of hard asses - but they didn't think they were the only ones who had the answer. I don't understand the conceit about reading 164 pages of text and applying it. Unless, of course, you consider that most of the people sitting in meetings today have either avoided working the steps altogether or have done some weird ass thing their sponsor learned in rehab (oh, yeah, here she goes again on THAT!)

So, I think my blog is probably a hybrid of these types. I really am a hard ass about AA. You will find NO Hazelden books in my house. You will find no Marianne Williamson, etc. You will find a whole book shelf full of conference approved literature. Much of it with the little circle and triangle logo on it - that we used before the "drunk junk" vendors hijacked it and we had to back away from it. (This is something I find very sad.)

You will also find shelves and shelves and cases full of Biblical literature. But I realize this is a blog about AA - so I sometimes mention that I am in my 3rd year of a 4 year Biblical school - but not often. It is what I do, but it is not what this blog is about.

You would also find book cases full of other literature. There is one whole case full of text books about Health Care Administration - from my master's degree studies. I read other books voraciously. But I don't quote them here - or at least not very often.

Anyway, as I decided to pursue this blog four and a half years ago, my aim was to write about the daily life of a woman who is a sober alcoholic. And I guess I have done that. I have probably written about roses and tulips more than steps. I have written about my tablecloth more than I have written about sponsorship. I have written about dinners with my kids more than AA meetings.

To me, this is what you get when you do the stuff you are supposed to do. I have a sponsor. I worked the steps. As a result of that, God changed my life 180º, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to repay that gift by giving it away. I have sponsored more women than I can count. I continue to do the stuff I need to do to stay sober. As a result of these things, my sobriety is now about being able to plant tulips in the fall and watch them come up every spring. It is about planting a beautiful rose bush and then tending it, pruning it, watering it, and then watching in amazement as my favorite flower grows right under my bedroom window! It is about having a beautiful (albeit humble) home that I love. It is about restored relationships with my family.

Thanks for listening (reading) while I processed this. I needed to. You probably didn't have any great need to read it though - so if you have, I thank you. I really do consider it an honor that people would read what I write on a daily basis. xoxoxox.


Kim A. said...

Well said. I'm not tough or nice. I do know that if I quit doing what I am doing I will be going where I was and that keeps me grateful and teachable and coming back.


Anonymous said...

It is WE who are honored to read your posts, Mary C

Tuff Guy...mostly.

dAAve said...

I read you every day. I almost always learn something.

chitowngreg said...

Thanks for sharing and I appreciate the perspective. To the extent we're successful in our programs,I think each of us do what we've learned works for us. Our differences are probably more about semantics than how we really go about the "nuts and bolts" of our programs.

chitowngreg said...

Thanks for sharing and I appreciate your perspective. To the extent we're successful in our programs, we're all doing what we've come to learn works for us. That may be different than what works for someone else, but I think the differences tend to be more about semantics than about the "nuts and bolts" of what most of us are doing.

Syd said...

Coming from a different view in Al-anon, I am not nearly as tough on myself or others as I used to be. I am a serious person about probably too many things. So I am learning to lighten up. The steps brought me joy and so does God. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I read and learn and think.

Pam said...

I thought we agreed that we get crazy when we go off into "link land". ;)
Maybe we should co-author a book and call it "Don't Tweak My Beautiful Program"

Ed G. said...

Well said and I understand.

Blessings and aloha...