Thursday, September 02, 2010

Progress?

I was so shocked to see this swath of ugliness (progress?) when I took my run tonight. I have photographed the above scene hundreds of times - it is one of my favorites, always different. Now look at it. It will be another suburban street - I guess there will be huge ass pop-up mansions lining it. No more sunflowers on the old barbed wire fence, in their place will be asphalt, curbs, well-manicured lawns and 3 car garages and all the rest that goes with that. I know I have no room to talk. I am certain that twenty years ago someone was horrified by my street getting carved into the prairie.

I did walk to work today! I decided that if I walked instead of running I would have less of a chance of getting to work a frazzled mess. I just got to work very late... and then needed to take a shower and get dressed. It was very pleasant, except for the being late for work part. And it was only 9 miles, so I still had to run 3 miles after I got home tonight... which was also very pleasant. (I took the bus home from work - and I thought that was pleasant too.)

Someone today told me he has stopped going to AA because "it is not a safe place" for him. Who ever started this "safe place" stuff? How could AA possibly be a "safe place" when it is full of crazy alcoholics in various stages of recovery - and some of them not in recovery at all. It is miraculous that most of the time it is a place where good things happen and very few bad things happen. I think that is truly the hand of God. However, I am grateful for people who told me to watch myself when I was new. Not to trust everyone just because they are sitting in an AA meeting. I met people who were not even sober - just attending meetings for whatever manipulative reason they might have had. I have met a few truly bad intentioned people in AA - one of whom I married.

For me, the bottom line is this: I want to stay sober. I know that I could probably leave AA and stay sober for a week, a month, maybe even a year or two. I have seen people do that. And then, I have seen people forget who they are and return to insanity and then drinking. Why would I want to do that?

Oh, this disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It will use anything it can to get to us. And it has lots of material to work with.

I am grateful that I never had a false sense of "safeness" in AA and its fully fallible people. AA as a whole has never let me down, but the individuals in it sure have. I have to have faith in the whole, but I don't expect people to be other than who they are.

I know I want to be sober. I know that I need AA. I am grateful it is there. I am grateful I am there. I am more grateful than words can say for my sobriety and the life it has given me. I can "put up" with some BS if necessary - in exchange for the gifts of sobriety. I am also grateful I was done drinking when I got sober so I wasn't looking for an escape clause.

It is good to be sober. It is worth a lot. A lot.

6 comments:

Syd said...

I dislike so much the McMansions that are put up at the expense of habitat. And more strip malls? How many more are needed when most are empty?

I think that some meetings are safe but I am still guarded in others that don't seem to care about the traditions. I think that there are crazies in Al-Anon as well.

Carverlane said...

I think it was you who first told me "we are not all who we appear to be". Thank God there are some wonderful people in the rooms if we take the time to seek them out.

Kim from sAn Antonio

ivy said...

Mary, I just want to thank you for your blog. I have been reading it for a couple of weeks now and I want to say, much as it's a cliche, you are an inspiration. Thank you. I identify with you and feel somehow less alone. It's funny to find a friend (of sorts) in such a strangely disconnected way. I'm so glad you're in the world. Thank you for being here and talking so openly about your experience.Lots of love to you on your journey through life.

ivy said...

Mary, I just want to thank you for your blog. I have been reading it for a couple of weeks now and I want to say, much as it's a cliche, you are an inspiration. Thank you. I identify with you and feel somehow less alone. It's funny to find a friend (of sorts) in such a strangely disconnected way. I'm so glad you're in the world. Thank you for being here and talking so openly about your experience.Lots of love to you on your journey through life.

ivy said...

Mary, I just want to thank you for your blog. I have been reading it for a couple of weeks now and I want to say, much as it's a cliche, you are an inspiration. Thank you. I identify with you and feel somehow less alone. It's funny to find a friend (of sorts) in such a strangely disconnected way. I'm so glad you're in the world. Thank you for being here and talking so openly about your experience.Lots of love to you on your journey through life.

Scott said...

A wonderfull, timely message we in recovery must heed MC, thank you!

I'll tell you what a scary neighborhood is: the mind of an alcoholic. Talk about ruining some beautiful habitat!

It is hard to watch development and I love your honesty about the fact that many of us have bought or built homes where once there was wild ground.