I've got a sort of half-formed thought about something that has been on my mind. I am not sure where I am going with this, but it has stuck with me.
About a year ago, I was at a Friday morning speaker meeting. Sometimes a person will chair the meeting with a democratic idea about who ought to speak at a speaker meeting and they ask someone who is barely sober. That happened at this meeting. There was a young man who was not sober 30 days. Obviously hadn't done any of the steps or thought much about life as a sober person. So, he did what someone would do when asked to tell their story. He had a hell of a story, but it ended when he stopped drinking. He told of many years of drunken debacles. Only, he still sort of glorified them, as if it was great "fun." He had been to detox many, many times, and some expensive treatment centers too. He was only 25 years old. (He is now 26 years old and newly sober again.) Please don't get the idea I am somehow "blaming" him, because I am not. I think he did the best job he could at speaking at an AA meeting... I just don't think it was fair of the chairperson to ask him to speak.
He told of one of his drunken escapades. He had gotten drunk at a high school friend's house. He had fallen and injured himself. He had to be taken from the home in an ambulance.
After the meeting, one of my friends came over and asked me if he had ever told me about the time he came home from an evening out with his wife... he got home and the house was covered with blood. There was no one home and he had no idea what had happened. He later found out that his son had a party and someone fell and hurt himself and had to be taken from his home in an ambulance. He said the bill was quite extensive for the lad's medical care. And that his homeowner's insurance was canceled as a result.
I exclaimed "Oh, no! Does he have any idea that was your house he was in?" And my friend said "no."
Earlier this summer, I went to an AA event at my friend's house. I met his son, who is now sober. I saw the scene of this event. I thought about it. I don't know WHY this has planted itself so firmly in my mind.
Maybe it is because I have sat in meetings where the speaker talked about screwing someone over (to loud laughter and approval) when the someone screwed over was me. It was a horrible feeling of betrayal.
We alcoholics have a bad habit of hurting people. Sometimes we let this habit follow us into sobriety. Some of us seem to have no concept of the wreckage we have caused. The steps should show us this, but if we don't do them, or rationalize when we are doing them, we still won't know. We can't make amends for harm we don't even realize we have caused.
A person who is really doing the deal of Alcoholics Anonymous will never tell a story of hurting someone for laughs or for entertainment purposes. We do tell stories of hurting people, because most of us have really done some harm. But they are a lot easier to listen to when they are accompanied by remorse.
That's all I have right now. I still haven't quite made a point out of this story. I am just thinking about it. And now you can too if you want.