Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday

It is Monday again.  For my retired friends this has a different meaning.  I remember the years when I was a housewife I looked forward to Mondays because all of the noisy people went back to their places of business and I had my world back.  For the last 20 or so years, I have been one of the noisy people who works M-F 8-5.  And I am good with that.

I think I may have reached my limit with sponsoring people who want me to answer all their questions in life and want to call me at all hours with tearful, hysterical questions having nothing to do with program.  I had to tell one woman that I am not a job sponsor.  I don't know what she should do about her job.  I told her she might consider that in all of her job situations, she is the common denominator - therefore, she might be the problem.  If she wants to really look at that, I will be happy to help, but if she wants an ear to listen to what so-and-so said yesterday about this-and-that, I am not going to do this month after month.   It is not productive - for either of us.

I had a similar conversation on Saturday with a sponsee who is much beloved by me.  We have a long-standing relationship that means the world to me.

I asked her to please consider where she got the idea that long term sobriety meant that she should have tons of money, a great job, a great relationship, a shiny new car, etc.  I understand that plenty of sober people do have those things, but plenty of people don't too.  I don't think these things are an accurate gauge of the quality of a person's sobriety.  In fact, I have known several people who have had those things and could not stay sober to save their lives - literally.  If they had lost those things, they might have had a fighting chance.

We collectively love to idolize Bill W. and Dr. Bob, but I think we seldom consider who they really were.  For one thing, they both smoked like chimneys, Bill W. died of emphysema.  They were both poor as church mice.  Bill W. was allegedly a terrible womanizer. Dr. Bob brought a Bible to every meeting he attended.  I think if either one of these guys were to show up at an AA meeting today, they would be ostracized.

But, in spite of, or because of, their faults, God was able to work with them to do something that had never been done in the history of mankind.  They were able to come up with a solution to the plague of alcoholism.  And because of this, alcoholics were able to lead productive, respectable lives.

Maybe we take this too much for granted 75 or so years later.  Shouldn't we be humbly grateful to be sober?  Not greedy for more, more, more, more, more?  I think I am just going to try to be grateful for this gift in my life and I will ask anyone who I am sponsoring (and calls me today) to write a gratitude list and if they still have problems, let's get going on an inventory.

Thanking God for what he has put in my life today.

18 comments:

Syd said...

Those are outside issues that I choose not to deal with. I can share my E,S, and H on the underlying stuff that might lead me to think in a jealous or fearful way. But I focus on the steps and traditions. That is what I can help with.

I do still think of Monday as, well, Monday. And I get the Sunday afternoon blues too. It is programming from 31 years on the job.

dAAve said...

see above

Jeremy said...

I hear it often that alcoholism is a disease of MORE, so it makes sense, even more so in a world like the one we live in.

I jump on the train from time to time, but the true beauty, the true gift is that I have anything at all and am not dead, or lying in a gutter somewhere - thank you for the perspective

Mary Christine said...

Syd and Dave, I guess I call my sponsor about just about everything, so I think I can listen to everything, but maybe I can't. The quality of this is so different.

And Monday is Monday retired or not.

Mary Christine said...

Jeremy, You are right. It is a disease of dissatisfaction with whatever we have. Recovery is a lifetime of learning to love what we have not have what we love. It makes life good.

Lou said...

Jeremy's comment made a lot of sense to me. The dissatisfaction, no matter how good life is..I still see this on a daily basis.

I suppose I expect too much. Mostly I try to keep my advice to myself. Maybe addicts need to learn EVERYTHING the hard way. So be it..

Patty said...

Amen and thank you, Mary!

greenorange said...

Some people misread the promises. The line, "Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us," is misconstrued to mean that economic insecurity will leave us, rather than the fear of it.

I also don't think that only alcoholics suffer from the disease of MORE. I'll misquote Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground, in that the nature of man is he has two legs and is ungrateful. I'm fortunate to have a disease that forces me to reevaluate the source of my discomforts. For that, I am grateful.

Debbi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbi said...

May I share this with the women at the prison meeting I help out with? (Sorry for deleting the previous comment, I forgot to check the box to get follow-up comments.) Hope your Tuesday is terrific!

Mary Christine said...

Debbi, You are more than welcome to share this (or anything else I post here) with the women at the prison meeting. Thanks for asking. Mary

Mary Christine said...

Greenorange, I am forever railing about the "promises" and how they are misconstrued. And taken out of context. Thanks for visiting.

greenorange said...

A quick introduction of myself - My name is Gina. I've been sober for a little over a year now, and I've been reading your blog for about 3-4 months now. I apologize if you found my comment condescending. (My ego assumes this morning's comment was about me.) Definitely not my intent.

Mary Christine said...

Hi Gina, thanks for the introduction. I didn't think your comment was condescending at all. :-). I'm glad you spoke up. You don't have a blog?

Mary LA said...

Thanks for the mention Mary Christine -- for a long time I didn't respond to comments because I couldn't get them to load. I also worried that I might inhibit people from commenting by replying.

I moderate all comments so I can delete any malicious or anti-AA or offensive comments. Rare, but I don't want to engage with anyone who is just stirring up trouble.

greenorange said...

Hi again, Mary Christine. Thanks for the welcome. No, I don't have a blog, though I've been told I should start one. Some people think I have a way with words. I just think I have a way with thinking too much. :)

Mary Christine said...

Mary, I used to publish comments democratically, but then I decided this is MY blog and stopped publishing anti AA and malicious comments. It is just better that way. I get a lot of them - probably an average of one a day.

Gina, Let me know if you start a blog. It is a real learning experience and I think you are a good writer based on a couple of comments.

Dan said...

Dan W. The reward for longterm sobriety is longterm sobriety and if you have throughly worked the 12 steps then I'm sure you will have gotten all of the mores that were yours and none of them will have been paid for in cash.