Monday, January 09, 2012

Livin' in a Sober World

My granddaughter, watching the birds at the feeder.
I am heading to work today.  In sobriety, I learned to dress appropriately, show up on time, do a day's work for a day's pay, and do that day after day after day.  Early in sobriety, I learned that there would not be a committee commissioned to plan for a statue in the park of my likeness because I didn't call in sick to work for an entire year.

Later in sobriety, I learned that if I happened upon a co-worker at an AA meeting, odds are they would later expect me to "understand" that they had to come in late, leave early, talk on personal phone calls all day, etc... because they were "sober" and therefore "special."

A dear friend used to say that he could judge the quality of his sobriety by how well he "blended" into his community.  Did he "blend" at work?  Did he "blend" in his neighborhood?  Did he "blend" at church?

I am currently working with a woman who was so dysfunctional in her active alcoholism, she is struggling to find what is functional in the real world.  I understand that.  Unfortunately, she is still thinking she might be deserving of a statue in the park for showing up on time to work 3 days in a row.

It takes years for us self-consumed alcoholics to see that the rest of the world functions just fine.  Most people do what they are supposed to do - without drama or fanfare.  When we learn to do that, I think we are on the broad road of recovery.

I thank God for his grace - that he enabled me to get through those crazy first years before I realized that I wasn't the center of the universe.  And what a relief it was when I did!

"We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society. Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any one of those about us. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 53

10 comments:

Patty said...

Thank you Mary, I love this post! What a great reminder. BTW, What an awesome game yesterday. Go Broncs!

ScottF said...

I really enjoyed this post...

I especially like the notion of "blending" into the various areas of my life.

Daisyanon said...

I like this 'blending' idea as well. As ever, thank you for your honesty and clear sightedness.

Syd said...

I didn't want to blend in for so long. Now I am okay with who I am, not ashamed of being a bit different and thinking outside of most boxes. But I am not alcoholic. And I don't need to prove to anyone how different I am. I can just be. It feels good.

PS: I understand about the movie and books. I would not recommend that anyone who has suffered severe trauma see the movie. It was hard for me to see and nothing like that has happened or been done to or by me.

Bill M said...

Well said Mary. I remember when I first figured out that they weren't erecting a statue for me... one of many breakthroughs to come.

Lou said...

A mistake I made was making such a big deal out of the addict doing what a responsible person should do. Family plays into the feeling of entitlement sometimes, because of our fear of going back to how it used to be.

Great post, lady.

Kristin H. said...

This is really an excellent post.

Let Go, Let God said...

I'm glad I read this post today. It talks about what my sponsor calls being "right sized". Always a good reminder for me. Thank you.

Mary LA said...

Ordinariness and blending in works for me, just another bozo on the bus.

atomic momma said...

Mary Christine....this is one of the finest posts you have ever written. You don't need to be a recovering addict to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of your words. There is so much drama and trying to make sure that everyone knows we went the extra mile and exagerrating the experience to build ourselves up. You just show up and do it and know that you did the best, whether anyone saw or cared.