Saturday, March 10, 2012

More "A"s

Lookit!  Stuff is popping out of the ground!  It does every year, but this year I really was beginning to doubt it.

So, I have a bunch of questions.  Thank you very much.  Some of them probably deserve a whole post instead of a sentence or two, but let me get started...

The Noise and Haste asks:  do get on your knees to pray as part of your daily 11th Step practice (or any practice). If so, why? How do you feel like praying on your knees helps you?

I do not get on my knees as part of my daily 11th step practice.  I sit in a chair.  It takes about a half hour, so I would imagine I would try to rush if I were on my knees.  I used to get on my knees every morning and say the third step prayer and the seventh step prayer.   I do pray, on my knees, at church as part of my religious observations.  I think it is humbling and also a bit penitential as it hurts.  

Anonymous asks several questions:  What strategies did you use in early sobriety to distract yourself so that you weren't thinking about drinking?
I jumped into AA with both feet and got so busy with that, I really seldom thought about drinking.  It just didn't appeal to me at all.  I was absolutely done when I got to AA.  
Did you ever have your anonymity compromised?
The closest I would say I ever came to that was when a nurse I worked with was also teaching at a community college.  She showed up at an AA meeting with a gaggle of student nurses following her.  She asked if they could observe the meeting and was SHOCKED when she was told it was a closed meeting and they needed to leave.  I don't know if she saw me, I actually kind of doubt it, but she is not someone I would like to know I am an alcoholic.  People in the meeting were also SHOCKED and thought the chair person was rude.  I thanked him profusely.  A closed meeting is a closed meeting and should stay that way.  No last minute votes, etc.  
Do you ever tell people in your life that you're a member of AA? If so, what would make you inclined to share that information?
All of my friends and family know I am in AA.  I have told some of my neighbors and some of my co-workers.  I used to tell everyone, but realized after a while that it was a back-handed way of seeking praise and attention.  So, as I get to know someone, I will tell them.  It is a pretty big part of who I am.  And obviously, I tell someone if I think it may be helpful to them.  
Jeremy ups the ante with a four part question:  What are your three favorite books?
I read a lot.  Probably the answer is always going to be the last three books I have read.  Right now that would be "11-22-63" by Stephen King, "Winds of War" by Herman Wouk, and "War and Remembrance" by Herman Wouk.  They are all three excellent books.  

What are your three favorite movies?
I don't really know that either.  At one time I would have told you "Fargo," because I loved that movie.  I think if I watched it now I wouldn't like it.  I am not the same person who went to that movie in 1990-whatever.  
What was your favorite moment of the past year?
This morning while I was putting away the dishes, I was singing, the sun was shining, and it was special.  I could say finishing a marathon in October, but honestly, I find the small moments as momentous as the big moments.  
How do you think AA has changed since you became a member?
Oh yeah.  I addressed this a bit yesterday.  I think we are being killed with being polite, politically correct, and "nice" to people who need someone to tell them the truth.  We don't talk about God if someone might be offended.  I guess it would be better to go to their funeral and act sad.  Oh, I could go on and on, but what's the point.  It just makes me sound old.  

And Atomic Momma asks a GREAT question:  I am a 40 something mom who worries and gets caught up in the stupidest things. You've got wisdome, beauty and love of life and life experience to share. So....what would your 60 something self tell my 40 something self that you wish you had/had not done in your 40s?
I'm going to assume you are a recovering alcoholic, I don't know if that is the case or not.  Here's my shocking advice to someone younger than me:  Don't be so rigid about getting to meetings that you neglect your family.  The world won't end if you miss a meeting.  But you only get so much time with your family.  If your kids are young - even teenagers, enjoy that time with them.  And even if they are older, spend as much time as you can with them.  It is like that old adage:  No one on their death bed ever said they wished they had spent more time at the office - I am sure no one said they wished they had spent more time in AA meetings.  That said, please go to meetings - but don't miss important family stuff because you "have to go to a meeting."  

What's worth it and what's not worth it in life?
Family and good friends are worth it.  Working on getting closer to God is worth it.  Worrying about the future and the past suck the life out of today.  For me, I spent WAY too much time focusing on my career, which ended up being a disappointment.  I wish I had enjoyed myself more.  

So, let me throw a caveat on all of this:  Alcoholics are self-centered in the extreme.  For us, we need to learn how to say "yes" and participate in life.  Alanons need the exact opposite and I cannot address what they should do because I have no clue.  

There are still more questions, I will answer them tomorrow.  OK?  

Thanks for asking.  I really do appreciate it.  


Anonymous said...

Loved your comment about Alanons;) We have an amazing capacity to drain ourselves doing for others what they should be doing for themselves.

This Q/A made me smile! How fun to know you in a "conversational" tone.

I also received a question about how honest to be with others. I personally found the truth (not to shock or seek sympathy) set me free.

Kary May said...

I'm glad to see the green things popping up in CO. Is it too late to ask a question? I'd love to know how you keep your enthusiasm for sobriety so fresh? I remember being shocked when I read how long you had been sober. You write through the eyes of someone that is seeing the world anew everyday. (Does that make sense?)

Syd said...

I enjoyed your answer about doing things with family. Balance is so important in all things. I think that you so keep your life balanced.

ScottF said...

I can always count on your honesty MC... especially appreciate your comments on "PC" in meetings and that closed meetings are closed for a reason.

Folks need to realize that people cannot have their way all the time every time. There are reasons for things.

amber said...

I posted my question yesterday on the 3-8 post. Will you still c it? I love this Q&A and i think it very helpful for what ur going through right now. No more wondering about what to blog about after a long day...just answer our questions & try ur best to help. THis is almost like a meeting for me...which is good, because i do not like AA meetings. TY

Mary Christine said...

Amber, I can't find your question. Can you re-post it?

Willa said...

I'm just freaking out over your thoughts about spending time with family. My sponsor of six years (who I just fired on Thursday) would say AA meetings at all costs - that everyone else in your life had to understand - even if it was their birhday, graduation, whatever. The meetings ALWAYS came first. "Your sobriety always comes first - then everything else in life."

I hope I find a good new sponsor who has some good thinking processes.

Mary Christine said...

Willa, at one time I would have said the same thing. But I think, in retrospect, it was just extreme and ridiculous advice to give someone.

Bryan Chambers said...

I often read your posts but rarely comment, I just wanted to say thank you for what you do.