Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Moral Inventory

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

That was the main topic of AA last night. I sat in the meeting drinking my coffee as I listened to many people share. It was a busy meeting. One fellow who rarely speaks really opened up last night and told of all the people he had stolen from to support his addiction.

"I would even steal money out of my elderly mother's purse," he said with an air of exasperation as his head hung low.

I thought of my own moral foibles I acquired while drinking heavily. I was a habitual liar and most people in my life had grown to distrust me. I would lie for the sake of lying. I lived in this grand fantasy world exacerbated by my mental illness that I wanted everyone else to believe. One of the hardest things to do in my life was learning to be honest in my recovery. Now, I am probably too honest and share too much. I always was an all or nothing kind of fellow.

"I would scream and holler at my kids in a drunken stupor," Wanda then said after the standard AA introduction. "I constantly berated them. It took years for them to forgive me and love me again."

This surprised me. Wanda has always seemed like the kindest of persons and has been so caring in our friendship. I listened intently as she shared and the tears of remorse rolled down her cheeks. The elderly lady who often attends walked over and gave her a tissue which was a kind gesture.

The meeting ended with the whole group emotionally spent, but with this feeling of resolution, peace and calm. I walked outside and sat for about thirty minutes waiting on George, but he never showed up. I then walked on over to Rosa's house which was near and we ordered a pizza, watched the three channels her old TV can pick up, and talked until late in the night. I told Rosa all about last night's AA meeting.

"I just can't share like that in a group," Rosa said.

"I never thought I could either," I replied. "But when you start to hear other people doing it, it can be contagious."

It was well after midnight when I left Rosa to walk on home. It was a full moon and all the broken beer and wine bottles on the sidewalk in Rosa's neighborhood glittered like little jewels in the bright moonlight. "There is beauty in everything if you just know where to look," I thought. I made a resolution to find more beauty in such things in my life.


barefoot 303 said...

I appreciate how open you are. And thanks for the little words of encouragement. I have a big weekend ahead of me and your resolution to find more beauty inspired me to do the same. I will enter this weekend with a more positive attitude.
Thank you.

Josie Two Shoes said...

This was a great post Andrew. It was nice to hear that the meeting proved to be a good experience, and I so agree with you about finding beauty in unexpected places.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

That is a good resolution. I recommend it from experience.

fiwa said...

I'm with Rosa, I don't think I could stand up and talk about all my faults, all the things I've done to hurt someone else, in front of a group. That takes a lot of guts. I admire you for sticking with AA, even if you don't agree with all the tenants.

Have a good day today -

EE said...

I love your openness...I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person, too. It drives my mom nuts!

2 LMZ FARMS said...

I think everybody would be better off if they could be like that, all or nothing. I'm like that. I am so glad that you have the support that you do. There is so many out there that doesn't. Or they keep things bottled up inside them. See, your posting is a way to work through your problems. Hang in there and have a good one.

Cheryl said...

You're really an inspiration, Andrew. It seems like you're growing in so many ways.