Friday, March 26, 2010

Are We Ready for a Meeting?

“Are we Ready for a Meeting?” the chairperson’s voice rang out in the old church that is an AA meeting hall this afternoon.

A cacophony of voices rang out, “Yes!” and “Hear! Hear!”

We went through the usual twelve steps and traditions and the daily reflection.  This always tires me and all this stuff we have to read, and I want to get to the meat of the bone: the confessionals and discussions.  We talked today of how us, as alcoholics, must be ever mindful of what we say and do to others – that conflict breeds resentment and that can lead us back to drinking.

As I was walking out of the meeting hall, a very portly man said to me, “Glad you came and I am glad you were here!”  It surprised me.  Not too many people in my life have been glad I was there in my using days.  I am still always amazed at how happy Helen, George, or Mrs. Florene are when they see me.  I had terrible self esteem issues for years.  

“Thank you,” I told the portly man. “I got a lot out of what you said and what happened to you at church the other day.”

He had spoken about doing service at his church – passing out coats, gloves, and refreshments to impoverished people.   He said he resented the people for having to do all this on his Saturday and wished he was somewhere else.  He realized the error of his ways and remembered that gratitude was an attitude.  He was once one of these impoverished people.  He said he started to hand out extra coats, shirts, and hot drinks.  

It is a long drive home from Lagrange and I thought long and hard about where I was going.  Does all this matter?  I am but one insignificant speck in the universe.  I then thought that if one thing I shared in today’s meeting touched someone in need then I made a powerful difference in the life of another.  That settled it in my mind that I was doing the right thing and to not always just think of me, but what I can do for others.  A powerful concept that can be hard to grasp for a recovering alcoholic.  A concept I want to learn to master – the art of giving of myself.     


Joy Heather said...

Your Posts get more positive each day is good that you went to the meeting, you did well. I hiope it gets even better for you each time.

Andrew said...

Thank you Joy! I do hope so. I feel better at least. I've had some mental illness issues today, but I didn't let them get me as down as they normally do. I prayed about it and leaned on God.

Beth said...

You know, I think the Twelve Steps are an awesome blueprint for living your life, alcoholic/addict or not. And gratitude journals and giving back have become very mainstream: even The Secret speaks at length about gratitude as its keystone. You have been very intentional these past days about going to meetings and thinking positively, and trying to accept where you are, and I hope you feel good about that. It's about progress, not perfection, remember. One day at a time -- and keep going back!

Andrew said...


Thank you! I realized my way was just not working. I don't drink that much because I don't have money, but if the opportunity presents itself, I would go wild! I had no self control. I had to get serious and get serious quick! I just want some peace, ya know? I was tired of doing the same thing and expecting different results. Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words. It will not be forgotten!!!

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Andrew Dear,

I think I have told you this before. Very often I learn new things from reading your blog! Some things are computer related or things I should remember from school. But the biggest things are those that relate to people, personalities and being mentally interesting.

Almost every day you give me the opportunity to expand my mind and understand more about the world I live in.

I appreciate that more than you know. I also like that wicked sense of humor that shows itself now and then! ;-)

Love ya,

Andrew said...

Oh Grannie,

Thank you, but you are giving me far too much credit. Your comments so bolster my spirits. You've grown to mean a lot to me and I appreciate it. I will not forget you ever.

Love you,


Hap Joy Free said...

Andrew....I am so happy for you. You are an inspiration. You make me smile :)



justLacey said...

I have a hard time remaining positive as well. It has to be a conscious effort. I have found though, that when I make the effort, eventually it becomes less and less and effort and more just the way I feel. I think this will happen with you too.

Andrew said...

Thanks Lacey,

I understand wholeheartedly. Let's all try to be more positive today and see where that leads us. My mental illness is a big obstacle for me being positive. Yesterday, I had lots of symptoms and had to fight the doldrums.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

ah bless. Nice story andrew. I identify with you. I find myself wondering why people are being so nice to me, and i too enjoy all the little tihngs people say about how they are mindful when they become negative throughout the day. Its nice to be part of the human race instead of being 'special and different' isnt it?

Very glad to see that you are bringing your body to the meetings as your mind will surely follow.
and PLEASE do not worry about not being able to put a dollar in the pot. yes i know its embarrassing, but I prefer to call it ego-puncturing. its good to get off our hugh horse and admit that we too suffer from all sorts of unflattering problems, including not having an extra dollar to put in the pot. When I was a new person I didn't have money to put in the pot either. I know how tight money is when you have to live off meagre allowances, so don't think twice about it. MANY alcoholics have been in the same boat :) so its really !!! fine with us :)

Keep coming back Andrew, a day at a time :)