The Heart of the Matter
The more I know, the less I understand, all the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again, I’ve been trying to get down to the heart of the matter… -Don Henley
Since yesterday’s post, I have come across three distinct, separate situations that boil down to the same theme, so I figured I am meant to write something along those lines.
In any given day, there are conflicts, some of which seem to have multiple possible solutions, so the trick is in figuring out which is the best one. I’ll use my conflict from yesterday, for expediency, although a work conflict, a divorce conflict, a family conflict could all be inserted, because I have heard all of them in the last 24 hours, and the end result is the same.
So yesterday I am in a meeting meant to foster sobriety, and it did anything but that. The chair of the meeting appeared drunk, and the attendee who shared did nothing more than further agitate himself, and frighten (or at the very least made uncomfortable) every member in the room. So now I as an individual have a conflict… I am upset, rather than inspired, at the end of my meeting. I am very concerned for my friend who seems to have relapsed but is in denial. What, exactly, am I supposed to do next?
There are many possible scenarios that could be legitimately considered as a solution. I could decide that as a member of a fellowship, I have an obligation to get to the bottom of my friend’s odd behavior. That solution would change the direction of my actions and attitudes for however long it takes to achieve the solution I am seeking.
Or I could take the perspective that this particular meeting is toxic, and that as a member of a fellowship I have an obligation to fix the problem, and do everything in my power to ensure that yesterday’s drama does not happen again, because it could be turning away potential members. If someone had been new in that meeting, I guarantee you he or she would not be coming back, so again, this is a logical train of thought.
I am sure if you are reading this you already have an alternative lined up in your mind about a possible solution. That is the thing about conflict… who is to say what is the one exact course of action?
So here’s what I did, and what, in my opinion, needs to be done in all of the other situations I encountered between yesterday and this morning… ask yourself: what is the reason you are in the situation? Why are you doing what you are doing in the first place? For me, the answer is simple. I am attending a meeting every day to ensure I stay sober for that day. I can be of service to anyone who honestly asks for my help, I sincerely try to do that on a daily basis. But the buck stops with me, and I need to stay sober. To stay sober, I need to steer clear of unnecessary drama. It’s really that simple, and it really solves any problem I have from yesterday. I am not going to crusade against wrong action, because that does not keep me sober. I am not going to chase someone down who does not admit relapse, because that does not keep me sober. I am not going to hold one bad meeting against the fellowship of AA, because… well you get the picture.
Insert your own problem into this framework, and give it a shot. When I get back to the basics, and not let outside influences cloud my perspective, the solution becomes a lot clearer.
Posted on November 29, 2012, in Recovery and tagged 12 step, 12 step program, AA, Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, Alcoholism, Big Book, Clean and Sober, God, Health, Meeting, Mental Health, Philosophy, Prayer, Recovery, Solution, Substance Abuse, Support group, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.