Monday Meeting Miracles: 12/9

Car Tow

It has been a heck of a morning.

I think the miracle today is that I have anything to write about, in terms of a Monday meeting.  Woke up this morning to the 5 am phone call:  schools are on a 2-hour delay, due to a surprise snowfall yesterday.  The snow fall was surprising, the phone call was not.  Then found out the car will not start, despite due diligence on the part of my husband.  Okay, so the challenge:  figure out how to get the kids to their respective schools, find out how to schedule the tow truck, and still there is that whole Monday meeting thing I’ve got going on.

At which point I discover tactical error number one on my part, and it falls squarely into the category of  Things Josie Should Have Known Better:  I’ve got not a single phone number of any of my regular meeting attendees.  Not one.  Further, I regularly drive a gentleman without a license to my meeting; he has my phone number, but I do not have his.  And the pressure mounts, as the kids are running around like lunatics!

At one point I actually had to stop myself in the middle of whatever task I was doing, and talk back to the racing thoughts.  And I said, “You are not the first person to have car trouble, this is a privilege problem, and the world is not coming to an end.  Snap out of the self-pity, and do the next task in front of you.”  Seriously, I had to say these words to myself (in my head, so as not to alarm the kids).

This kind of “back talk” to the craziness that is my mind is a newer skill, and one that comes in very handy during chaotic mornings like this one.  Each time my son said, “But what about…” and “How are you going to…” and “But what if…,” I was able to calmly say, “One thing at a time,” and know that is the right answer.

The result was not as smooth as I would have liked, but I am sitting here typing this story, so things worked out.  The tow truck was delayed, but they called to let me know.  So I borrowed a car (and was consciously grateful for the relationships that allowed me to do so), drove directly to the gentleman’s house I take with me on Mondays, picked him up, asked him to please chair the meeting, got him there, and got back before the tow truck arrived.  Made arrangements for both kids to get to school (and again had subsequent gratitude for the neighbors that helped me), and asked my sister-in-law to drive me back out to the meeting after everything was squared away.  Actually made it to the meeting before the halfway point (thank goodness the place is close to home), and was able to participate in the meeting.  Got a ride home, and no catastrophe has befallen me.  Of course, I have not heard from the car dealership yet, but still, I’m going to count this morning as a win.

So, onto the actual point of this post, which is the meeting topic, and the message that means so much to me on a weekly basis.  Today was a selection from the book Living Sober, a simply written “how to” book on handling situations in early sobriety.  The chapter selected by the gentleman who pinch hit for me today was entitled:  “Remembering that alcoholism is an incurable, progressive, fatal disease.”  Of course, I missed the first half of the meeting, so I am unsure of his reasons for selecting it, but the sharing I heard during my time made it clear that this is a message that is important to remember, especially during the holiday season.   With all the merriment that surrounds the holidays, it can be very easy for an alcoholic like myself to forget that drinking, for me, does not end in the laughter and fun that it does for most.

So how to handle it?  One of the meeting attendees, a gentleman with 28 years of sobriety, put it this way:  “This time of year, each year, I keep the word diligence at the forefront of my mind.  I remember I went to any and all lengths to get sober, and now I need to go to any and all lengths to stay sober.”  For him, that means keeping up with meeting attendance, regular sharing with other alcoholics, and not being afraid to ask about alcohol as an ingredient at upcoming functions.

When I consider that the maintenance of my sobriety is actually just a few simple steps, it lightens the load of alcoholism.  At a bare minimum, if I simply refrain from ingesting any mind-altering substances, then I can survive the holiday season, car problems and the subsequent stress; really, I can handle anything.  Of all the incurable, progressive, fatal diseases, I am grateful to have the one with the simplest means of keeping it in remission!

Today’s Miracle:

I would say making it to my Monday meeting, even halfway through, counts as a miracle!

Posted on December 9, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I knew it! There is a miracle in all of this, actually a counted several! I am glad it all worked out for you and you did make it to the meeting. I have to say stuff to myself too, just to help me reason with what is happening. And it helps me to slow down the crazy in my mind. What is is about us that makes us think that every incident is an absolute catastrophe! LOL!

    Hugs, stay warm! We are bracing for another snow storm – schools got called off already!


  2. I got tired just reading that, Josie! Amazing how a bit of snow brings so much to light – the need for a phone list (w/sobriety date!), backup plans, the way to get out of self-pity, etc. I love how everything worked out the way they were supposed to work out – with lots of elbow grease from Josie.

    You know, I was never “triggered” during holidays. I know most alcoholics have a hard time at this year, but it was never a drinking time for me. In fact, I used to scale down – let the “amateurs” have at it for a week or two while I sat on my better-than throne and waited for them to get back to work, etc. and then I would hammer back at it…let the pros do their work, punks…ha ha. But I appreciate that this time of year can be stressful for those who participate in it, and can be lonelier for those who don’t.

    Diligence…love it. yes! I need to be more diligent in the program I work. Need to be at more meetings, methink. Once this court thing is done (hopefully), I can recommit to doing what I need to do more of.

    Thank you for this, Josie…glad it’s all good 🙂



    • Paul, I thought of you yesterday (Christmas). You have commented that holidays are not a “trigger” for you, that you left holiday drinking to the amateurs. As I watched my Irish Catholic relatives imbibe, I laughed in my head, because they are certainly not amateurs, but they are certainly enjoying the holiday!

      Thanks, as always, for the comments, I can never adequately describe what they mean to me!


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