M(3), 8/25: Teach Your Children Well
Can you seriously believe it is the last Monday in August?!? The whole summer was fast, but this month felt like it played on fast forward!
So, last Monday of the month has my meeting continuing from the book Back to Basics, which outlines how a newcomer is taken through the 12 steps of recovery back in 1946. Today we read through steps 8 and 9, which more or less felt like a continuation of last week’s meeting. For those unfamiliar with the 12 steps of recovery:
Step 8: made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
Step 9: made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
So now I am going to admit to a flaw in my meeting format that just came to my attention this morning. The meeting chair is traditionally the first person to share after the reading selection has finished. Since I am the only meeting chair at this particular meeting, I am always the first to share. Normally, if I thought about this fact at all, I would think of it as a good thing… often people are slow to share, so I will happily break the ice for the group. Here’s the flaw I just realized: I am unintentionally coloring the sharing at the meeting. In sharing what is on my mind and in my heart, I spoke about having The Talk with my children, and in finding the ring (if you are new just go back to the last post for details). From my share forward, people shared about parenting in sobriety.
I’m feeling vaguely guilty about this, which I’m sure if I spoke to my fellow attendees about it, they would laugh their heads off, but I am admitting it anyway!
So less on the subject of step work, but still fabulous information disseminated. Two of the greatest stories:
The first is from a woman who is coming up on her one year “soberversary.” Her daughter is only 5 years old, so does not remember much about Mommy’s drinking days. My friend says that her patience is shorter, and her temper is much stronger now that it ever was in active addiction (mostly because there was an option of pouring another glass of wine when her daughter was not behaving!). Anyway, as our steps suggest, she promptly admits when she has done wrong in losing her patience with her 5-year-old. She worried about doing this, as she grew up in a culture where parents did not apologize for anything. If a kid got yelled at, they did wrong, period. So she worried that her child would grow up not respecting her authority.
On the contrary, it would seem. She finds that her 5-year-old has taken to modelling this behavior, and, when she has made a mistake, goes to her immediately and says, “Mommy I was wrong for doing that.” Children learning what they live is a great thing for us in recovery, it seems!
Second story: gentleman with 50 days of sobriety, talking about having The Talk from the other side of the fence. He does not have kids, but he could relate in having to have this kind of open discussion with his own parents, and how they reacted. He went on to talk about how much the experiences of this group, and other groups at other meetings, have helped him to open up. He is able to deal with life on life’s terms, which is not easy for him at the moment: early sobriety, dealing with a mental illness, legal consequences. But in finding like-minded people, and following the suggestions given him, he has already felt a mental turnaround that is giving him the strength to persevere through his problems.
As always, I fail to cover half of all the great stuff, but it’s that time of year… back-to-school clothes shopping time, and with a strong-minded teenage girl at that. My goal is to Keep. My. Mouth. Shut. Which could be today’s miracle, except I don’t want to jinx it so…
Looking forward to back-to-school shopping, despite some negative past experiences. Today is a new day!!
Posted on August 25, 2014, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged 12 step program, 12 steps, Alcoholic Anonymous, family, fellowship, Meeting, Monday, Recovery, Sobriety, Support group. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.