M(3), 1/26/15: From Hell to the Mountaintop
Driving to today’s meeting, I would have guessed a meeting attendance of two people, and that would have been the high end. And the big storm hasn’t even arrived yet… yikes!
So the fun surprise was winding up with six attendees. Not bad in the midst of what is predicted to be record snow fall! Today’s reading came from the book ‘Pass It On:’ The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world. Its purpose is self-evident in the title: it is a biography of Bill Wilson’s life and how he came to found the organization Alcoholics Anonymous. The book is a fascinating read for both members and non-members of a 12-step program.
When I first started reading, I thought it might be redundant, as I thought I knew Bill W.’s story from start to finish. But this book gives details and background that were brand new to me, and put his story in a context that made his climb out of the depths of alcoholic despair even more amazing. Fans of the book Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) will find Pass It On enlightening.
This morning we read chapter five, which details Bill W.’s last days of active addiction, followed by a personal account of his “spiritual awakening.” Many elements of the chapter stood out for me, but I think what stuck with me most was how much I could relate to his story. This person could not have lived a more opposite life than me, and yet I can relate to the feelings he described:
“For long hours, I thought over my past life. How and why could I have come to this? Save for my drinking, Lois and I had had a wonderful life together. My whole career had teemed with excitement and interest. And yet here I was, bedeviled with an obsession that condemned me to drink against my will and a bodily sensitivity that guaranteed early insanity at best.” -pg. 109, Pass It On
Another stand-out for me as I read his numerous attempts to recover from alcoholism: his so-called failures, when viewed in light of his whole story, are clearly stepping-stones that led to his ultimate success. Each time he failed, he learned a bit about what works and what doesn’t, and over time he was able to use those lessons like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that ultimately formed the picture of recovery from a seemingly hopeless state of body and mind.
Inspiring stuff for a snowy Monday morning, let me tell you! The rest of the group focused on his amazing journey from agnostic to believer, a compelling story to be sure. Some admitted to a bit of envy for the rather dramatic circumstances surrounding his “conversion,” and several in the group shared the evolution of their relationship with their Higher Power.
A final thought this morning: one gentleman shared that learning Bill’s story, and realizing how he recovered from such a low bottom, gave him the inspiration and confidence that he could recover as well. If a man like Bill Wilson can achieve sobriety, there is hope for us all.
To anyone reading that lives in the Northeastern US: stay warm and stay safe!
As of this writing, we are in the lull of the storm. I keep anxiously going over places I might need to get to before the rest of the storm hits, and each time, I realize I’m covered and don’t need to go out. This level of preparation, my friends, is a miracle!
Posted on January 26, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged 12 step program, AA, Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Big Book, Meeting, Miracle, Monday, Recovery, Sobriety, Support group, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.