M(3), 11/2/15: Finding the Common Solution
And just like that, it’s November!
Since it is the first Monday of the month, we read from the book Alcoholics Anonymous; I selected the chapter entitled “There is a Solution.” A hopeful title if ever there was one, the chapter is as optimistic as it sounds…. it is possible to rise from the depths of alcoholic despair to “a fourth dimension of existence of which we had never dreamed.” (pg. 25)
Big promises in this chapter, and for untold numbers of recovering alcoholics, promises that have been delivered!
We were on the low side of normal in terms of attendance this morning; however, I heard exactly what I needed to hear. Two things stood out to me in this morning’s reading. The first was the description of a necessary spiritual experience: huge emotional displacements and rearrangements (pg. 27). When I look back on my mental state of mind before I hit my alcoholic bottom and compare it to sobriety, that description is an apt one.
In 12-step meetings before sobriety I would catalog all the ways I was different from everyone else in the room; in sobriety I marvel at all the things we have in common.
In active addiction, my first consideration was where you were wrong and I was right; in sobriety it is acceptable to agree to disagree.
Prior to getting sober there was no middle ground things were black and white. Today I can see the shades of gray in between.
The second concept that stood out to me in the reading is the idea of clinging to solution offered by the 12-step program, and thinking it flimsy at first, but soon enough realizing how strong it is. I read that paragraph, and was immediately transported back in time, starting my days in prayer and thinking how ridiculous I felt. Day after day, I continued a ritual that seemed so hokey, so preposterous, and in my wildest dreams I could not imagine anything meaningful coming of it. How about all those times I prayed in the past… why would this be any different?
Until, slowly but surely, I stayed sober. Not only did I stay sober, but I started noticing other changes as well. Coincidences that were too good to be coincidences, calls and emails just when I needed support, inspirational readings that would seem to land in front of me when I was ready to read them.
Now, if something happens and I don’t start my day with a prayer… that would be preposterous.
Others in the meeting spoke of their emotional displacements and rearrangements; some were dramatic, most were incremental and not truly recognizable until well after the fact. All agree that using the simple tools that we were taught within our 12-step program help us not only to stay sober, but also to live peaceful, joyful lives.
Last, but most certainly not least, one of my favorite meeting regulars shared what she loves most about this chapter: the hopefulness of finding a common solution. It’s not her solution, or my solution, but it’s our solution. Unlike those bonded together by a crisis like an earthquake or a fire, this is a bond that continues well past the crisis, because it is in seeking out one another that we recover.
Finding people who understand you = a miracle
Finding people who understand you and can offer you a solution to your problem = an even greater miracle
The ability to give that solution to still others = the greatest miracle of all
Posted on November 2, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged 12 step program, 12 steps, AA, Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Big Book, Conditions and Diseases, Higher Power, miracles, Monday, Prayer, Recovery, Sobriety, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.