M(3), 12/7/15: Bullwinkle-ism
Typing the date just gave me more than a little jolt to my system:
Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!
Today we read a story from Alcoholics Anonymous entitled, “AA Taught Him to Handle Sobriety.” The selection below best sums up my personal take-away from the reading:
God willing, we members of AA may never again have to deal with drinking, but we have to deal with sobriety every day. How do we do it? By learning- through practicing the Twelve Steps and by sharing at meetings- how to cope with the problems that we looked to booze to solve, back in our drinking days. -Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 559
Boy does that message resound this time of year! Not only is there extra items on the to-do list, not only are there added family pressures, not only is this a time where stress runs high and time runs short, but all of this is happening simultaneous to when alcohol flows most freely.
I would say most of us in recovery have a time or two under our belts where we abstained from drinking. All but the most physically addicted can stop drinking fairly easily; the trick to sobriety is staying stopped.
For me and the fourteen attendees this morning, we accomplish that trick with a twelve step program. Others I know use our wonderful blogging community for support. And countless additional roads to sobriety are out there as well, you just need to pick one and start travelling down the path!
It should go without saying that my experience is framed within the context of 12-step recovery. It is this time of year especially that I am grateful for this fact, and for the exact reasons the author writes. I can not drink, one day at a time, for the rest of my life. And that is a miracle I hope I never overlook. But the “beyond my wildest dreams” stuff of which people in recovery speak happens when I apply the twelve steps of recovery to the rest of my life.
Some other great perspectives came out of this morning’s meeting:
- One woman, who of late has been struggling with relapse, has finally found a few days of peaceful sobriety. She has been finding ways to sneak quiet prayer time into her hectic schedule, and she is feeling the benefits of it at last. She wants to remain conscious of the power of prayer in her life.
- A gentleman brand new to my meeting, but not the Fellowship in general, talked about how he related to the author’s continuing to drink despite increasingly dire consequences. He was proud of all his “I never” statements, and continued to set himself apart as a result. Inevitably, though, the “I nevers” came true until he hit his bottom eight years ago. Now he remembers to look for the things he has in common with the people in the rooms of our Fellowship, rather than the ways he is different.
- Another long-timer said that the 12-step Fellowship is the only place he’s ever experienced that takes care of so many things at once. When he is in a bad mental, spiritual, or emotional space, simply attending a meeting brings him back to center. The skills he learned here he wasn’t taught anywhere else, and so he keeps coming back, 28 years later!
- A woman raised her hand to “piggyback” on the sentiment above. She learned a long time ago (and I’m pretty sure she has at least a quarter of a century sober as well) “Recovery is for people who want it, not for people who need it.” She said she used to go to a meeting where the chairperson started each one with a question: who wants to stay sober today? This question, and the physical act of raising your hand, is a reminder: it’s not enough to sit in a chair. Real recovery begins when you participate in the process.
- Another woman related to the part of the reading that mentions learning to differentiate between our wants and our needs. In times of turmoil, when she’s sure that what she wants is what she needs, it helps her to remember that God’s plan is better than hers.
- Finally, a gentleman shared a term he coined that I have confiscated for the title of his post. He said he has been afflicted with the condition himself, and frequently sees it in the rooms of our fellowship:
Bullwinkle-ism: the condition that causes one to repeatedly go back to the same hat, thinking this is the time you will pull a rabbit from it.
Yep, I’ve been afflicted with that condition once or twice!
No longer suffering from Bullwinkle-ism; at least, the alcoholic kind!
Posted on December 7, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged AA, Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Big Book, God, Higher Power, Meeting, Miracle, Monday, Recovery, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Support group, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.