M(3), 10/3/16: To Write or Not to Write?
As any regular reader knows, I thoroughly enjoy my weekly Monday 12-step meeting. Like most everything in life, not every single experience is chock full of wisdom to share. The question for me then becomes: do I just skip blogging for a week, or do I attempt to find some nuggets to pass along?
Since I am of the mindset that no meeting is a bad one, I’ll attempt to write. There were 20 people in the meeting, which is near a record high, so surely as I write I will come up with something that is a decent take-away.
The reading selection is likely what is putting me in a bad frame of reference. We read from “The Big Book,” proper title Alcoholics Anonymous, and we read the chapter entitled “To the Employers.” Right away the subject matter puts me at a disadvantage, as I’ve been a stay at home Mom for so long that I have no experience on either side of this issue.
I also have an issue with the dated way in which the subject matter is approached. So as not to get into a critique of our fellowship’s most revered book, I’ll simply say that in my opinion, the chapter might have a subtitle of “HR Nightmare.”
It therefore became difficult for me to share in any meaningful way on the chapter itself, so I took a wider frame of the material and shared on the general topic of misunderstanding the disease of alcoholism. Even with this broader theme, I still don’t have a ton of personal experience, as the vast majority of my family and friends were supportive of my recovery. In the years I’ve attended 12-step meetings, I have heard absolute horror stories of loved ones strongly encouraging active addiction, and sabotaging efforts to remain sober.
One woman said her husband frequently would hold up a vodka bottle and announce, “Whenever you’re ready just say the word and I’m pouring!” It’s hard to compare to that level of disrespect.
It’s hitting me a little bit more as I move into the stage of parenting where I’m dealing with kids and alcohol. It is noticeable to me as I begin to navigate these waters that my perspective, my reaction and my plan of action is markedly different than parents I know who have not dealt with addiction.
Truth be told, I’m not even sure who’s got the right way of thinking. In all likelihood the best approach falls somewhere in the middle, as it usually does in life.
Meeting attendees had better experiences to share in terms of the chapter itself. Several in the group had been approached by employers regarding their drinking, and all agreed it was a warranted discussion. One person admitted to being on both ends of the spectrum; he had been fired as a result of his alcoholism, and he’s had to fire people as a result of theirs. The latter, he asserts, is a difficult action to take as a person in recovery himself.
Most of the people who are in charge of hiring and firing acknowledge that is is incredibly difficult in this day and age to approach an employee with respect to their drinking. But they also believe that their understanding of the disease and its cure helps them to show greater empathy.
One special note: for the first time in four years, my husband attended my meeting. As George Costanza says, worlds are colliding:
Of course, I’m kidding, I was honored that he’d want to attend, and he reports being happy to, as he puts it, “see me in action.”
Not one, not two, but THREE different sober anniversaries in this morning’s meeting!
Posted on October 3, 2016, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged 12 step program, Addiction, alcohol in the workplace, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Big Book, fellowship, HR, Meeting, miracles, Monday, Recovery, Sobriety. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.