To me it’s an integral aspect of the program and really maybe the first, most important aspect as it launched the program and made the system for sobriety spread from Bill to Bob to the The Man on the Bed (my favorite AA symbol). Hearing the experience of others, others who are the same as me and who suffered the same as I had suffered opened my mind to the possibility of living as an alcoholic in sobriety. And I have no doubt that living as an alcoholic in sobriety I have continued to benefit from others sharing their sober experiences with me. It’s like continuing education for life for a very small, very special and very difficult subset of humanity, the alcoholic living in sobriety.
I’ve shared my experience here and in real life as an introvert in the extroverted world of AA. It hasn’t been easy. It continues to be difficult, actually. But the “making me come out of my shell in order to survive” that AA made me do has been a benefit there and in the rest of the world. I’m so fortunate that I immediately believed the people I met in AA when they told me they understood how I felt. I was, remember, 16 years old, almost 17, and they…..weren’t. But I believed them.
I must have heard thousands of stories by now and I must have shared mine thousands of times. What a special miracle it is that by telling you I peed in a plant, I save my life and maybe yours as well. It doesn’t debase me, although it is quite shameful. It’s my message of hope, that life doesn’t have to be that way for me or for you. As e.e. cummings wrote, “i who have died am alive again today.”
I’m uninspired by my topics. I had a post half started about expectations and how AA has taught me to expect to be let down by everyone and everything. True enough! But blah to write about. I’m also uninspired by Step Four and the pieces of it I have to tackle and so I haven’t written. Making myself do this now.
Things are good! Politics are looking up with the special election in Pennsylvania. My daughter’s wedding shower is next weekend and my mother will travel back with us to be at my house for Easter. There’s a hint of spring and honestly, the crushing, crushing pain of the loss of my dog happens less often now. Maybe three times a day rather than four? I’m not yet happy for the freedom from her care that I’m experiencing, but I have been doing things like shopping and going to the movies and attending political events that I hated to do when she was home. I see dogs barking in neighbor’s windows and I hate that I ever left her ……… So, still a long way from getting over that one. What is the character defect? I need to know, so that I can lessen it.
One character defect I do know about pulled me down a hole today. Facebook, that repository of nightmares and dreams showed me that someone I grew up with lives in her parents’ house, the one she lived in when we were kids and I was consumed with jealousy.
I KNOW my life is beyond my wildest dreams, filled with wonderful people and places and things and activities and more than I ever wanted and much more than I ever deserved. I deserve to be dead, I engaged in such self-destructive behavior only luck finds me here now. And I KNOW that her life is probably far from what it seem on the Book. I know. But there you have it.
I, personally, have the answer to my own woes. It is in the steps. Maybe Step Four. I should work it.
Disclaimer- jealousy, even grief, occupy tiny parts of my days. I am for the most part happy, joyous, and free.