The Best Medicine

I was dying of terminal seriousness. I was an empty suit, stressed to the max and stiff as a board. I looked out at life through crap colored glasses. I couldn’t laugh, not deeply. Even when I was drunk and stoned the best I could do was titter from inside my head. I didn’t realize I had a disease that was killing me from the inside out.

I was frozen when I walked through the door to my first meeting. I laughed, really laughed, for the first time in years. It was the laughter that connected me to the men in the room. The laughter drew me into the center of the herd. I began to thaw. I became a part of.

We are a wacky bunch, aren’t we? The beautiful thing about Alcoholics Anonymous is that were not afraid to put our wackiness on display when we share. An old timer told me, “We’re not laughing at you, Jeff. We’re laughing at your solutions because we’ve tried the same damn things ourselves.”

I remember reading somewhere that if I can learn to laugh at myself, I’ll never be at a loss for material. I’ve begun to notice I’m becoming increasingly more forgetful. There are 18 steps up to my condo. It’s rare that I don’t have to walk back up those damn steps at least once for something I’ve forgotten. I used to worry about it. Today I think it’s hilarious.

Laughter is definitely the best medicine for this alcoholic.

Experiencing God

The St. Francis prayer asks God to make me a channel of peace. I picture a pipe running through the center of my being that connects me to a mighty reservoir. When my pipe is open I experience love, wisdom, and abundance. When my pipe is blocked I experience restlessness, irritability and discontent. The twelve steps are like Drain-o for my spiritual pipe. The steps deflate ego, melt away self-centered fear and allow the cool, clear peaceful water to flow through me out into the world. Being of service, both in and out of the rooms, keeps my channel open and flowing.

God for me is an experience, not an idea. With my channel open I experience God in many moments throughout the day. I see the light come on in a new comer’s eyes. I watch a hawk floating above the hills where I hike. I’m caught by the the boundless joy of the little three year old girl who lives next door. I experience God when I get to the other side of a fearful experience and see that God was right with me the whole way. With my channel open, I become God’s expression -- a force for good in the world.

If I don’t feel connected to my HP, it isn’t God who moved. It’s me. God, as I misunderstand God, works in my life 24 and 7, but I forget God is present right here and now. Thankfully you guys have given me a whole bunch of tools to clean out my channel and keep the power flowing.