Giving It Away

I do not believe Bill was trying to save Dr. Bob’s ass when he picked up the phone in the hotel lobby. He was trying to save his own. A business deal had just blown up. The disease was clawing at him. He needed another alcoholic to help. He had experienced a spiritual awakening in the hospital, but now he had to give it away to keep the spiritual power flowing. It's no coincidence Bill's phone call led him to Dr. Bob.

I've been spending a bit of time on the phone with a new AA friend. We have agreed to talk every evening for 30 days.  We hope to take the first three steps together by then. So far we've shared about the Dr.'s Opinion and Step One. In the process we've learned a lot about each other.  I don't know how much our conversations are helping him, but I damn sure know they are helping me.

Despite all that's going on in the world, I’m enjoying the best life I’ve ever had, but it is dangerous to think I’ll never drink again. What I know is that I probably won’t drink today because I’m giving away what was so freely given to me. I can't rest on my laurels. With my meeting attendance way down due to the pandemic, I needed more opportunities to share with other drunks. the new man came along at just the right time. 

The Best Medicine

I had been standing on the outside of life looking in for as long as I could remember. I was not a joiner. Intimacy made me uncomfortable. Other people were just too much trouble. I’d spent the last eight months unemployed and drinking at home in almost complete isolation. Then I was graced with  a moment of clarity that lad me to Alcoholics Anonymous.  It was grace pure and simple that led me to AA, but it was the laughter that kept me coming back until I became hooked. 

After my very first meeting the man who would become my first sponsor said, "Some of us go to Harry’s for breakfast after the meeting, why don’t you come along.” I said, “I’d really like to, but I’m very busy this morning.’ He gave me a knowing (you are full of crap) smile and said, “I’m sure you are busy, Jeff, but why don’t you come along anyways?” An unseen hand pushed me to the breakfast with five or six other men. I remember laughing, really laughing, for the first time in years. Driving home from breakfast I had the feeling I had finally found my way home after a long painful journey. I had no idea what had happened, but I knew I would go back the next week. And I kept coming back ever since. 

The laughter drew me into the center of the herd. I became a part of.  The clenched fist inside my head began to relax. I began to see I wasn't unique. Our stories were different, but the underlying feelings of fear, self-hate, and hopelessness were exactly the same. As I connected to others in the rooms, I connected to the God of my own misunderstanding. 

I'm coming to believe life is a third rate comedy and we are all slipping on banana peels. Growing along spiritual lines allows me not to take myself too seriously. I simply can't enjoy life fully if I do. It took many years, but today, thanks entirely to AA meetings, friendships and sponsorship, I have learned to laugh at myself. I'm pretty sure I have a lifetime supply of material. Laughter is definitely the best medicine for this alcoholic.