Thursday, 1 August 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | August 1 | DonInLondon | Step 8 "Amends And Willing"

August 1, 2013: meetings, meetings, meetings where we share experience strength and hope of life as it is today. At a recent meeting, which I really enjoy even though it's on our main road round here and the noise of traffic, yet the meeting is always good for me. On the walls, the two scrolls, the steps and traditions. Steps to help others be; open honest and willing in their endeavours, traditions to; encourage unity, service and recovery. Then all sorts of sayings posted on the walls. Readings are plenty, what to do, how it works in chapter 5 and the pledge, and, and, and then chips at the end of sharing. Plenty of tea coffee, plenty of people listening and sharing about life today.

And yes in this recent meeting, sponsor coordinators, where to go for coffee afterwards if you haven't been able to share, people connecting, reconnecting, starting over, starting from scratch and trying to keep sober just for today.

And I did feel the need to be there, to listen to the person starting the meeting, sharing their experience strength and hope so I could connect in some way. Someone I know came to sit next to me, and since I last saw them they got married and they showed me a picture of their spouse. Really good news and makes me feel good to know their life is flourishing. A lot of hope at the beginning, and many sharing generally or specifically about life and its meaning in an emotional and spiritual way.

Understanding how our life is impacted when we are sober, that we can become more open honest and willing, that we have a better idea of what we can do and cannot do. And that we can have a direction which we can follow, because we have goals and aspirations. More realistic goals and aspirations, based on evidence of where we are now, and the next step we can take in reality to achieve something which is important in our own living. Mention of wildest dreams does come to mind, and was shared. The wildest dreams were not quite as they were before sobriety, although many in recovery do achieve their wildest dreams whatever they may be. Freedom to aspire, plan, problem-solving, decision-making and changing to meet the current conditions on a daily basis. In other words, living reality.

Most of the time when I go to meetings, I feel like I belong. We are all in the same moment, sometimes people are asleep, sometimes people are agitated, sometimes we are happy just listening, sometimes we feel like sharing. And if it is a lively meeting, not everyone is able to share, and it can feel quite competitive, then someone defers to another person because they feel that person need share first and not lose the opportunity. We learn as we go along, that every meeting is going to be different, unless of course we are judging meetings in a particular way.

When a meeting has been there for a long time, and the same people are in the same place just about doing the same things which work for them, it can seem a little bit difficult to become part of it. And some people prefer old friends to newcomers, until of course the old timers see the newcomers and may be connect as best they can. Just because a person is an old timer it does not mean they going to be useful to you, because they don't know how to connect with you. And the other part of this is, although we hear and think the newcomers the most important person in the room, sometimes a person called an old timer can be knackered and out of sorts. Better not to judge them, better to try understand them even when we are new to a meeting where all the old fogies seem rather distant and difficult to understand. In my world, the meetings are what they are, the people are what they are and wherever they are, they will be the way they will be. Mind you a newcomer usually perks them up no end…

There was some debate recently about how the steps work, how sponsors can help us with the 12 steps, and that we might find the 12 steps very difficult to comprehend in any sort of depth. And this is good, because the steps become meaningful in the living of life and how they impact on a daily basis. Steps help us realise our future, and traditions keep Fellowship motoring along as people understand the traditions and try their best to keep Fellowship safe. Which is difficult, because when it comes to meetings of Fellowship, it is always the group conscience which is the guide to how groups run their affairs. And anarchic democracy certainly does make group life difficult!
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,

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