August 18, 2013: "a newcomer asks: "when is the hole inside going to stop aching?" This was a question to me yesterday. At a meeting, seeing really good people who I love and like to share time with, I saw someone sitting on their own and I felt the need to greet them. They had already been thoroughly greeted by the greeter, and yet after a few moments after I introduced myself, a torrent of questions, the biggest question: "when will it stop aching inside?"
This is one of my favourite meetings, and the sharing is wonderful, usually all about the spiritual experience. Most people have a spiritual experience of the educational variety, and some people have a spiritual awakening as part of recovery which involves powers greater than humans. I'm still on my educational spiritual journey which happens in the moment of now, and was profoundly helpful yesterday in yesterday's moments of now. I am hoping the newcomer felt the meeting helped, and we did say goodbye at the end.
May be we all read the big book when we get into the Fellowship. And some of us read a lot of the literature in the first few months and still wonder why we have this hole inside of us. In my case, and I can only speak for myself, the emptiness had been filled up for years with alcohol and the emptiness was where my feelings had never grown up. So the aching is a feeling, and the anger is feeling, and the resentment is feeling of hopelessness and helplessness in early days. Hopeless and helpless is transformed into powerlessness, and once we understand that powerlessness is actually an advantage, because we don't have to control or contrive and perceive the world in a particular way. Powerlessness is truly helpful in all aspects of living with people, places and things and especially alcohol!
Repairing the hole in the soul is a lifelong experience, being aware of everything and not shutting out the truth of now. This emotional and spiritual journey is not really understood until we let go of our thinking about how life ought to be. The more we think it and expected to be as we want it, we continue to think and create expectations which lead to resentments under construction. To start living an emotional and spiritual life, we need to learn and experience feelings as they happen, rather than try thinking our way into feeling the right way, because we do not know the right way to feel until the experience is happening now.
H A L T: hungry, angry, lonely, tired. These feelings are always a good starting point. These feelings impact in the moment of now. Any of these feelings can undermine balance and a sense of well-being. Yesterday going to the meeting, I just felt I needed to go and had no particular reason not to, sometimes though, for any old reason, I might try and find something else to do which may seem important and then I realise I need company and Fellowship and really enjoy it when I am there. Even when in my early days I would walk away with anger inside me, disliking what somebody else might have said, the meeting served its purpose: to agitate, to be able to listen to other people making their way one day at a time. Sometimes I felt envy, sometimes I was judgemental, and early days were always about thinking rather than feeling in the moment of now.
I was listening and reflecting on what impacts hardest in early days of recovery. The hardest impact is not knowing what love is in the moment of now. And then how to forgive the calamity of having a killer malady which took love away probably from an early age when love went missing in action. And learning how to love, find forgiveness for oneself and other people as learners, or pedants stuck with an outlook creating horror and a dry drunk, clinging to the pages, rather than reading the feelings in the pages, that was me in early days.
And the chair yesterday, I was able to share my feelings about my situation and then how their "chair or share" helped me see that everyone in Fellowship is learning how to be human and have feelings which work in the moment of now. Underneath all the rhetoric, the cloudy outlooks, the disagreeable outlooks, the truly wonderful outlooks, and just one or two outlooks which I find agreeable, and I smile here because everything is agreeable really, underneath everything we are all learning how to love, be loved back and cherish each other in the moment of now.
Alcoholics Anonymous Videos, AA is for Alcoholics, AA 12 Steps, Addiction And Recovery, DonInLondon, Don Oddy,