I have to once again fall on my sword and mention that I am a newcomer. Today is my Day 40 and Day 40 for the first time. I have listened to many folks come in and share their multiple returns to our program and I salute them. I bring the newcomer and firstcomer point up as an explanation on why so many things are revelations to me. I have never heard it before or never heard it sober before.
We have vets in our meetings as I am sure many meetings have. One of our members, (Marine 1) mentions on several occasions that it took several attempts to teach himself that he needed to adopt a sober lifestyle. While another Marine (Marine 2) mentions about being a “Dry Drunk” and how it destroyed his last marriage. Today, we had a man join us and it was his first meeting. After hearing the “Dry Drunk” discussion from Marine #2, he realized that he was in the right place even though he hadn’t had a drink for several years.
“I am not sure if I should be here.”
Were the words out of this man’s mouth when it was time to introduce himself. He mentioned that he wanted to sit in the back of the room and observe. Several men had introduced themselves to him and in our small group we could all see he felt “at ease” with us but not “at ease” with himself. We went about our meeting, had our reading from the Grapevine like we always do and did our “’round robin” sharing for those that wanted to share. He passed. Right after him was Marine #2 (who has been sober for 30 years) but as he put it (and so did the reading), got complacent, stopped going to meetings and from there lost his marriage, without drinking a drop.
Keeping Our Eye On the Ball
I am learning that I am a very complicated person. I don’t say that as an ego thing, I say that because I think we all are and we all have our own way of getting through this life and for each of us that path is a unique one. One thing that was for sure, alcohol for all of us in that room today, at one time or another (or many times), made us forget our troubles and stresses. It was a friend and comfort to us when we felt the most alone. But one day, it decided to take us down a path we weren’t expecting. It betrayed us. So we work on conquering the urge to drink and we do it TOGETHER.
Then as Marine #2 mentioned, “I was still the same screwed up person that needed to work on myself even though I wasn’t drinking. I still needed to come to meetings, I still needed the fellowship.”
DAMN! I thought, once I got this lust for liquor behind me I could get off this Ferris Wheel. Now this guy who has been sober for 30 years, tells me even though I am not drinking I am still an a$$hole? I wondered if the newcomer was reading my mind because he raised his hand and shared a bit about his situation and we all listened. He had not been drinking for years but something had happened over the weekend that made his doctor suggest that he go to an AA Meeting because he had some things to work on. So for some reason he was with us and he needed to speak when he spoke and needed to say what he said.
Booze Isn’t My Only Problem?
Of course I knew this but I didn’t really think of it before and sometimes you need a crusty old Marine to remind you and spark the heart of the newcomer who sits beside you. Ok, Higher Power…I am working on it and thank you…again.