I have heard many people say, “It was hard work.” Or “He has really been working hard.” I have heard this in meetings as well as prior to my attendance at meetings.
I was an athlete and a pretty good one in school. So my understanding of working hard usually is related to repeat laps in a pool in a certain interval, pushups, etc. Or in academics, I also took pretty seriously so “working hard” meant studying. I wasn’t too thrilled with anything in the mathematic realm but especially there, I understood what hard work was. There was some meaningful result that came from it. Something you could see or measure. A great time in an event, a great grade at the end of the semester. You can look at it and see how your work is paying off.
In meetings, people say they worked hard and so far I really had no idea what that meant, to me it was more of an expression than anything else. I did realize hard work was living through the DT’s, sweats and general physical sh&tty feeling, I had for the first couple of weeks of sobriety. And not picking up a drink or hanging out with my old drinking buddies was a bummer some people may call that work.
Where Did that Come From?
My sponsor has me doing worksheets that are helping me understand what the steps mean and why they are important. Why it is important for me to understand WHY I drink not just the act of drinking itself. As I sit down with these sheets I find myself getting pretty sad and sometimes crying. And yet there is nothing I can seem to write down. It is something that is inside me and I cannot seem to understand it enough to put it into words. I have never had this happen to me before and I am confused, really confused.
I called my sponsor, which I try really hard to do every day (at her instruction) and it was a less than productive call. I haven’t talked to her in a couple days, left messages but haven’t spoken to her. She seemed annoyed. I found out that she was on her way to a meeting only after we had a couple of curt words for one another about my decision to go to a meeting at lunch time in a place that was near where a work meeting had just ended. I also shared with her that I was having a hard time working with my homework on the steps and she seemed pretty short about that too. I ended the call with, “Well you better get to your meeting, so you wont be late.” Then I hung up. And cried. I was pissed, frustrated and confused.
Turning the Tables
I called a friend of mine from my home group that I knew was having tests today. She is single and alone. She had confided in me that she was pretty scared and I had called her earlier in the day, left her a message and thought calling her to give her a little support would change my mood. And it did. I felt better and she was happy that I called her.
Several moments later a text came through on my phone. Someone who’s number I got over the weekend. She asked me how I was doing? I said not so good, she asked if I was going to the meeting down the street. I decided after getting sh&t on all ready for going to meetings about 10 minutes before, that probably going to another one today was not a good idea. And of course, I was suspicious of the text in the first place. Did my sponsor put her up to it? Does she even know my sponsor? They both were at the same meeting. I still am confused. I still am sad. She had some encouraging words for me, I was honest but still decided not to go. I guess I know now a little bit more about “working hard.” When I read back through this I call it drama and I am not sure I like it at all.