As willing to listen as the dying can be

The last paragraph in the book the section on Step One, (page 24 in my copy to be exact), of  Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.  “Then and only then, do we become as as open minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be.”

Our Sunday meeting at the Homeless Shelter is a “12 and 12” Meeting. Each week we read a Step. Throughout the year the Steps are repeated, often times not in order.  Step 1 is almost always read when someone raises their hand in response to the question asked at every meeting from the Chairperson, “Is there anyone here having trouble staying away from a drink today that needs support from the group?’

Willing To Listen

On New Years Eve, my phone rang.  I was sitting in front of my computer working my book.  I was feeling pretty settled in, not worrying at all about anything. Neither drinking or New Year’s Eve, I was feeling pretty excited about getting organized.  I looked at my phone and it was a woman I had not seen in a couple weeks.

I picked up the phone thinking that she may be at the Alca-thon down the road.  She was not at the Alca-thon. I started the conversation saying, “HEY!  It is great to hear from you how have you been?”  She said, “Not good, I have been drinking again.  Not every day, but once in a while and I haven’t been going to meetings.”  I said, “Have you been drinking today?”  She said “No, I am on my way to see my son at his house, he thinks I am not drinking.”  (But her voice and thoughts sounded like she had been.) I said, “Hey you know, you can always start over. Whenever you want.  Like tonight.  We could go to the Alca-thon.”

She was interested in telling me why she was drinking.  Her son is an addict and she doesn’t want to drink in front of him, her husband still drinks, drinks in front of her and he doesn’t want her to drink because she ended up in the hospital last time, her sponsor was gay and she wasn’t into that and she really didn’t like the whole God thing.  She wanted to go away for a few days, maybe with someone from AA, just escape so she could get her head straight.

I just listened.  There was no use in saying anything anyway, she was in the “stinking thinking” stage and it was everyone and every thing else’s fault that she was drinking.

We agreed that we would meet at our 9am Sunday Meeting at the Homeless Shelter.  That was today. She didn’t come.  I asked a couple others too and they said she was going to go to a later meeting.  No one has seen her.  I have sent her texts and left her phone messages.  She is escaping from me too, apparently.

Cunning Baffling & Powerful

When they say this disease is  Cunning, Baffling & Powerful , they “aint” kidding.  When the voice of alcoholism is speaking to me and I am listening and I am listening to only that voice, I am screwed.  Like I said in a previous post, “Alcohol wants you dead, but it will settle for miserable.”  Seeing it happen from the outside, happening to someone I care about it, is tough and I feel powerless.