Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We can smell our hypocrites

I went to another lively meeting today where the topic was taken from our daily meditation book. We discussed, from the Big Book, not interfering with another's growth. Sometimes, as some of our members are learning, it means we let those we love hit their own bottom.

Whether you term it "codependency," a too-frequently used term, I believe, or just "relationships," we all have those we love who aren't hearing the message. It is very painful to watch them hit their bottom, especially those who have children with the disease. That must be the worst, because I understand in my head but not in my heart since I've never had children, that the pain of a child in pain is so great it can almost break you. But watching any loved one struggle is hard.

I remember, though, that the process of "letting go with love," and it is a process, takes time. We have to, just as when we drank or used, usually hit our own bottom trying to fix, control or otherwise get family members sober. I know in my case I had to accept that my loved one has a God just as big as my God and there is nothing I can do but pray and stay clean myself.

The only 180 degree turn we must make in recovery is to stop drinking and using. The rest of our changes, in behavior, in outlook, in spirituality, are processes, a series of incremental turns that ultimately lead us often to 180 degree changes in these other behaviors. But few of us do it overnight.

Our relapsing friend was absent from the meeting. I wasn't surprised, knowing how hard it is to get back here. I always tell newcomers "The first time is a gift." After a relapse, it seems we have to work that much harder, I'm not sure why. That was my experience, anyway.

We hear so frequently today when people share about relapsing and coming back then finally getting sober. I also like to remind newcomers when people share that experience, they never have to drink or use again, one day at a time. It's just that profoundly simple.

I was reminded of something Black Wally, a legend in AA in Phoenix, used to say. "We're lucky because we can smell our hypocrites." He was of course referring to the smell of alcohol on people who are still drinking and coming to meetings. I don't really think they're hypocrites; they just aren't ready. As long as they sit down and are quiet, most meetings are more than welcoming.

I'm baking zucchini/pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving, which we're going to spend at my s/o's daughter's house tomorrow. We'll be going there in a van with four octogenarians or at least septuagenarians. My big fear, of course, because I'm not driving, was that we'll get in a horrible crash on I-70 and wipe out about four gene pools. Then I looked at our combined ages, which is about 400, and I started laughing. I don't think there'll be much procreating going on, so I'm sure my fears are in vain, as are 99 percent of them.

In case I don't blog tomorrow because I'm in a tryptophan daze, have a great day. Maybe I'll publish my bread recipe; it is good, if I do say so myself. One thing about Missouri, these German women can cook!

1 comment:

Meg Moran said...

I read your blog daily, and love your wisdom. Today was just for me...Thank you for speaking to my heart