10.20.09

Archive for the ‘shut up and paint’ Category

done?

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Accompany him to his first meeting. Take him along with you when you call on the next patient. Telephone him when there are other patients. Drop in at his home occasionally. Telephone him as often as possible. Urge him to look up the new friends he has made. Counsel and advise him.  [……]  He probably will be lonely. He may be too timid to seek the companionship of his new friends.

Experience has proved this to be a very critical period. So your labors have not ended. Give him as much attention as you did when you first called on him — until he can find the road by himself.

Remember, you depend on the newcomer to keep you sober as much as he depends on you. So never lose touch with your responsibility, which never ends.

via The Akron Manual from 1939-40

The above is quoted from  the purported first written study guide/ pamphlet used in the earliest meetings of AA.   It is an example of the material used in the AA that had a 75% success rate.

Read this this morning pretty much first thing. I’ve been enjoying reading historical AA writings, but this made me feel sick. I had woken up sad because I am about to give up trying to use AA for support.  I’ve been hurt more than I’ve been helped. And if it’s all my fault, so be it; I’m going to have to accept it’s not a helpful fit and whatever psycho-social-emotional wherewithal is required I lack.

I have a couple of numbers for members of Women for Sobriety I am going to call; I wrote asking about local meetings after visiting their forums/website a few weeks ago.  I’ll talk about that some more later.

I threw my AA books in the trash. I didn’t want to. I might get them out. I wish it would be helpful to me, it is a place where I can ostensibly meet people but, if I’m honest, I’m banging my head against a wall. It reminds me of alcoholic drinking:  the little good bits here and there create hope for more, and what I get over and over is…not helpful.

Written by xty

September 19, 2010 at 09:40

moratorium on omniscience

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be careful, because the problem with clever is that when everything’s just fodder for the next punchline then eventually everything you take in is just a “yes, but…” and that’s a hard thing to have riding shotgun in your head when you’re alone and it’s late and you realize your alcoholism has been whispering in your ear for the past hour, and suddenly you are very seriously considering picking up your car keys and going out to do something very, very foolish

via Mr. SponsorPants: they don’t warn you.

The topic at the clubhouse noon meeting today was humility, acceptance, and the First Suggested Step. I confess I asked for it, and also confess I am pretty sure I have never in 20 AA years asked to hear experience on humility, acceptance and the 1st step. Always assumed I had it cold. Seemingly hundreds of things are coming together at once these recent weeks (insert several long boring stories here) and when my Hopefully-Sponsor-to-Be asked me to tell him about my understanding of powerlessness it occurred to me that the question seemed fresh for the first time in a long time so I’ve been thinking on it. There are so many things I gotta accept, mostly globbed together in one giant-ass pill the size of a Buick I foresee having to swallow.

On anothernote, this meeting also features the Quintessential Betty who makes me smile because of her southern oldtimer perfection, among a serious arsenal of AA archetypes; in fact, it is now also clear to me that I must henceforth refer to this meeting as the Archetype Meeting.

Written by xty

August 26, 2010 at 19:33

days

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This week I changed to 2nd shift and it is also hot as a motherfucker. I have a semblance of serenity but it is easily undermined  and  my meetings, interpersonal life,  and exercise are all compromised but I’m okay.

It’s all just days.

Written by xty

July 27, 2010 at 09:23

Posted in shut up and paint

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I drank.

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I drank. For a few days, last week. I’m sober now, and kinda pretty much ok. More later. Just checking in, as I am sure all both my loyal readers have been waiting with bated breath. Uh oh..will I change the blog name? Hm. I’m thinking no….

dead air

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I’m working again, an hour drive from the house….and the result, when combined with either a run or a meeting or both, is that I don’t really do much else. Really – I am a very non-multi-activity kinda girl. I’m happy and sober and there you go.

Written by xty

April 14, 2010 at 15:57

how it’s going

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I made more meetings this past week.  I went to a new one in the city I work in (an hour away) and it seemed like a pretty nice one.  I’ll go back.  My days are long, but I enjoy them.  I see that this arrangement could be isolating…but I am not going to worry about that right now. It doesn’t matter.   All that matters is not drinking and going to work.

I have begun reading the Big Book the official Big Book Step Study Meeting (I affectionately refer to it as the “school supplies group”) way.  This consists of highlighting directions or suggestions in yellow, warnings or ominous stuff in pink, and promises and positive statements in green.   It’s causing me to read more slowly and that’s a fine thing.  I read a little at a time – I’m just starting Into Action.  (At the beginning I was continuously bothered that Pink wasn’t Positive,  Warnings weren’t Yellow,  Directions Green, but life on life’s terms. Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.)

This is unsanctioned or renegade BBSS reading – sponsor S goes and has a BBSS sponsor, and is passing suggestions along to me.  I wonder if it matters that my activity has no community affiliation.  It feels kind of flat – but I often experience reading the book that way, just because I’ve read it probably more than any other book on earth, except maybe the Rock and Roll Encyclopedia I had when I was in junior high.

Written by xty

March 28, 2010 at 10:02

shut up and paint

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Thinking my little head off. Yeah, I’ve been sorta prolific here now that I’ve resumed the blog….and also voluminous in my reading of other recovery related (as well as some 12 step bashing) material / blogs.  I’m enjoying the hell out of it, and I also think I’m getting some stuff out of my system that’s been clogging the spirit, if you will.  (Will you?)

I ended up with a rather scorching email from sponsor S yesterday; scorching but fair; scorching but also partly fueled by a little misunderstanding.  (I don’t have the whole story yet, may never, but  based on a few emails, it seems she spent some time yesterday under the impression I am friendthegirl over at my and your favorite anti-AA blog Stinkin’ Thinkin’.)  There was a suggestion that we may not need to work together any more.  I was kinda like “file under: Dag!”  but also, the fair part is that she is indeed right about one thing, the main thing, the only Thing really:

Talking about AA theology, culture, pros/cons, whatever, is completely pointless when it comes down to not drinking and aspiring to a better life for one’s self and loved ones. Fucking go to AA or don’t; fucking work the steps or don’t.

My friend Ian and I ended up at a coffee shop after an al-anon meeting this a.m., and I shared a little about this. I told him that I basically am where I’m at right now for two reasons. One, I’ve pretty much done it all and not done it all and either one of those has both worked and not worked. Depends on the day, year, city, throw a dart at the history map and hit an iteration of alcoholic life.  It has evolved to what I am certain is THE critical recovery attempt of my life. The whole ridiculous and heartbreaking saga has led up to this.  I don’t want to drink again. I’m totally scared out of my fucking mind.  I’m going to talk about what’s been in my head these past few years until I have finished talking about it.   If I’m wasting someone’s time, I hope they will say goodbye before they leave, but I don’t expect it anymore.  Two, I have worked a total of about 50 hours since October 2009 and the majority of that time I have spent residing alone in the coldest bad-weather winter I can honestly ever remember.   I burned out on library books; I burned out on movies; I’ve seen every season of any tv series I’ve been remotely interested in.  I go to meetings, I’ve taken up meaningful, suitable service work.  With all the other time, I’m keeping my mind completely occupied.  This week, with blogging bullshit.   (On top of it, I started doing it all on Linux just for extra complication….)  This week,  I have not thought about taking a drink.  So, although I have written and read and talked  more about recovery the past several days than in the preceding year and a half, in some way I’ve managed to shut up and paint.

Is it helping me be “teachable?” Am I letting go of reservations? How about humility? Is that around anywhere?  Not always, but that’s where I’m aiming.  I went outside to have a cigarette a while ago and it came to me that I must remember I’m crazy and I’m on a path of no path:  relax.  And I reminded myself that I haven’t stopped praying, whether I “feel” faith or not; that could be said to indicate I have some.

Written by xty

March 6, 2010 at 18:44