I’m sure this happens all the time, to a lot of people, in my attempt to go to my improv class I showed up a bit late and the lights were low, and the class was much bigger but it was at the place I’d been before. A man was sharing at the front of the room, and the door was to the right of him and everyone was facing it, watching me as I came late. There were no seats so I snuck to the back and crouched down, and started listening. He was funny, truthful, his story was almost satirical but lacking some of the tell-tale signs of improv. This was an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Remember I had just snuck in late, there was no leaving, I resigned myself to the idea that I was exactly where I needed to be.
I suppose a few details would help, I have never been to an AA meeting. I know the very basics about AA, every share you say your name and that you are an alcoholic, you can have a sponsor, everything that happens in AA stays in AA.(which I will respect by using no specific details just the gestalt of the evening) I personally had stopped drinking in October. And only drank one handful of times since. Most of which ended in regret. I could relate.
What’s the world like if you take away alcohol? Who are you if you don’t drink? Don’t want to be where the energy of drinking is? I heard myself, my feelings, my fears echoed out across the room as each person reflected on the main share of the night.
On Love:(Inspired by a share)
Just when you want to toss it all overboard, there’s water coming in all around not from a single blow but a million tiny pin pricks which when the sun is shinning let in a million tiny beads of light, but when a storm is brewing a million tiny lights is a million tiny drops of water. It’s a subtle sinking. So you kinda don’t notice because you think it’s just night time and that’s why the light isn’t shining in anymore. But rather the day could not be anymore dark, and then it’s almost too late. And you are alone trying to ride out the storm and the door opens and light pours in, a voice says, I keep trying to love you but you shut it all out and turn the shower on and refuse to accept that a person could love you. That you are worthy. That you don’t have to do anything. Be anyone. You are already enough. The door shuts, but you stand up and pick up the pin and start making more holes so that the light gets brighter.
“I struggled with acceptance for awhile. How could I condone what I was doing, how could I accept something that I thought was unacceptable! I mean, the things I was doing were bad, not healthy. What helped for me, was realizing I could accept that something was, without making it good or bad. That this is my reality, that this is currently the “what” that is taking place. But I do not attempt to make it anything other than that.”
On Now What?:(literal)
Okay great, the program works. I’m not drinking. Now what? I’ll tell you, now all the shit is coming up. I have to take action in my life. Actions that I was otherwise ignoring. Now I have to do. But how do I know what to do, who to be? I am an alcoholic, I was a drunk. That’s what I did. Now you’re telling me, and I’m feeling ready to do more, to be more. But what? And, shit. That’s heavy. That’s all. Thank you.
I talked to a psychologist, I really want to help people get clean. I mean I push sooo hard for them. I get really focused and I just, get real intense. I mean this is for their betterment. And this guy he told me, that pushing someone like that doesn’t help. It could even be harmful. I was like, what of course it does. Everyone needs help. We all need each other. We do all need each other, but in thinking someone needs help, we are telling them they are helpless. That they can’t do for themselves what I can do for them. And sometimes it’s playing God, thinking you know what’s right for another. Only that person knows what’s right for them, and you have to let them figure that out. Push them too hard, they may break over not listening to their higher power. Fuck, this surrender shit goes deep.
I sent love to every single person in that room. To each of them. For one more day, for making it that night. I sent it to myself for being there and able to really listen and be present to these people’s sharing.
I am no longer addicted to the drama of bad decisions, and I am taking full responsibility for myself, my life, and the beautiful gifts and talents I have been graced with. I surrender to knowing what’s right for anyone else, I have never known. I will never know. You know, you have all the answers inside of you. We each do. It’s accepting reality, accepting love and being quiet enough to listen.
Then we took hand in hand, speaking these words as one:
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
courage to change the things we can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”