Today’s meeting in West Hollywood was composed of about 10 old men (myself included), one old woman, and one young woman. The Big Book reading was about a middle age fighting man who kept fighting and drinking despite repeated injuries, who even drank on his hospital bed, and who finally one day fell on his knees and begged for help from his ‘disease’. And then the next day he went to AA and for whatever reason that time out of all the other times finally understood how it works. Something about god. And he never drank and fought again. Will wonders never cease.
A few people spoke with plastered on smiles about the miracle that AA worked in their lives. But most just complained about their lives and their daily struggle against the urge to drink, as they awaited the promised miracle. One old man complained about getting cut off in traffic, and how he wanted to jump out and beat the guy up, as he would have done in the past. But armed with AA ‘serenity’ (which took many years of attendance before he finally discovered it), he just took a breath and the anger passed. Not even an urge to drink!
The young woman was recently divorced and doing 2 meetings a day for 30 days in an attempt to convince herself that she really was an alcoholic. She complained about how she had to be at meetings while her friends were all out having fun. Then she said that her dad is also an alcoholic, and they are sobriety buddies, but at their last meeting he just talked about alcohol the whole time. Truly stomach turning stuff. I tried not to vomit. Hopefully she was just a shill.
I introduced myself as “not an alcoholic but probably what you’d call a dry drunk” and spoke about my difficulty getting motivated to work, and my fears about the rest of my life. I definitely felt accepted. As the newcomer I was asked to lead the group in a prayer of my choice. So I chose the freedom prayer:
Dear God, thank you for teaching me the difference between right and wrong, and giving me the freedom to choose between them.
Well I actually got some high fives for that. I invite you to recite the same prayer at your next meeting. Although you might take a moment to memorize it or you might mangle it as I did haha.
There were no young men there. But if there were, this is the message they would have gotten: “You have a disease. So keep drinking and fighting and then when you’re tired of that, decide to ‘get sober’ and drop in to collect a chip. Don’t worry, you can still drink again any time you want. Just call it a ‘relapse’. Maybe this recent divorcee can be your buddy in ‘sobriety’. You can keep this up through late middle age, when even the cows won’t sleep with you, and then you suddenly realize we’re not just a bunch of losers and maybe you can help this young divorcee with daddy issues understand how powerless she really is!”
Thanks AA! You worked when nothing else did! Now who’s ready for a beer??