Ah, but there is this: almost literally simultaneously with my little physical surprise, I'd been enjoying some temporary sunshine. I was renewing a relationship that is important to me, with a person I love. This was exciting, and I fairly bubbled over with it. I suffered a good deal of teasing and winking. However, the issues that have always been issues are still issues, to my disquietude. I imagine it is my sobriety that has cleared my head, but some things cannot be molded to perfection and I became silent. We're two nice people who shouldn't spend a lot more time beating a dead horse, in my opinion. My withdrawal into self was noticed at AA. "Why so quiet, Les?" I said I had more on my plate than I could deal with. I didn't feel up to handling any of it well, and that I'd possibly make a mess of all of it (again). I was encouraged, day after day, in meetings and in private, to get every bit of the buffet out onto the table in full view. Guess what? I still have health issues. I have resolved a human issue. Everyone involved it in has retained their dignity and love for one another. In fact a love offering was delivered right to my door on Saturday, to my surprise. I nearly broke my face grinning! This may sound day-to-day dull to some readers. This is earth-shattering for me. I don't resolve issues. I bomb the planet and leave no man standing. Including myself. I sense this new way is going to save me a lot of time formerly spent in reinvention. I got through without drinking, without destruction, without hurting anyone. Even myself.
A man introduced himself as a newcomer at AA. There's no requirement for a person to do so, but when one does it, we who are veterans make a point of welcoming him or her. He said it was the first AA meeting he'd ever attended and he was fewer than 24 hours sober. He was back today. "Hi, this is my second AA meeting ever. I'm more than 24 hours sober." Members applauded. I was sitting near him, so I smiled and said, "Good for you! Keep coming back." During the meeting, the topic being discussed prompted me to share an anecdote. It was a rerun, but that happens. Sometimes the day's subject only reminds me of one event, or I'm in a different group. It's OK to tell a story more than once. Some AAs even become legends due to their one seminal story. So I told my true tale and spent the rest of the meeting feeling uncomfortable as I'd been sandwiched tightly between a couple who were sparring and tossing angry energy at one another through me. I bolted for the door after the Lord's Prayer.
In the patio, the man made a beeline for me. He'd been struck by my sharing and took pains to say so. He reiterated he was 24-hours sober and hit my sponsor up for a cigarette, but turned his attention back to me. "Well, let's talk, though I can't help you with a smoke." He said he wouldn't have thought so. I must give off rays or something. For those who do not share our disease, this man is in a hard spot. His face showed it. We talked about my sharing and about how difficult the first days are. He asked when he could find meetings during the week, so we agreed to meet up tomorrow when Jenn and I will introduce him to some of the men in our group who can perhaps sponsor him and who can certainly help him. He was so grateful. He said so. And he showed it. Walking to the parking lot, I said, "Well. My first. A newcomer reached out for help from me." Jenn said, "Yep. He was definitely seeking you. And you did it really well." Imagine this. Exactly one year ago I lost my job and other major parts of my life because my drinking was so out of control. And today I helped a man. He didn't know my story was a retread. He didn't know I'm struggling to work my own program as I am distressed over my other problems. He gave me the opportunity to be of the highest service we can give: get sober, stay sober and help another alcoholic get sober. I just seemed safe haven to him. A drunk with something to offer another drunk. I am humbled and awed.
And so, another day. It's August! Driver's license to be renewed, already. A writing deadline looms, which promises income. The humidity is torturous, causing even my straight-as-pins hair to curl a little. Smokey Robinson on the iPod. And so it goes.
In my ears right now: Because I love it, because it makes me dance, and because the focus just now is on "up", "fun", "hand-clapping".
This post dedicated to the memories that were made.