First of all, should I even mention on this blog that I am a sober woman and long time member of AA? What will you think of me? I am fighting my ego on this. My ego has always been too good for sobriety and I have therefore suffered from a lack of gratitude for what AA has given me. So, to fight my ego and thus maintain sobriety, I am about discuss my AA program.
This brings me to the heart of the matter that I want to discuss: participation of long sober people in AA. Many many people with years of sobriety quit going to meetings. Of course, why not? I don’t need the meeting right? Now that I live in close proximity to meetings, where I’ve known people for 24 years, I’ve been struggling with this question. Now that I live here, what is the role of AA in my life?
With 5 years of sobriety, I stopped going to one AA club and started going to another because the first club was no longer good enough for me. Then, with 14 years of sobriety, I stopped going to meetings all together as I had joined a monastery. Secretly, my ego was pleased. My ego has always thought I was too good for AA. I would quite literally rather kneel at the feet of Jesus than go to an AA meeting. Mind you, they had an AA group that met in an outbuilding at the monastery, so I could have gone. But, I was too proud; and furthermore, I didn’t want any of my sisters to judge me as weak.
After I got out of the monastery, I had no intention of ever going to another AA meeting. I didn’t need them, hadn’t been for years and was still too good for AA. Well, I did start going after a year because when I asked God the question, “How can I be of maximum service to you?” The answer was clearly, “Go to a meeting.” So I came down off my holy mountain and groveled in the dirt with alcoholics. Secretly, I was still too good to be there.
Then, I moved to a dinky town and did not go to meetings there because of anonymity issues. I would flit down to the city on weekends, drop pearls of wisdom at the meeting and then flit back to my private life where I never thought I needed AA. I thought I could just pray and meditate and have a vibrant relationship with God without addressing any of the people around me. Well, I had a good excuse, so it was easy to lie to myself: these people are 50 miles away, so I don’t need to be responsible. I was definitely still too good for AA, but as so many people praised me for my spiritual wisdom, I was ok with showing up at their meeting and enlightening them.
Now, I live here again. I could be responsible. I strongly feel that God wants me to be responsible. I prayed and talked to Him. I realized: I don’t need meetings, but I do need to listen to newer sobriety which does need a meeting. Then last night, in a meeting, I was pondering my lack of gratitude for sobriety and AA. I should be so grateful that I was spared the life my mother had; and even escaped from the life I had 24 years ago. I had a startling revelation: I have defied my ego and pretty much continued to go to meetings for 24 years. I’ve felt too good for AA for 24 years, but I still go and do the deal. And I am sober. I realized that my relationship with God and my spiritual happiness are not separate from AA. They are inextricably one.
So, I will keep defying my ego and going to meetings and attempting to be responsible; no matter what anyone thinks. I want to stay sober, live the sober life and enjoy spirituality. My ego must be defied or I won’t make the spiritual progress I want.
I kicked a chair in my apartment in the dark last night. Now my right little toe is really painful. How will I go in a marathon tomorrow when I can hardly walk?
I dreamed about the marathon last night. I was about 20 minutes late for the start but went ahead and was running really fast. The course was complicated going into parking garages and stairwells. At one point, I got off course and couldn't figure out how to get back on; though I could see it. I yelled at a volunteer, "How in the he!! do I get over there?"
This dream is full of symbolism and indeed, the marathon is a microcosm for life. I hope I make it tomorrow!