Saturday, October 12, 2013

Accessibility Again

Today I wanted to go to an event. Truth is, the AA club I go to was having some outside speakers. I wanted to go, but they don't have that much parking. I was worried because I can't park a quarter of a mile away and get to the meeting.

So, um, yeah, I prayed. I asked for a parking spot. I also went pretty early. When I got there, the lot was full, but someone pulled out right then, so I did get a parking spot.

I went to use the rest room. There were 6 empty stalls and one handicapped stall with a person in it. So I had to wait. Of course, then that person was all embarrassed.

The first speaker was an Alanon with 42 years in that program. The part of her story that impressed me was her discussion of family members who stopped drinking in AA for 20+ years, then started experimenting. It is important for me to reflect on this. I have 28 years of sobriety. I didn't go to meetings for about 10 years. A year ago I started going to meetings again. In a room of 50, there will be less than a handful of us with more than 20 years.  I sit there. Part of my brain wants to be too good for meetings. Another part points out that I do better when I go, even if it is only once a week. I don't think about drinking, but I do better in happiness.

The second speaker was a young woman with 6 years of sobriety. She was a charismatic speaker with a good story. But as I listened to her and mixed my thoughts about the first speaker into my reflecting, I continue to be amazed at how screwed up some of my thinking is. Especially my post-monastic life. I so totally came out of the convent determined to be a monk in the world so I could be as holy as my sisters in the convent.

And this brings me to the second prayer I said this morning. I said I need to see this gathering of AAs, with its silliness, bad food and gaudiness of middle class America, as holy. At least as I listened to the second speaker, I was able to realize that I have been taught that the world is bad and non-religious people are not as good as the nuns. I have had other looks at this, but I see even more now how I need to get over that. I've been lying to myself.

Since I had my leg on my 4 wheel cart, I didn't try to mix into the crowds. I staked out a chair where I wouldn't be in the way. I saw a woman just sort of by herself. I invited her to come over and talk to me. We had a nice 20 minutes or so talking before the first speaker. Then between speakers, another lady came over to talk to me. She wanted to thank me for something I said in a meeting. This lady is really pretty and was dressed in a pretty red dress. I was a little dumbfounded that someone that pretty would talk to me since I am not much to look at.

So, my healing from convent life continues.

Coming out of the meeting, I rolled myself to where the ramp went off the sidewalk onto the parking lot. Someone had parked right in front of it, so I couldn't get by on my cart. I had to go around to another place and then another lady helped me move my cart over the curb. That is what it is like to be handicapped.

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