Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church
 

AA after 25 years

05/01/2016 7:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

I walk into the 9 o’clock Saturday closed AA meeting through the handicap entrance with my cup of Starbucks decaf Americana with two Splenda and light whip and find a seat next to the door as I set my cane down beside my leather chair. I now remember that all of the leather chairs with arms were given to the Cosmos group when a dear friend in AA, Betty, died. Thank you, Betty, for making it so easy, so comfortable to sit for an hour each week. I wonder if I am the only one still remembering who bequeathed the money for the chairs in her will.  For the first ten years of sobriety I went to this meeting every day except on Sunday. Now I only come once a week to this Saturday morning meeting. I look around. I can count on my hands the people who were here when I came to my first meetings. What has happened to them all? Are they dead, like Betty? Did they die sober or did they drink again? I know many who left and drank. I am afraid that is the norm. I hear that only 10% of people who are alcoholics come to AA and that only 10% who come to AA stay. Is this true? It is sobering and scary. I look to my left where all the young women sit together in a line. They are beautiful. Only one was here when I came. I look to my right around a table at the back of the room where many of the older men sit. Two were here when I came.  I have had five sponsors. All have relapsed. Two have come back.  I hear a man speak who is celebrating 45 years in AA. He admits he rarely comes to meetings. His wisdom is less that the young man who speaks before him celebrating two years. Time in the program does not mean wisdom.   Earlier in the week I do remember talking with a woman with great wisdom whose son had relapsed after many years of recovery. Her words to her son: “It does not matter if you fall down. The problem is if you do not get up.”  This is wisdom. This disease is cunning and baffling, destroying lives by a slow painful death like a cancer that makes you think you do not have the disease. The meeting is almost over. I have heard wisdom. I have remembered wisdom. I have seen wisdom. As we stand and pray the Lord’s prayers, I also pray that God will help me to remember this wisdom for one more week, one more day.

-Joanna


Comments

  • 05/02/2016 1:56 AM | Anonymous member
    Joanna, thank you so much for the "reminder" that I/we alcoholics who have been "touched by the hand of God, and blessed with the Miracle of Recovery", suffer from a fatal disease, that wants us dead! I celebrate my AA Anniversary, today, May 2nd, of 29 years of continuous sobriety, thanks to the grace of God and the fellowship of AA. I was also able to be a witness to God, and my family Parish, yesterday by going up for a "birthday & anniversary blessing", by requesting that my priest use "Prayer 56", BCP, pg.831. How true, time in the program does not mean wisdom, it only means that I did not give up before the miracle. Thank you, Joanna, for allowing me to share my "experience, strength, and hope" with you and the others, who share this incredible gift of recovery.
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