Some are great! … only a few intolerable, but, honestly, never of “little or no assistance” to our working the program, especially the first 3 Steps. Sometimes the lead is what folks call a “drunk-a-log”, one story after another of bad and embarrassing crash landings. Drunk-a-logs do serve a perverse service I suppose; if your own fall from grace is not very funny or exciting or unusual, you are free to steal one from those who have recorded a raft of funny stories. Walla! … you have a funny story to tell in your own lead, and who’s the wiser … except you.
Personally, what I appreciate in one’s story is the reminder of the person’s (and mine) “bad old days”. I always enjoy learning how people came to believe that the Program could rescue them. We were reborn, a fresh start at driving through life’s hills and dales … without reaching for that bottle or drug to comfort us and ease the pressures. It was a resurrection.
Usually, the leads we hear contain bits of helpful information we weren’t aware of. People run into all sorts of problems and joyous happenings. Their experiences, strengths and hopes provide new ideas for our use, new ways to cope, or some new Twelve Step work we might be able to undertake.
A lead by a person with limited time in the Program is interesting … usually very nervous (public speaking is one of the top stressors for most), fumbles with the mike, talks too long or too short or too quietly, and simply doesn’t appear to be enjoying the event for what it really is. We’ve all been there … Bill told us what to say … tell ‘em “what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now”. The newbie’s story always brings nodding of heads, laughter, side glances. The audience is telling you that you’re on the right track.
A good train of thought is to speak to the meeting’s “first-timers” or a couple early attenders anxiously trying to remain sober for first time in their adult life. We can pick up on their feelings, as we recall our own and speak to this anxiety … after all, you were in their shoes once … tell ‘em what worked for you. That’s exciting stuff. Directly helping someone who might be hurting, ashamed, depressed, and lonely. That person is beginning to realize he has to change “people, places and things”, essentially starting over his manner of living. What and how you respond to their seemingly isolated corner will impact their lives.
By the way, If you missed a lead recently and need a supplemental goofy stupid story, here’s one to be used as any readers desire…………..
My Saturday morning’s yard work schedule called me to work with a pile of tree limbs and branches recently pruned by the professionals. I was well into my Saturday’s supply of beer, my energy drink. Armed with my chain saw, but alas, no ear or eye protective equipment, I fired up the saw anyway and approached the wood- It was the pile or me … I thought this was going to be a piece of cake and fun to boot. Oh, I forgot to mention it was cloudy and wet from Friday’s heavy rain … I vaguely remember someone behind me yelling something … I turned and as I did, that roaring chain saw .…
… To Be Continued.
Jim A. Covington, Kentucky