This is not about the movie first made in 1986….nor is it about the remake of the same movie that came out recently.
My life is not done in black or white…nor is it scripted or always end happily or is played in under 113 minutes.
My life is full of color, unpredictable and is constantly ongoing.
Last night, I went back to the place I walked away from almost a year ago.
An AA meeting.
Was I loaded?
On the verge of getting loaded?
Fighting back temptation the only way I knew how?
I was asked to go, by my wife, and I said yes.
If it were only that simple, this post would be done.
She has asked me to go with her to AA functions repeatedly over the last year and my answer to the question was always the same…quick and concise.
So why now?
I have made a few recent discoveries…that’s why…and here they are-
1- I am a stubborn ass.
2- I am missing out on an important part of my wife’s life by being a stubborn ass.
3- Choosing to stay at home alone and staring at the popcorn ceiling for hours wondering if it would actually taste like popcorn, instead of spending time with the woman I love in whatever capacity, further proves than I am a stubborn ass.
Ok…so I really just discovered 1 thing that encompasses a few more.
It is what it is.
Here is how it went down.
It was a speaker meeting where a topic would be picked and various members of the visiting group would share on the topic from behind the podium.
The visiting group was my old home group. We traveled about 50 miles to take the meeting to the other group.
We arrive early. My wife tells me,
“I didn’t tell anyone you were coming with me.”
“Cool. No problem.”
Inside my head the voices were carrying on a meeting of their own….
“DUDE!! you know she told everyone….they are probably planning to rope you back in!”
“Watch your back….bro.”
“Remember last time you ran into your first sponsor at the Christmas dealio? This will be worse….and you will be outnumbered….”
The voices are always sooo positive.
The Christmas fiasco was a doozy. My first sponsor was outside talking with a new comer. I went out to sit with them to avoid playing board games inside. He made the comment that I was in AA but quit for some reason.
I replied plainly,
“If you want to know why I quit going…..all you have to do is ask.”
He asked. I replied.
“I stopped going because I lost faith in and any sort of belief in a higher power….or God, if you will. Without that, the program ceased to work for me. I chose to stop going to avoid resentment or bitterness toward the program that saved my life.”
He paused for a second, then went into AA savior mode.
He quoted several passages from the big book and threw in a cliche for good measure….
“You know….good2begone…the program works if you work it.” He said as he stared confidently at me with his arms crossed in front of him.
I leaned in from my chair and said in a calm quiet tone,
“I stopped “working it” quite a few months ago….and I am still sober….and more at peace than I have been in a long time. Save it for someone who hasn’t heard your tired racket.”
The conversation that followed made the new guy so uncomfortable he got up and walked away from us and said –
“Wow…this is uncomfortable.”
But, my first sponsor gets off on that. He is very knowledgeable on the book….not so much on practicing or experiencing it. He is basically a big book bully. It worked for me when I first came into sobriety..not so much over 7 years later.
Anyway…about last night…
My wife’s sponsor, cried and gave me a huge hug when she saw me.
My wife’s sponsors husband…who was my sponsor when I quit going a year ago saw me and..
Faked a heart attack.
I walked over to where he was sitting and he said, as he shifted his cigar to one side of his mouth,
“Don’t sit next to me…I don’t want to get hit by the lightning.”
I did what anyone else would have done…
I sat next to him, patted him on the arm and said,
“Suck it up old man, it will only jolt ya for a second.”
He chuckled, looked me in the eye and said,
“It really good to see you.” and shook my hand.
The meeting started. I stayed seated and listened to what everybody had to say on the topic.
I didn’t freak out.
No one tried to kidnap me and place me in the 12 step padded room.
We had dessert and conversation afterward.
Before my old sponsor left, he shook my hand and said,
“My number is still the same…why don’t you make sure it still works in you phone sometime….by the way…I wasn’t joking when I said it is great to see you. I hope to see you again.”
I went back.
Will I keep going back?
I don’t know.
The scenes of the future acts of my life have yet to be written.
Whatever those future acts have in store, I know that if I need help to get through them, I still have a place I can go, where there are people who know me and are willing to lend a hand, whether it has been a day or a year since they have seen me.
And that is what last night was about.