Thursday, September 18, 2008

Higher Powered Help

But as time passed we found that with the help of A.A.'s Twelve Steps we could lose those fears, no matter what our material prospects were. WE could cheerfully perform humble labour without worrying about tomorrow. If our circumstances happened to be good, we no longer dreaded a change for the worse, for we had learned that these troubles could be turned into great values. It did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it did matter what our spiritual condition was. Money gradually became our servant and not our master. It became a means of exchanging love and service with those about us. When, with God's help, we calmly accepted our lot, then we found we could live at peace with ourselves and show others who still suffered the same fears that they could get over them, too. We found that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want. (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 121)

There was a new comer at a meeting I attended a couple of days ago. A young male, probably in his early 30's. Just the type of person I would choose to ignore. These were the folk that the treatment centre I attended was full of us. Folk in their 20's and 30's. Addicted to crack, crystal meth, alchohol, herion, the list goes on. I felt a great deal of fear around these type of people. They reminded me of my child and when I heard about their stuggles, where their addictions brought them, my fears increased. The stories I heard as they shared in group were frightening. I did not want my child to go there. My desire to control the outcome of my child grew stronger.

Rarely was I social with these ones. I was called out on it. I shared my fears, did what I could, but the fears would not go away. I was much more comfortable around middle aged or older men, wino's and alkies. This I can understand.

As I thought about introducing myself to the new comer, those fears came back. I had to remind myself of what my first meetings were like. I came in, was given a list of names and phone numbers, and told to keep coming back. No one spoke to me beyond a greeting. No one offered to take me for coffee and explain what was going on. No one offered to work the steps with me. No one wanted my phone number. I was glad I went to treatment, was immersed in 12 step work, got a good boost in the program. I'm glad I kept coming back after I got out. I am glad that I am sober and clean today.

I didn't want to introduce myself to the new guy. I did not want to just shake his hand, say welcome, and walk away. If I was going to speak to him, it had to come from a position of doing God's will, not mine. To be willing to commit. That makes it harder to say hello. The fear grows.

So, after the meeting was over, I told myself that I was being stupid, that fears were not to control my life, that I have spent most of my life hiding from others. I was afraid when I shook his hand. I gave him my phone number, he didn't give me his. I asked if he had a big book and he said he did. I asked if he had read it and he said no. I offered to go through the book with him, to work the steps with him and at first he agreed. I went to get a big book to show him were to start reading and he stopped me. Told me someone else had given him a reading assignment that he had not completed and wanted to do that one first. In the process of this interchange, my fears dissappeared. I felt like I was doing what my Higher Power wanted me to do. In the end, nothing panned out, but I felt good. That with God's help, I can work past my fears. I pray that God would bring the new comer to a place of surrender, where he could turn his will and life over to the care of his Higher Power. I hope I see him again.

The power of those 12 steps.


Anonymous said...

That's cool. First you are afraid to talk to him, then you hope you see him again? When I first read the title of your post I thought maybe you were in Cal. with daave and he helped you change a flat tire or something. Ha ha! Don't mind me I am silly tonight!

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog. One of my Alanon friends suggested I read the first four chapters of the Big Book to help me better understand my son. I am so glad I did. And to be honest, I could relate to most of it regarding my compulsive eating issues. I really would like to read the whole thing. Maybe some day I will.

Shadow said...

i get the sooo often. once i'm in it it's not half as bad as i expected. it's that first step though... i relate to that.

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Anonymous said...

Sending out some hugs and prayers to you today too.