Friday, August 28, 2009

100 Days: Feelin the Love

Well, today is Day 100... Most people stop actually counting days at day 90 and then begin denoting their Anniversary date by Months and then Years... But the number "100" is round enough and important sounding enough that I plan to denote it today... LOL... The fact that 100 days has gone by without me drinking alcohol and going to hang out at the local dive bar is a miracle unto itself... I'm still in the midst of attending and speaking at the various month-end Anniversary Meetings at the four places I've attended the most during these early days of my recovery... Makes you feel a bit like a rock star! LOL... So, I have quite a few tokens and chips given to me by group leaders (and very kind individuals) in each meeting. Some meetings present a greeting card signed by all the members in attendance... Some friends in the program, gave me a card on the side... And each involves some kind of cake as a birthday gift!... Sweet traditions all... All of these "gifts of sobriety" challenge this recipient to start "letting in the love"... I attended my first Business Meeting yesterday of what I consider to be my Home Group.... It's the first step for me in putting my toe in the water of a service commitment... Will be heading back to work soon and will need to adjust my meeting schedule significantly.... But I trust it will all work out a day at time... One more Anniversary Meeting this weekend...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

90th Day: Quite Remarkable

Had a quite remarkable day 90 in my recovery... I made an early morning meeting and cried as I shared my day count. This landmark of self care is a milestone for someone who so often lives outside himself, caring for others, was moving to me... Then, a later morning meeting where I was unexpectedly asked to qualify on my 90th day... This was a gift. And frankly, I was glad it was last minute, and I had no time to plan or over organize and just let it flow (Let go and let God)... My sponsor sent an email that his day schedule was abruptly changed and he wanted to move my 5th Step appointment with him forward by three hours... *Perfect*, as it meant I could attend the Clubhouse Meeting later that has been the most integral meeting in my recovery so far.... Lesson of my 5th Step?: It's no big deal. And all our once powerful secrets are disarmed by sharing them with another...When I came home, I added to my notes and let flow a more complete list of specific character defects that came up in my 4th and 5th steps. I'll need this list soon in my continuing step work.... Then to the Clubhouse, where I had the surprise opporunity to chair my first meeting... (There's a 90 day sobriety requirement to chair at this particular meeting). It was the one "open meeting" of the week, and I read the next chapter of "Living Sober" and then conducted the meeting. This meeting is especially important to me, as I remember the first meeting I attended here, and how I was sitting alone and very unhappy in the back of the room. Today, I was in the front of the room, and happy. A gift of sobriety and working the program... So my Day 90 was quite a day.... What comes next??..... Day 91 comes next. Day at a time...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 88: That's How it Works

I frequently share in meetings how I've been enjoying all the meetings in my first 90 days of recovery. It's been like a graduate course in recovery, often with several classes (meetings) per day... And some field trips... Yesterday, I went up to Harlem for the annual "Members with 55 Years Plus of Continuous Sobriety" meeting (sponsored by the Harlem Big Book Study Committee)... The speakers offered a combined 232 years of continuous experience, strength and hope... I almost didn't mind that the church wasn't air-conditioned... One man, Melvin B, spoke of having dined with Bill W and having taken photos of him that have since been published... Melvin also worked on several AA Approved literature pieces as well as materials for Hazeldon... The meeting included a countdown recognizing all in attendance from 64 years to one day... I've already shared about this meeting at two other meetings, And it hasn't even been 24 hours since it started yesterday with the reading of the Preamble... Other ways that it works were demonstrated yesterday: I called the Intergroup main phone number for details about the meeting and the phone was answered by a distinctive voice that I've heard qualify twice in meetings (Carl)... On the way to the meeting, a regular meeting friend was magically standing right there next to me on the same subway car and walked me to the meeting in an unfamiliar neighborhood... Along "the scenic route" he promised, and when we arrived, he introduced me to his sponsor who has well over 50 years continuous sobriety at age 85... And then, at the meeting, I saw and greeted three other people from the ClubHouse meeting I attend regularly... That's how it works, you see...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 85: Cleansing Effect

Already made a morning meeting and shared my day count of 85 days to snappy applause... I'm usually the only day counter at this particular meeting, so I hear loads of recovery... I shared that I have been feeling crappy these last two humid days. My malaise has not been that far off from the feeling of a hangover... While I know I need to upgrade my diet from junk to higher fiber goodness, I appreciate that I will feel better soon... And I fully acknowledged that I used to be responsible for causing *real* hangovers by choosing to binge drink at the local dive bar on a regular basis. The revelation reminds me why I'm not drinking today... Also, I shared that I have set up an appointment to do a 5th Step with my sponsor in the coming days... So, while the meeting topic was today's meditation about "Cleaning House" in "Daily Reflections", (Step 8)... I can relate to that same cleansing effect already, right where I'm at in Steps 4 and 5... The steps are quite magical like that...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 81 Snap, Snap Snap

Still counting those days... Clap, clap, clap. Still attending meetings. One, two, or three a day. Clap, clap, clap... "Meeting makers make it". I see that... I hear it constantly from the meeting makers themselves, and the slippers invariably share that they started distancing themselves from meetings before they relapsed... So I persevere... Working those brilliantly designed steps, too.... Lately, I've been writing a Step 4. Will ask my sponsor, today, to set up a Step 5 meeting with me soon. It's the only way that I'll stop the Step 4 process, otherwise, I could write it forever. LOL! ...I'll do it soon and can always do another 4 and 5 if needed... Today is day 81. Clap, clap, clap. Well actually, snap, snap, snap... As the 8am meeting attended today... (Where I shared my day count) is "a snap meeting", where you snap your fingers as to respect the neighbors in the building at such an early hour... Snap, snap, snap.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 74: It's Off the Table

The only shot or brew I'm allowing myself these days is the shot of caffeinated coffee in my decaff iced coffee.... Yesterday, while walking to my second meeting of the day with a super size Dunkin Donuts iced brew in hand, I noticed a brand new Liquor Store has opened right in the neighborhood. How lovely.... In the old days (not that long ago), I would have walked in there to chat with the owner and to survey his prices. If he was offering a really good price on Patron', I might very well have bought a case... As I shared in the afternoon meeting to laughter, I'm grateful that the idea of buying liquor for myself is off the table today... It makes my life a whole lot simpler when I can just walk on by and focus on other things in life... Today is Day 74.