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Big Book 12 Steps ( Unprotected Thanksgiving )

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Well? Detox is hopefully behind you. You're finally sober and going to AA meetings everyday. Some days it's a life or death mission and others you're simply going along with the gag still unaware of what it is to be grateful. There is a difference now between happy joyous and free and impending gloom and doom. The one dimensional view,  trying to kill yourself has changed. It's now a full feature movie with lots of rewrites creating a new you that comes and goes with each daily curtain call. You're a participant in a fellowship of empowerment with it's positive affirmations.

The old you just a harmless shadow in tow around the halls. You're safe for now as another shining AA beacon of hope. A room full of people as a buffer between you and your past. They like you, they really like you and with that? You like you.. Sober and strong, you tow your self around easily engulfed in camaraderie and fellowship. As if the past has not gone away but it's not here either. For today. It's one day without one drink, get to a meeting, and repeat while everything else is circling at the mile marker. No pressure here, You have plenty of time to clear the runway. Some even say do a Step a year although that doesn't seem right..

Yes you're weird but it's no secret. It's not a bad thing, right? Everybody is weird. It's just with the alcoholic like you claim to be? The extremist? When you said your name at the meeting and you were actually alcoholic? You have to wonder. Is there more to it? 

Life is a baffling ball of confusion you seem to always pick up and take home right? Right? When whatever it is becomes too much? Or you seem to use up all the weird in the room so others are all seemingly normal? You quit and retreat to some point of emotional security. Usually the nothing. The nothing, where denial reigns. Neither a happy or sad place really, just nothing. Booze or no booze. 

Blame is the defensive weapon of choice with it's justified feelings of betrayal. Selfishness and fear on all sides brought on by others you're sure. It's them, they broke the connection. They've abandoned you, you're on your own. Again with the people! With blame you fight back as the underdog. Alone now, shielded in self-pity you win. You are validated in the self, the nothing... You're ok now in your familiar hurt, for a while anyway. Whatever it was or is? It's everyone else's fault. When delusion is all you know well, you welcome the security of it. It is safe, familiar.   

So hey, meetings meetings meetings! Time for some normalcy! Venture out of the AA gated community. As if I stopped drinking so I'm not alcoholic anymore and here come the holidays!  THANKSGIVING. 

It's turkey day! Family day! The parade!! I did this plenty before I went down the waste pipe so, "I'm Baaack".  It'll be fun! Watch football all afternoon day with family! A day to feel the gratitude of family and friends as we all share our bounty. As we weave a new coat of arms to represent ourselves and our families with respect, dignity, and pride. Everyone will be there. And me with my new recovery, my full tank of AA. Hey, If it becomes too much I'll just leave. Always keep a back door unlocked right? This is my new attitude living sober one day at a time. This is how strong I sound at the noon meeting. I sound good! I'm helping people!

Yeah sure thing. Good luck with that coming and going as you please thing. You seem to be doing ok with your own history in tow. History mind you, that has yet to be addressed in sobriety. A life of unresolved issues in the shadow patiently waiting. Yes you're doing ok now alone and this is good but see how strong you are when you're towing your whole family around. It could get ugly. You could find yourself on the floor with a tow rope around your neck. Oops! Negative! Yes much too negative. Lets be positive here sorry. You're sober and grateful and yes everybody loves you. Keep your hopes high! Imagine what life will be like with a drivers license sober. Yeah! Picking up friends and driving to out of town meetings! You'll be "the man". 

It's really me, it's not you. I'm really talking to myself here. It's just that I myself don't listen. I hate myself I guess but when I talk to others? I care. I can be more honest when trying to help another instead of myself. So when I talk to you? I can have some positive advise and when I'm looking at myself well, the world is a ghetto and nothing will ever work. I may really be beyond human aid. I may be sober sure but still helpless. Anyway, like I hear around the halls. You don't know what you got till you give it away.

I'm looking at myself in the sober house common bathroom mirror. A mess of dollar store deodorants and shaving gear everywhere. The sticky peep show shower stall. I do look pretty good though. Healthy? Healthier. Healthiest? No, but good enough considering.

Considering "what" I guess is the question? Well considering I put down the booze and whatever else I would pick up and put in my mouth and found some security in the stamp of approval offered at AA meetings. Considering I was living in a shelter before my big break came and I landed in the sober house. The pressures off, I'm doing the right thing, What can go wrong? Everyone should understand my new way of living and thinking at Thanksgiving, even if I don't.

I'm going to dress up clean and head to ma's house and enjoy the day sober! It's as if I'm the victim here. Climbing back from the pit of addiction like they say in group. Everyone should know this about me that I'm fragile sure but willing, I'm willing to do my best..

There won't be any big "SURPRISE!" to see the bad old booze and drugs finally got me. They all know, they should understand me. They'll be supportive. Maybe even offer me a few bucks now that I'm doing great but I'll turn it down of course. I'll be humble. They'll all understand, they're my family. Like my new Puerto Rican sober friend says, family is everything. I like that. It's a good feeling. It's just that his family has a court ordered restraining order on him. So I don't read too much into it. Take what I need and leave the rest right?

 

Court. oh. I forgot about Court. My cousin the cop will be there with his kids and wife. Probably a new car. I was drunk and called his wife a stupid bitch a few years ago and he was going to kill me. I heard from ma he was going to get me locked up on general principle, because I was a "useless drunk" and he could because he knew people.. He was getting a restraining order on me but I don't know if he ever did? And those future war criminals he calls kids. Talk about little demons and witches. They lie and everyone believes them. I didn't take money from the coat closet a few Christmas's ago. I didn't and I'm quite sure they did!!

Eh... I never paid my sister back for smashing up her car with no license. I told her I was legal. I'm such a liar. I didn't even need to lie. She would let me use her car anyway. She always took care of me. After that show her insurance was out of sight and she couldn't afford to drive nevermind buy another car. She's gay so maybe it still won't matter. Others used to think she deserves bad things because she's lesbian. I know my father was pissed at her so everyone else was too. Everyone stood behind Daddy's moral judgement even though she said he sexually abused her. Nobody believed her because she was Gay. As if being Gay means you don't feel or are valid. Supposedly she's only been coming around since he died. Or like my other sister says, if she can handle being Gay she can handle anything.  I would like to see her, she's always been kind to me. I'm such a shit. I believed her but never said anything. I knew about some of the sick sex stuff in my family.

Ugh. My cousin the weasel. Sending newspaper clippings of my screw-ups to my grandparents. They pretty much disowned me. God I hate that bastard. Everybody loves him. He's such a good boy. Christ.

Yikes! I never paid my mother back for stealing her 4k dollar oriental rug and selling it for 2 hundred bucks while she was in Florida on vacation. And her diamond bracelet her mother gave her she say's I stole but I didn't. I really don't think I stole the bracelet.  She has been distant. I mean happy I'm sober and in the halfway house but distant just the same. I guess no matter what happens it hard for a mother to cut off her son. Or hey maybe she just doesn't care? My father always treated her like crap so maybe it's what she knows. Maybe it's not all about me. Come to think of it? I've ripped off lots of stuff around her house over the years. I guess I felt like I deserved some compensation for my abusive childhood. Payback!

Oh boy..This is bad. My ex-wife could be there! I can't face her. Man did I fall down on her and the kids. I think my mother was paying her rent at one point. Everybody was helping her. I think my brother was sleeping with her. Maybe not but it sure seemed like it. She was seen with him having coffee one day at the Mall food court. That much I do know. I'm way behind in support. I haven't even seen her in a few years. Come to think of it? I haven't been to a Thanksgiving dinner with my family in what, five years? Six? I don't know.

 

So I gave my new sponsor the once over on my big day in the mirror as if I had done some kind of 4th Step inventory although not really sure what a 4th Step inventory was. Hearsay really. Others talking around the AA table with much more time than me.. I admit I was looking for a pat on the back for honesty at least. Making bold decisions in sobriety. Loaded with courage and strength like the Book says.. My choice to go to Thanksgiving dinner with the family this year with my new sobriety was a done deal. I would surely handle it with ease.

He said maybe I could. But what about the big Thanksgiving AA dinner at the church? He put me down for kitchen help. Making mashed potatoes to be exact. I would be there by nine am. Serving food in the afternoon and the meeting at night. He forgot to tell me apparently and I completely forgot about the whole thing. He did mention some of my friends who also would be there volunteering. My new AA sober friends, my buddies. It did sound like fun. It did seem like something I should be doing as if I fit there more than the family thing. Maybe I wasn't ready for the family thing yet. I mean I was sober sure but no Steps yet really, besides asking for help and that was recent. I'd been asking the Higher Power for help for a couple of months off and on. Consistently these past few weeks. I do believe in my Higher Power. I want to believe.

 

Well? I called and left a message at my mothers house telling her I wouldn't be making the Thanksgiving trip this year but I did love her and was thinking about her.Maybe Christmas will be better.. They never called back. It's ok. I was up early and headed to the church to make potatoes. A friend from the house flunked a urine and was tossed that morning. I was devastated really. he was my friend. He was going to help me in the kitchen. Now he was just gone, disappeared. Nobody knew anything. He vanished. I did feel lucky in a way that it wasn't me. I had a place to go and a reason for going. It's like I had purpose so I didn't want to screw it up. It may be a sliver of responsibility compared to others but to me? Living one day without one drink? It was huge. I was going to be ok today. I was safe and people were safe from me.

Yeah thanks a lot Sponsor. He got me good! There was no list of kitchen help with my name on it. There was another guy I kind of recognized  from meetings making mashed potatoes. There was really nothing for me to do! So I set up tables and chairs. Talked outside with the other people who were seemingly duped into showing up for kitchen duty. Smoked a lot of cigarettes and drank a lot of coffee. Had lots of laughs and even helped a guy who started crying for no reason. The girls were dressed up and the guys were clean. Everyone was polite and friendly like the family they wanted to be today. It was a great day to remember. My AA family Thanksgiving dinner, an all day affair. The full 24 hours. 

 

Late after the meeting on the way home my sponsor said hey, how about we pick up the pace and start some 12 Step work out of the Big Book. I said yeah I'd like that. I am willing. He said good. Read Bills story again so we're fresh and the chapter (There is a solution). Stop there and we'll talk tomorrow. If I'm really into reading I can move on to (More about Alcoholism) if I want but we'll be discussing (There is a solution) first. In a weird way? I felt safe and protected. Like life was going to be all right now. I was doing something about my alcoholism. I was really on to something here.

 

 

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