Saturday, February 27, 2010
i listened last night at a speaker meeting as a woman spoke this very thing. this story that so reflects so much of mine. if meth had continued to work for me, i never would have considered stopping. only when the business of getting high had morphed into something so heinous that even my darkside couldn't stand it, was i even in the positon to consider an alternative. and there weren't many alternatives i hadn't tried.
last stop. that's what the 12 step experience was for me. i remember walking in to a meeting and looking around wishing i had died instead. there was a collection of souls around me that i wouldn't have been caught dead with when i was partying. well, maybe as a last resort to score some more shit. but i couldn't see what i had in common with any of them, and if i did, i am certain i didn't want to look at it.
they say often in meetings that newcomers should sit down and shut up, and this is a paradox to me. newcomers are to be the focus of meetings, as that is the reason they exist. but people who are broken or fighting to stay sane or upright, or so dessimated that they don't know what is going on around them. they only feel what's going on inside them. maybe for the 1st time a long time. they are have a very slim chance of hearing any wisdom at meetings their first few weeks. their brains are in disarray and their emotions have many times shifted like the cargo on a transatlantic voyage. with all that going on internally, how does one ever find a way out of their hell? sitting down and shutting up is solid advice. a drug addict's best thinking gets him/her into the fucked up situations they get in, and then they directly rely on that same oh-so-flawed thinking to lead them to nirvana.
what happens when we shut up, even if our brain is cacaphonous, is that some of the data that goes on around us seeps in. it takes time, and happens differently for each individual, but it happens. we find a way to notice a chink in the armor of our ego and realize that we may not know all there is.
and when these shifts happen, our heads change and our hearts open, maybe just slightly, but they do. and this is how the idea of a new life can germinate.
but shutting up is no easy task for anyone, especially someone in terror because the control is gone from their life. new people in 12 step rooms are not naturally willing or cooperative. being there is the last step and so is following suggestions that make no sense to the alleycat mentality. and the soul in pain that is so full of fear and about all they can think to do is howl.
this conundrum has been in place for decades no doubt. the experienced 12 steppers and the oldtimers offering suggestions that have worked for them. and the newcomers balking and squawking at those suggestions because they are sure they have a better way. and i doubt that the absurdity of this scenario will not at all affect the likelihood of it happening again. history indeed has a way of repeating itself.
today's sound choice is a very old favorite of mine from my dance hall days. here is suzy q with "get on up and do it again"