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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oh the WOES of a newcomer

It is definitely 'newcomer' time.

When someone has been around for awhile in recovery, we begin to have an understanding of why people treated us like we were slightly retarded in the first few years of our recovery. In fact, we begin to not want to be regarded as 'old timers' or by any other name that seems to indicate we know it all...because we do not. We never will.

What we do know, however, is what to expect from new people and to be prepared to be hated by them. We get hated because we have to challenge them. We have to challenge them to be more than what they are right then, which is a newly sober alcoholic that is convinced they have found God and that their brand of spirituality is all that matters.

For instance, the poor little old man who is increasingly convinced all Catholics hate him because we won't let him post falsehoods about our Church is also convinced that being sober for 7 or 8 months makes him an expert. What it makes him is 7 or 8 months sober and puts him in a perfect position to be an inspiration for those people who walk into the rooms and find it difficult to believe someone could actually NOT DRINK alcohol for, say, 30 years...or 17...or other words, they have a difficult time wrapping their heads around the concept of 'years' when it comes to not drinking. So, LOM with 7 months is the perfect guy to point at the newer people as an example. Don't think about years, we will tell them. Instead, look at Petey there - he has "x number' of months, or days...go sit by him and ask him how he has done it so far.

Still, I remember when I had 6 months and thought I had it all together. This was about a week after I suddenly related to the story of another member and 'got it'...I realized I was an alcoholic and all that entailed and it was like this incredible burden lifted from my shoulders and a beautiful light filled my head.

It also meant that I wanted everyone to 'get it' too and had no understanding why they could NOT get it...I mean, come on..I did, what's the matter with YOU?


LOM is convinced I 'dis' him. I don't 'dis' him - quite frankly, I don't agree with him on a lot of stuff and I have the absolute right as an American to not agree with him. I also do not have tons of respect for him because of his behavior on line and towards other people. I don't hate the man, I keep him in my daily prayers and I wish him years and years and years of continuous sobriety. I just don't particularly like him and I would bet dollars to donuts he doesn't particularly like me.

oh well.

The other newcomer is so upset with having to be an alcoholic that she continuously searches for reasons she can call herself anything other than that and maybe she can not have to associate with the rest of us. God bless her. She is reading the latest in the fad books that come out periodically about alcoholism and addiction and more power to her...she needs to research and research and research. That alone will keep her sober - but in a kind of icky way in that a person becomes overly involved in themselves. At some point, the idea that I am an alcoholic has to be filed into my brain in the same place that holds the file on my allergy to penicillin and my inability to stomach is what it is and it doesn't really matter why. What does matter is whether or not I accept it. If I don't then I will be one of two things: drunk or sober but unhappy, nervous, anxiety ridden and perpetually neurotic. I don't want to be that - I was that for the first 6 months, why would I want to do that after 17 years?

I am so sad about the death of Natasha Richardson. She was such an incredible actress and, from what I understand, a loving wife and mother. Her family must be devastated and my prayers are with her husband and boys. I remember what it was like to say, "Bye, honey, I love you!" to Fred and then 30 minutes later be pulling his body from the bottom of the swimming feel like you are in the Twilight Zone. How did this happen? Wasn't he just talking to me?

Anyway, life goes on and on and is the Feast Day of St Joseph and I ask the Patron of a Happy Death to keep close to me and to the Neeson Family at this time. May he help them cope with the pain and my the grace of a loving God shine on them forever.


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