One of the meetings I attend is A Big Book study group. There tends to be a reading from the book, and a related-ish share, then we round robin reflect on what has been read and said. I love these meetings, and I look forward to going to them a lot. It was the first room I stumbled into, and the one I call my home meeting.
I remember feeling so bewildered there for the first few weeks, but having a book to look at made the meetings feel familiar, like English Literature lessons from over twenty years ago. Underlining, highlighting… all the actions of someone seeks a way to make sense of what seemed to be potentially incomprehensible. My perceptions, understandings and prejudices have been challenged and I now think of the disease of alcoholism very differently.
I often hear in meetings that people couldn’t live with or without alcohol when they reached rock bottom. I had not even realised this was the case for me until I heard someone else say it out loud. For me the terror was much more:
God who am I under all this drunken shit? Who am I sober? Am I worthwhile? Will people want to know me, like me, love me?since I found the Just for Today prayer I have gotten better at reframing these negative thoughts. Instead of having anxiety about the days and events ahead I just focus on today. Today I can manage. Today I am sober.
Indeed there is a solution in the first 164 pages of that book. Read it. Talk about with your sponsor, or another alcoholic. For me, I had to suspend disbelief and just damn well do as I was told. I feel that as the days pass I am slowing finding out more about who the ‘me’ is underneath.