Tuesday, October 18, 2011

AA Is Not a Magic Pill

I met with my sponsor yesterday, who wanted to know how my program was coming. Of course I knew what program she meant, but I was being silly (and feeling guilty, because I haven't been to any meetings lately), so I answered, "What program?"

Her eyes narrowed and she gave me that 'I know you're not serious' look she is so good at delivering.

"Oh. AA," I said.

"Been to any meetings?"

Now I knew damn well she knew I hadn't been to any meetings lately, because she'd asked my partner that recently, and Chelle told her I hadn't. Bless her, Chelle came home and then warned me I was going to get my ass chewed.

I was just honest. "Eh, not getting much from meetings lately. Same old stuff... and I really have no interest in drinking."

She looked at me skeptically.

"Well... I guess I've been throwing my extra time lately into pursuing my spiritual program."

She relaxed and looked curious. "Which is?"

I felt silly because I know my answer is kind of "out there," but you don't lie to your sponsor. That's like a triple-dog lie. You just don't go there. Besides, she knows me so well she knows even when I'm lying to myself. So I just said it.

"I've become a Rosicrucian student. So, I've been doing a lot of reading. Studying some physics. Meditating a lot. I really seem to have lost all interest in drinking."

She was satisfied. "Alcohol wasn't actually the problem."

And of course it wasn't. My alcoholism had been a spiritual problem, the big hole that was left in my psyche when I set aside my spirituality. I was floundering rudderless, and alcohol had merely been a way to relieve me from the anxiety of that.

She reminded me to keep a foot in the door, to go to meetings anyway, and I will. I never intended to just abandon them. For now I am just working on increasing my conscious contact with God--whoever or whatever that is.

AA is not some magic pill that if you work the steps and attend meetings regularly, you will find yourself magically cured. It is relearning how to live in a world fraught with uncertainties and injustices and suffering. If you go to enough meetings and really listen with an open mind, you start to get that. Then there are others who seem to be at every meeting and still never seem to really "get" things. But that's okay. They derive great strength from the community itself, and they stay sober. That's their process. There is no single right way; at least, that's how I see it.

Right now I'm throwing my energy into Step 11. It is a mystical experience for me, so it is kind of solitary work.

I retain community at In the Rooms but I'll return to the real rooms in time. With, I hope, greater wisdom. In the meantime, I continue to share my experiences and insights here.


The Subversive Librarian said...

Enjoy your spiritual journey. That's just what step 11 is for. What a great path you're taking!

Joyce said...

I always was drawn to that esoteric stuff... :)