If I’m not listening I’m not learning. If I’m not learning I’m not growing. Them’s the rules.
It’s so easy these days for me to get caught up in my own web. The vast and interesting web of life that I have constructed for myself since I got sober.
I have friends to hang out with, places to see, family to visit, hobbies to maintain, work to do…..it’s truly awesome how far I have come and I am so grateful that I have peace of mind to really enjoy these simple things for the first time in my adult life. Thing is, like a true addict, when I throw myself into one thing its generally headfirst and can result in other areas becoming neglected…..
The past month has been a whirlwind and I have loved every minute of it. I had the pleasure of taking my son on a trip to stay overnight in a wigwam on a farm, I have been enjoying being responsible at the office and being able to cope with the harsh environment I work in (something I couldn’t do for a long time), I had my ex-husband and step daughter to stay for a few lovely days, I have spent some amazing nights lazing in the (rare) sun with friends and I even managed to go on a date (first in a year)!
Nagging at the back of my mind though was the wee voice saying ”there’s a good meeting on tonight” or ”jeez haven’t spoken to your sponsor in a couple of weeks eh??” and ”what happened to that little blog you started writing” but so far gone with the ”independence” of enjoying life without leaning on another human being I duly marched on into the sun until one day I was at work and someone had changed my chair. It looked like the same chair, cushions seemed normal, but, something wasn’t quite right about it. I couldn’t quite seem to sit still in it. Then later that day my boss was being really unreasonable, the instructions given seemed to be the same as the day before but it was the ”way” he was giving me them! Insulting!! After a day physically fighting with my chair and ‘mentally’ fighting with my boss the last straw was that night when my son was sitting by my side doing his homework (language) and as he was copying his words into his jotter I could feel the blood rising in my face. It was the ”way” he was copying his words – too fast, not neat enough, leaning too hard on his pencil, not listening as I gave him orders on how to form the perfect ‘d’, fidgeting in his seat, breathing too loudly…… I was almost at boiling point with how disobedient he was being and knew I had to sort this behaviour out right away!!
Two hours later as I luxuriated in my plastic seat, enjoying the best tea ever to be served in a polystyrene cup I smiled to myself and was glad I had the sense to stop my utter nonsense in its tracks, dispatch my boy safely to a night of play at his gran and papas and take myself off to my nearest AA meeting. As I walked into the rooms my nerves were jaggy, as I neared the tea table I braced myself, as I shook hands with everyone in the room, I realised I was smiling. The frown my son had told me to ‘turn upside down’ earlier had disappeared. As I sank into my chair and noticed the Preamble being read I was ready to listen. By the time ”How It Works” was finished I was ready to learn and by the end of the meeting when we chorused the Serentity Prayer together I felt I had ‘heard’. The lady who was sharing at the table talked about keeping a balance…not too high….not too low….not too far into or out of AA, but just right bang in the middle.
Before I dropped off to sleep that night I thanked God for keeping me sober and granting me such wonderful opportunities in my life to wander and have fun and be useful and be peaceful, but also for passing me the message that evening not to take either of these privileges too far that I neglect the programme that nourishes them.
On that day, for one day, I think I learned my lesson.