Saturday, September 19, 2015


I get attached to places, people, objects, and even situations. Natural, I suppose, to cherish what surrounds a person at a particularly joyful, serene, or spiritual moment. The danger comes when those persons, objects, places and situations are requirements to maintain recovery.

A meeting I went to all the time, the first meeting I hit after getting out of rehab, was a sentimental favorite of mine. I liked the people, the discussion sustained me many times, and every so often I got to be a real help to someone else. I couldn't imagine a future without that meeting peopled by those friends the meetings conducted the way they had been conducted throughout eternity. In other words, I linked it with my recovery.

The only constant in the universe is change. People change, policies change, meetings change, goals change, places change. In the case of my beloved meeting, it changed. It was an AA meeting, and like the AA meetings in Minneapolis where I first got clean, if it affected your sobriety, it was meeting material for discussion. I was away on business for a couple of weeks, and when I returned to celebrate an anniversary, it was made clear that there was to be no talk of drugs in the meeting, except for the drug alcohol which was not to be referred to as a drug. In addition, addicts who attended that meeting could not identify themselves as addicts, even to saying, "I'm Barry and I'm an alcoholic addict."

The change had happened. The meeting I had cherished was no more. Many of the men and women were the same, but either they had changed or had been cowed into silence by the majority. I actually felt threatened. So, I resisted the change.

If things are going too well for you, try and change someone else. If you really need to destroy your serenity, try and change a whole room full of people. The change happened because most of those attending the business meeting wanted the change. Rights and wrongs, the perceived threat to my recovery, angry argument, amounted to nothing. The meeting that I thought my recovery depended on had been replaced by a meeting that could tolerate me, but not my story of recovery.

Okay, I got over it without using. There were other meetings, and in our area we started up the Dragon Slayers Group of NA, which is now the longest continuous NA meeting in the state of Maine. Many years later my sponsor died and I once again discovered something without which recovery seemed almost impossible. Time, a lot of grieving, and eventually a new sponsor. My recovery got over it. My recovery needs meetings; It is not dependent on any particular meeting. It needs people; It's not dependent on any particular person or group of individuals. My recovery is portable if I choose to make it so.

So, today I'm at the Miracle, an annual NA convention I have attended every year since it began in 1983. Over the decades at the Miracle, I found my HP, the NA program and fellowship, many friends, some good service work, and answers to many of my painful issues. The Miracle is a very important part of my recovery, and this year the convention committee made changes.

Big changes.


After pissing and complaining about it, I went for a walk and discussed the issue with the insides of my own head, until it was beginning to exhaust me. Asked HP about it, and the advice was to keep my recovery portable: attach my continued recovery and serenity to nothing, including my HP. Use what works, let go of the rest, remembering that if nothing ever changed I'd never have gotten clean.

1 comment:

Pdogge said...

yeah. a good old one is "How important is it?" usually brings me down to size and guess I do take seriously my displeasure being fed by my disease and growing up to be a full blown resentment and.......

Cheers from Tauranga NZ

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