I don’t often blog about my sobriety. It’s not that it’s personal, it’s just that I have very little left of the action part of sobriety to blog about it. Those in recovery will understand this.
However, last weekend, my Grandsponsor, C. came to speak in a small town closeby. Oakdale is 30 miles to the east of my town, and my town has 15000 in it, and is super small. So, for months we knew he was coming, and my girls and I were pretty excited about it. My sponsor had given me direction as to getting his hotel room ready, picking him up…
Three of us picked him up at the airport, and I was so excited I could hardly stand it. Here was a man I intently listened to at the First Yosemite Conference in 1984, who’s tape I played no less than 100 times, who gave the best talk on alcoholism I’ve ever heard. I remember sitting at that conference with Sheryl. I can hear her laugh on that tape, and she like so many others, has gone out and drank, and I never saw her again. Like Rita, who was in my wedding, and the last time I was with her was at her funeral, talking to her kids about how much she loved them. Because they had a good idea, and it ended up with a drink.
We got him in the car, delivered him to the Oakdale Group, but they were busy. So we got to be with him all day. The stories he told, the love and I respect I had, the time talking about important AA topics like anonymity, self centeredness, group politics…everything. I soaked it all up, moment by moment. It’s really hard to even write about it, because it was so personal to me. I love my sponsor so much; her direction has saved my life, when I was ready to drink at 25 years of sobriety. 6 years later, I’m having the best time. I’ve lost everything, but gained everything. She taught me to have a relationship with her, to be honest…true. She gave me what C. gave her.
So, I’m sitting out in the freezing wind last Saturday night, listening to him talk. It was the 75th anniversary of a huge moment in AA history, where Bill W. was at the hotel: Cocktail sign on one side, and the phone booth and church directory on the other. And, Bill made the phone calls that finally resulted in meeting Dr. Bob, and the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous. C. speaks as though you are there. We were outside on a lawn at a school. But, you could have heard a pin drop. I listened to him tell the same stories I’ve heard for 31 years. About how alcoholics have to understand they have a problem with drinking. And with sobriety. That’s why we have a first step. My life is unmanageable, with or without drinking.
And when it was over, I knew I touched just a bit of AA history. I don’t even really know how to explain or write about it. I have a small group, 3 meetings in my town. My sponsor and grandsponsor’s home group has 1000 people in it, every Wednesday night in Los Angeles. And yet, it all starts the same way. With one drunk, talking to another.
It will make no sense. But. I am sober, and I get to pass it on. Every day.