I had planned to come back from the speaker meeting last night and write a blog post. Instead, I ended up playing poker for nickels and dimes with a group of AA's who have been playing together for 15 years. I haven't played before but discovered that I apparently have a knack for the game, finishing with $7 more than I started with and having a streak of wins among seasoned and cut throat pros. These alcoholics take playing seriously! I was invited back for another round tonight and asked, "Are you sure you haven't played before?".
The speaker was good--humorous, yet poignant. Here were some things he said that stuck with me:
• an active alcoholic can go nowhere, do nothing and be okay with that
• we don't know much about the newcomer when they first arrive other than it hasn't been a very good year
• if you think that sobriety will come from just going to meetings, then you are trying to get well in a room full of sick people
• desperation is the propellant that takes a person through the steps. But desperation can wane over time, so delay with the steps can be risky.
• the self-pity of the past and worries about the future can rob a person of how to be in the present
• the bondage of self is self-created slavery
• the Judas step is the one that will betray you because you denied it was there
• the time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here, and the way to be happy is to help others.
I am off to head to the Al-Anon speaker meeting and a full day of mini-meetings. My pockets are filled with enough change that I can pay for the picnic lunch! And that song about the Gambler keeps going through my head.