I woke up at 4:20 AM after an itchy, restless, discontented sleep.
Last night I got a call from a friend who is out of town with his family for an emergency. He answered a call from an alcoholic in trouble with a relapse. He asked me if I could drop everything and make a 12th step call. I said yes, then found out the person in need is someone from the rooms that I have had LOTS of trouble listening to as he spreads the disease through his self-centered shares. I was not hesitant to make the call, but my brain wanted to fester up a big resentment. I said a prayer and left for Lambda Center. A friend walked in right after me and he agreed to accompany me. I have been taught we do not make these calls alone.
We found our man in his robe not looking too bad for the wear, but he did seem disoriented. We didn’t ask a lot of questions of him. He wanted to go to the VA hospital. He gave me his house keys and the alarm codes and I noticed the cat had food and water. He got dressed and we drove him to the hospital. On the trip there I texted my out-of-town friend that we were on our way. I got one back, he was sitting in an AA meeting. I got this huge, overwhelming feeling we were all where we were supposed to be. Fairly quickly they got our man into an ER holding room. My accomplice and I sat in the waiting room, talked about the stuff you talk about in these situations and paid attention to our iPhones. I ended up giving the nurse my name and phone number so we could be on our way to dinner. Our man tried his best to be dramatic and convince me to feel sorry for him.
My accomplice and I had dinner at a really gay place. We laughed, he texted his sponsor about the call we had made. We discussed our programs and where we were with them. I dropped him at his car and came home. At 10:15, five hours after we dropped our man off at the VA, he called me and said they would not keep him. I texted my out-of-town friend and he told me to stay in touch with him as the event continued. I picked up our man. We got his prescription filled. He wanted a burger so we drove through Burger King and he wanted to pay for that dollar burger with a credit card. When I got him home the first thing he did was go to the kitchen and take the giant bottle of vodka out and turn it upside down in the sink. It emptied. I made sure he was okay and left.
I try not to talk on the phone when I am driving, but on the way home I needed to be in touch with my out-of-town friend. We marveled at how our program of AA works. He is where he is supposed to be and I was, too. It has been a long time since I made a 12th step call. It wasn’t nearly as awful as it could have been. The person we took care of has been trying to get and stay sober for untold years. Self-importance can take me down that same road. It did not matter that he is capable of making huge money, owns property, can speak eloquently…alcohol is no respecter of those things. It will slice and dice you until you cannot stand. I am truly grateful for the first step and the honesty it takes to practice it.
God could and would if He were sought.
Today I am grateful…
- if I seek God, if I stand close to God, if I do my best to follow God’s will I will be guaranteed to have a better experience of God. It seems there is no decision to it, like water has no conscious effort to find its level.
- for this medium where I can list my gratitude
- that I can and will return to my bed shortly
- that I am not nursing a hangover on a Saturday morning
- that tonight I am going to dinner and a friend’s gallery opening in Galveston
Now we come to another kind of problem: the intellectually self-sufficient man or woman. To these, many A.A.s can say, "Yes, we were like you--far too smart for our own good. We loved to have people call us precocious. We used our education to blow ourselves up into prideful balloons, though we were careful to hide this from others. Secretly, we felt we could float above the rest of the folks on our brainpower alone. Scientific progress told us there was nothing man couldn't do. Knowledge was all-powerful. Intellect could conquer nature. Since we were brighter than most folks (so we thought), the spoils of victory would be ours for the thinking. The god of intellect displaced the God of our fathers. But again John Barleycorn had other ideas. We who had won so handsomely in a walk turned into all-time losers. We saw that we had to reconsider or die. We found many in A.A. who once thought as we did. They helped us to get down to our right size. By their example they showed us that humility and intellect could be compatible, provided we placed humility first. When we began to do that, we received the gift of faith, a faith which works. This faith is for you, too." ~ 12 & 12