Yesterday I went to the 7 clan Day of Sharing. It was full day of speakers as well as a gathering of several hundren AA people. It was on the reservation, 7 clan being the name of the AA group out in that area. One of my vows is I vow to listen and learn from the unlimited wisdom of the Dharma. For me, the Dharma, is reflected in all things so before each speaker I asked my higher power to help me listen whatever wisdom I might hear through them. However, the first speaker pretty much just gave a drunk-a-log, which was annoying. It was while listening to him that I realized I hsdn’t prayed before to hear anything of usefulness, or at least, something I could identify with. Perhaps it was helpful, in the sense, of not doing it like that if I ever were to be asked to speak. My hope is that never happens but I imagine I’ll be asked eventually. Fortunately, one can’t, or rather shouldn’t, speak until after they have a year sobriety. This guy had only 9 months. Speaking though will probably help him move forward since it was very nearly like doing the 5th step: Admitting to God, yourself and another human being, the exact nature of your wrongs. Well, he did that in spadaes!
Oh, before we even got there, I realized I was talking to fast and kind of taking over the conversation so I decided to take an additional 1/2 an antipsychotic to calm me down. The problem with is it plummets my mood down for a brief time until I balance out; it helps a lot but I have to recognize the side effects or rather the initial side effects. I mean, it’s far better than being speedy and ending up saying all kinds of stuff but I really don’t want to say or acting in the way that I’ll feel moral bowl about later. Plus, the initial effects only last a brief time and the bunus? I can drink coffee without it making me all speedy. Bonus!
One interesting observation, looking back – I really didn’t have a problem with my food or with comparing my body size to others. Yes there were people that were microscopic in size, there were also people that were standard issue size, as well as larger folk. The point is, this gathering had nothing to do with our outward appearance or who we used to be but rather who we are now and our unified practice of growing up and dealing with life. There was such a great sense family, a foreign concept me. I’m rather glad I got into AA and willing to set aside all my doubts, suspicions, frustrations, and most of all my disbelief. It’s really rather of relief to be among people and not have to hide. I get to practice being myself even though I’m still figuring out my own identity.
One of the things they did midafternoon was what is called the Sobriety Count Down. Basically the person with the longest sobriety took the first seat. He has 55 years meaning that he got sober before I was ever born! They announce each year, counting down. We clap as the person goes up to sit in there chairs. Eventually people were standing but folks with 45-55 years need to sit down obviously. It creates this long line of sobriety. When a persons year was called they people would start at the front of the lines shaking the hand of the person with the longest sobriety and continuing down taking their place in line at the end. It was this continual spiral of people shaking the hands of those who’ve gone before, amazing. Yesterday I had 56 days of sobriety and so I stepped up when they called 30 days since it was by month after they have gotten to one year. It was so overwhelming, I couldn’t believe it. One woman who had something like 48 yrs pulled me down to her level and gave me a big hug and I just burst into tears. It was so emotional. When I got around to where Zack who has 27 years he gave me a big hug. I continued around the circle shaking peoples hands and hugging people I know, surprising myself on how many people know and care about me. When got to Lilly she gave me the biggest hug ever. What an experience, it was really really amazing.