This first article was written by our friend Rebecca T. Rebecca was inspired by Bill C and picked a few topics to explore further. Read below to see how Rebecca relates to Bill C’s Episode 113.
Bill C is one of those gems in AA, the kind that isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. The longer sober I am, the more I love those gems. Most often they are at meetings, just a part of the meeting and outside of which just quietly getting on with life. They have no flashy guru status, nor some strange awe-inspiring practice in which they found nirvana or the ‘ONE’ true path. Listening to Bill C is like a sigh of relief.
There are so many pearls of wisdom in episode 113, that I could do a whole other blog post and still not be done. This time, I’ll concentrate on just a few of them.
Conspicuous Absence. Or is it Inconspicuous Absence
Bill C says in episode 113, most of us were absent when those life lessons were being handed out in our formative teenage years. Another sigh of relief ‘Oh so THAT’S why I still respond like a child when (you can put anything you like here, there are so many examples). It’s probably quicker to ask my other half what those times were. Because it’s REALLY obvious. Embarrassingly so.
Moving right along.
I think my absence in my life was conspicuous. Others might feel it was inconspicuous for them. In either case. Wasn’t there, wasn’t present, when the life lessons were being dished out.
I don’t know about any other AAer, but I often expect myself to have it all thoroughly sorted by now, particularly because I came to AA quite young. Bill C is there to gently remind the listener, that practically speaking, we’re not going to have it all together, all of the time, because we were not ‘all there’ when the life lessons were happening.
‘Don’t take things personally’
I am constantly amazed that someone else’s short fuse or bad behavior has nothing to do with me. Sure, unless I did something totally mean or violent to another person, then yeah, that person’s recoiling from me is a direct result of my poor behavior. That’s not what Bill C is talking about here. He’s talking about those times – again speaking for myself – I think that just because someone is upset, or rude to me, that it is all my fault. If only I was so omnipotent!
The more comfortable with who I am, the more someone else’s shit doesn’t bother me. I agree with Bill C on that point.
The most spiritual thing you hear in AA is ‘Get in the car’.
The magic happens in those car trips to and from AA meetings. In early sobriety, I went on many a car trip with other AAs to institution and prison meetings and conventions and general AA get-togethers. I really don’t think I had much to offer when going to institutions and prisons, but I had another day sober, and I started to learn, ever-so-awkwardly, just how to be.
And those trips got me out of my own head long enough to think about someone else. I actually looked forward to them. It wasn’t like my social life was going ahead in leaps and bounds, so I might as well tag along on a car trip or three.
If you’re a newcomer to AA, I recommend having a listen to Bill C. He’s not going to tell you to believe in God, or don’t believe in God. And he’s not going to tell you to do the program his way, or else. Nope. Refreshingly, Bill C just tells it from his point of view, and he tells it ‘like it is’ warts and all. Above all else:
- We have some catching up to do with this thing called life. It can be really painful and fun often all the same time,
- Don’t take it personally AND,
- Get in the car. Don’t get in the car with strangers. That’s not cool. But do get in the car with your AA buddies. That’s where the magic happens. Maybe with masks and hand sanitizer. And check out the rules for which part of the world you live in first😊
Home Group: Friday Women in Recovery, Christchurch, Aotearoa (New Zealand)