Bill C is one of those gems in Alcoholics Anonymous, 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 when outside of the AA meeting, in their personal life, they just quietly get 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 Alcoholics Anonymous and in the Sober Speak Podcast 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.
Personal Life: What happened during childhood
Bill C says in the Sober Speak Podcast 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 are 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 Alcoholics Anonymous member, 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 than someone else’s shite doesn’t bother me. I agree with Bill C on that point.
The most spiritual thing you hear in Alcoholics Anonymous is ‘Get in the car’.
The magic happens in those car trips to and from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In early sobriety, I went on many a car trip with other members of Alcoholics Anonymous to treatment facilities, prison meetings, 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 Alcoholics Anonymous, I recommend having a listen to Bill C Steps 1, 2, and 3. Reviewing Steps 1, 2, and 3, Bill C does not tell you to believe in God or don’t believe in God. 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)