I was becoming a bit intolerant with my surroundings in Big Book Step meetings..It does say this program should continue for our lifetime it's just I was hoping for more specific direction I guess, like what it's going to be like 30 years after your 4th Step is complete..Seemed like I was still joining the usual poker faces spewing Big Book references to validate who they are or what they know..Although I still wore my Big Book Step lettered sweater for identity it seemed like I wasn't listening anymore, I couldn't hear. I was back arranging your thoughts to suit myself unable to trust. Somewhere along the path I stopped watching and selfishness was back. I was hanging onto myself like I had something to steal and you were the thief. It was time to grow again, damn..
What to do? Talk to others? No, I didn't trust anyone..Work with others? No, with my house out of order I had no message..I needed to pray for direction which was easy really, I could get lots of great wisdom in thought but then the hard part, taking action..I needed to listen, somehow..
I decided to join a men's discussion group which was really the complete opposite of the men's Big Book Step meetings I frequented with the discipline and direction..This discussion meeting was loose, I mean really loose like I couldn't understand what these people were doing to stay sober? Talking about the same shite over and over for sometimes 30 minutes was their program of recovery? It was nuts..I would prepare for days to get there with a new tolerant attitude and when the day came I'd show up, listen for a few minutes and leave..I was the Big Book Steps, I knew how the program of AA was supposed to be, I knew the Big Book not this Joe's anonymous crapola...
So I kept showing up every week and leaving early until one night I was asked to chair..I did my usual hit my knees and pray for direction routine in the men's room and led the meeting feeling confident as I offered my full adult dose of AA Big Book wisdom..I stayed until the end and thought it was a great meeting. The thought creeping in on my way home was the only reason I liked the meeting because I got some attention and they liked me..I felt sick. It was me, I was the thief not them..They were who they were with all the passion and willingness to stay sober and I was the needy people worshiper still arranging others to suit myself and create my self esteem..How did I get so sick with so much time sober? I couldn't answer except to admit I possibly fell off the Spiritual path some time back and have been winging it ever since..I obviously needed a refresher course in giving or atleast willingness to perform the Higher Powers work..I was deep into the old selfwill run riot though I don't think so delusion which is easy to talk or even chuckle about but not so easy to change when the problem is you.
I went to join another free flowing anything goes type meeting I would normally never join and then it hit me, I can't go back to when I got sober..I'm not the same person..Should I throw it all away or just cut out the bad stuff like the selfishness that's choking me and my recovery..I fell down with my Step work so now I have to start again? That's like instead of painting the front door of my house I'll put on a whole new addition..I know this mentality, this give it to me I'll fix it chaos..Look at me here, at my best I'm still the producer of confusion..What to do now..It became clear, I couldn't go back , or I could if I wanted to but I couldn't control the outcome just like I couldn't back then..I had to move forward, I had to seek God and overcome this selfishness..No rearrangement I could conjure up was going to fix me, no human power anyway.
I spent more time on my knees in the morning with Step 11 and began to carry the thought of my Higher Power much more during my day..I had a couple of justified resentments that I chose to gargle with everyday also and although the Big Book doesn't suggest writing them out in Step 10 I gladly did it over the course of a few days following the 4th Step format and saw myself all the more clearly..I would quickly pause when agitated or doubtful now and pray for the right thought or action reminding myself I was no longer running the show...The fear was falling away again much to my amazement..Although I had fallen away from my program I was gaining new Spiritual footing..I went back to my Big Book Step meetings and prayed to listen rather than cluck away to validate myself..
A new guy asked me before the meeting if I could sponsor him in the Steps and I said I'd be honored to guide you but before we get together and talk about it let me have a moment to pray for direction and we'll get together after the meeting..I told him I have been around a long time and have much experience with the Steps but to be clear the object here is to find your own conception of a Spiritual Power greater than yourself that will solve your problem. As much as I would love to I can't do it for you..My job is to keep my own house in order to best serve you with knowledge of when and how to give..As much as I may appear to have it together I am willing to grow in understanding and effectiveness daily on the Spiritual path also..I'm not the professor and you're not the student, we're both here for our day of sobriety and piece of mind.
Maybe see you tonight at the closed discussion meeting..