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These fingers be intchin’

November 4, 2013

YES!  These fingers, they be intchin’!  To tell you all about the fantastic weekend I had and all the amazing life lessons I learned.

Over the weekend I was invited to San Diego for a weekend retreat on sponsorship.  I will explain why I italicized invited later.  This was my second year attending this retreat and I am in awe of it just as much as I was last year.

First of all, you can only be invited to this retreat if your sponsor was invited.  The woman who started this retreat has about 25-33 years sober, I can’t remember but its something impressive.  I never knew how to be a lady and still can’t comprehend how women do it, have peaceful full lives and families, especially with a head full of alcoholism.  It has always seemed so over whelming to me to have a family, a house, a job, let alone a good family, a clean house a good job AND be happy.  It always seems to be a goal for me that I will never achieve but if I watch women who do it long enough, that hopefully one day, I could fake it enough to make it.  So when I find women that have met this goal, I watch, I listen and I try to absorb.

This woman, with the 25-33 years of sobriety, she is one of them.  Actually, all of the 116 women there this weekend have met this goal, or at least appear too.  She has a cute stylish hair cut, she’s frank and kind at the same time, loves herself enough to sing out of tune in front of all of us, wears tight dark jeans and a leather jacket.  I just think she’s cool.

Anyway, so how it works.  She sponsors about 20 women and each of those women sponsor about 10 women and those 10 women each sponsor girls and so on and so forth up to our total of 116 women.  116 SOBER women, working the same program and all connected through this cool woman in the dark jeans, did I mention she also bikes?  Love her.

If our connection wasn’t amazing enough to see, the stories I heard brought me to tears and gut laughter all at the same time.  There is nothing like sharing your ugliest, most horrifying drunk log with complete strangers and watching them all bob their head because they did that same thing, maybe just another way.

I left feeling like I was rocketed into a new dimension.  A dimension in which I will pick up the slack in my recovery and I want to do better, because I was able to see how these women do it and how it works.  Most of all, I want to give to it back to the next suffering woman.

So clearly I can’t tell you everything but I can tell you some of the heavy hitters.

-You’re probably an alcoholic if…The ice breaker.

When we signed in we had to write a crazy drunk moment on a paper and put it in a basket.  They opened the retreat by pulling some out and after reading them they would say, “you’re probably alcoholic”…. drove through a Jack in the Box drive thru naked- You’re probably an alcoholic.  Drove on the wrong side of the freeway- Your probably an alcoholic.  Mine was that I threw up and when my roommate confronted me I told her that a man broke in, threw up and left…there was no man, You’re probably alcoholic.  To most people these are probably sad stories, to us its hilarious because we are now free from these things.

-God had a date on the calendar for me to get sober.  I did not pick the day I surrendered to alcohol and declared that I needed help.  I did not know my last drunk was my last.  It wasn’t even THAT bad…I mean I have fought with cab drivers, lost my keys and ran from my friends on a regular basis, this day was nothing special.  The difference was that God knew I was done and he put my name on that date, not me. He set the date we would met and I would surrender to him.

-TED talks came up, AGAIN!

-God’s will.  How do I know that I am in God’s will?  If it flows.  If life just starts to move without any effort or pain, like a knife through butter, you are in his will.

-When can you start dating in recovery?  When you can bring more to the table than just pussy.

-Sponsorship is all suggestive.  We don’t have the answers, we just know what got us sober and we INVITE you to do the same.  I invite you to do the steps or die an alcoholic death.  I invite you show up on time before I leave….get the picture?

-We are not a glum lot.  Entertainment hour was hilarious.  People danced in their underwear, sang, made plays, all in front of 116 women, most strangers.  Not all of them were good, hence the “no talent talent show” but what was so impressive was that all of the women were not afraid to embarrass themselves.  They got up on stage and made us laugh.  Thank God for laughter in sobriety.  As sick as all of us are, we are some funny people, most of us were the life of the party before, put us all together and its just hilarious.  To think that I thought that I would never have fun again without alcohol.

I got so much more than that out of it but those were the ones that made me either laugh or think enough to write them down.  All 116 of us, 7 generations of sponsor lines, all doing the same exact program, same prayers and living off the same outline for living, in one place.  All of us with different stories, different circumstances, different lengths of sobriety all there to progress and continue to dive deeper into the program that saved our lives.  Look at these women and try to tell me that the program doesn’t work and that God doesn’t exist, you can’t, we are the proof. Anyone can get sober.  Anyone.  So long as you are willing to be honest and willing.  This weekend I met 116 of them that are miracles.  Women that all reached the same desperation where the alcohol no longer worked but they didn’t know how to live without it.  Women that all had the same choice to make, either keep on going until the bitter end and die a slow alcoholic death, or surrender and follow a few simple steps.

I don’t know all the women that were there this weekend but I love them because I know the pain they felt and the struggle they go through.  It makes me want to do better for them and give what I was given so freely to the next girl who is forced with the same decision of death or freedom.

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One Comment
  1. Sounds like a fantastic experience!!!

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