Wednesday, April 13, 2011

War Stories

War Stories.   What are they?  Why bad?  What's wrong with talking about booze?  What is wrong with talking about 'what it was like'?  Where do we cross the line between war story and qualifying?

I suppose we have to define the line of when, where, and what; Let's say we're giving a 10 minute pitch for our birthday or we're the first of two speakers... or let's say this is our lead and we're given the whole hour to speak.  Or... let's just say we're at a meeting and the topic is the 1st Step.

I belonged to a group where, on you A.A. birthday (yearly intervals only), you get up and give a 10 minute pitch of what happened.  Nothing else.  Just how you drank booze.  No God talk or wonderful shiny glitter talk... not the wonderous things you've done now that you're sober.

When I give a pitch, I talk about booze and my relation to it.  I try to demonstrate where, when, and how I lost control physically and mentally.  I then talk about what happened... a description of my notion to try A.A., yet again... or in this last case, my decision to go to "that" A.A. meeting and come clean on where I was at... with no hope or notion that this was it... the big surrender.  But surrender I did, and I talk about what was said then... by me and by Gary;

Me:  I need help.

Gary:  We can help you.  Do you have a problem with booze?

Me:  Yes.

Gary:  Do you want to quit for good and all?  Do you want to do something about it?

Me:  Yes.  Yes.

Gary:  Get writing.  Have a 4th Step done for me in... 21 days.  Be open to your 1st Step.  Maybe you're not alky.  Maybe you are.  Don't answer than now.  Review your 1st step and your concept of God each time before you sit down to write.  Decide in or out.  You need Power and you need it now.  You are up for grabs.  We cannot fix you or stop you.  Either you're gonna do this stuff or you're not, Bud.  It's up to you.


So I did that and it lead to now... 7 years sober and counting.

That's basically my story, my lead, my pitch.

But I talk about booze.  Not just in a general way.  I can talk about the feel, the taste, the comfort and peace and ease...  Booze did for me what nothing else that I could muster could.  Are you like me?

1 comment:

  1. Am I like you? Yeah, given the fact that I’m an alcoholic I am. My story is much different than yours, though. When I give a pitch I spend a little time on what it was like, but not a lot of focus on booze itself. I really didn’t like liquor after a while. I just liked what it did for me. It got me “there”, where everything was all right.

    I was long past to point where the smell or taste of liquor meant anything to me. Cheap vodka doesn’t have a lot of taste or smell, anyway. It was being “there” that mattered. Peace and comfort and ease, like Patrick said.

    I talk about how my drinking affected my life, but I don’t spend a lot of time on that. I was a “high functioning”, “high bottom” drunk. If you can relate to that, fine. If not, that’s ok, too.

    I spend most of the time on what happened. How I was sober for 10 years and went back out. How I went to AA meetings with a drink in my car for 2 years. How I was drinking 2 ltrs of vodka every day.

    Then one day I decided that was enough. No blinding flash of light. No hard ass AA guy telling me to get my shit together. Maybe God slapped my upside the head. Dunno.

    But I went to Rehab and then back to that AA meeting, but this time without the drink. Guy I knew told me it’s about fuckin’ time. He became my sponsor. Just died last year.

    The rest what I talk about is in my post on Spirituality. I use that as an outline now, and update it every once in a while.

    I like to talk about the solution, so I don’t spend much time on the war story part. But that’s my personal preference. If I look around the room at any meeting I go to I realize that I probably wouldn’t associate with most folks outside the rooms.

    But inside? Shit. We’re like family. We’re alcoholics. Doesn’t matter how we got there. Everyone’s path is different. Everyone’s story is different. Important thing is that we’re at the meeting, helping one another stay sober.