Thursday, March 19, 2009

CARDINALS

When I stay at the Sisters of Mercy house, usually on Saturday nights, I am awakened in the morning by a cardinal.
Not like the priest, but the bird.
This cardinal slams himself into the window at the back porch from a perch a few feet away. if you run him off, he will come back a few minutes later. He does this between the hours of 8 AM and 9 AM while I am asleep in the couch in the Living Room. He is a good and reliable alarm clock for me to get up and go to my 10AM NA Meeting.

I have started to be the Chairperson for the Sunday morning Meetings, both the 10AM and 12AM Meetings. Last night I chaired a Meeting because...well...no one else would. It was the first meeting I've chaired extemporaneously. On Sundays there are usually about 15 people...last night there were about 40!

Chairing a meeting is really not a big deal. We have a book I read out of to open and close the meeting, and there are 7 Cards that are passed out at every meeting for people to read, called Preambles. Then there is a reading from a daily Meditation book called "Just For Today" and all the readings take about 15 minutes. They act as a way to set the tone, define a topic, and get us started for what the meeting is really all about....

The meetings are really all about us addicts sharing what we think about the topic of the day and how it relates to our recovery, or sometimes people talk about what they are going through this week. For the next 45 minutes folks take turns speaking openly for 3-5 minutes.
Yes, sometimes it can turn into a dump session, but its good to know that if you are ever in need of a sounding board that one is there, and actually quite seldom does it get that way.
We do everything we can to make the newcomer to feel welcome.

There might be a big ol tough lookin' biker dude, with Tattoos all over his arms, lookin' rough as he can be, but when he starts to talk, you find a soft wisdom in his words, and a truly caring soul that his outward appearance belies. You find that he attends meetings almost everyday, and has been clean and sober for many many years. He may have been on Heroin for most of his life, but today he talks to you about Hope,Prayer, and Love. He may have sponsored many a young man, and feels a deep empathy for any addict who still suffers.
There may be a soft looking little woman, gentle, comely and conservative looking and when she starts to speak you find that she has led a rough outlaw life, and committed all manner of immoral acts, even maybe a few years in jail. She may tell you her insanity led her to be unkind to herself and wrecked her self-esteem. She credits the program with having made her a productive responsible member of society and a lady too. You can see the proud unflinching confidence that has been restored to her.

My legal program demands that i attend at least two meetings a week, but I find myself going to 5 or 6 a week. You might be thinking that it is because I get so much out of them, but sometimes the opposite is true.
Some times I have to go to several meetings before something really cool is revealed to me.
Its kind of like fishing I guess, and sometimes you just don't even get a bite, but you keep going because one day you will catch a whole mess o' fish.

So back to that cardinal. The Sisters tell me that that cardinal doesn't just fly into the window on Sunday....he does it every day of the week. I'm starting to think that Cardinal may be an addict.
I hope that cardinal finds what he is looking for.
This is one of our Preambles we read at the meeting; its the first one to be read:

WHO IS AN ADDICT?
Most of us do not have to think twice about this question.
WE KNOW!
Our whole life and thinking was centered in drugs in one form or another - the getting and using and finding ways and means to get more. We lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a man or woman whose life is controlled by drugs. We are people in the grip of a continuing and progressive illness whose ends are always the same: jails, institutions and death.


See, for that cardinal you could substitute the word Drug with Window....or with some folks you could substitute Food, or Debt, or Anger, or Blogs. (thats the best one)
What would you substitute it with?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

That'ud hafta be DUCKS!!!!!!!
Quack, Quack!

bulletholes said...

No doubt Rod, you got it BAD!
Good to see ya!

Barbara said...

I'll bet you get to feel pretty connected to these people, sort of like a second family, where you all understand each other.

So many things in life are like that fishing analogy of yours. Meditation, sex, you name it -- you have to just keep trying to realize not every time is the same.

You are making an amazing recovery. We're all proud of you. And we're all addicted to something, you know.

valentinegirl63 said...

Very Good My Friend!! I enjoy your new addiction of Blogging!!!

Angela said...

I found your hint and commented to your dream! Don`t know if I should feel flattered...??

Martijn said...

exaltation is what I would substitute it with... You were asking a serious question here I thought. I had written a lenghty piece about my hystory of addiction, but pushed 'delete' instead of 'post'... out of shame or modesty I don't know. My addictions are not that bad, maybe because I don't let anything 'get the better of me'. I AM the addiction type, but there's a counter force acting. First it was pot. Those were the nineties. But days of rainbows & laughter turned into demons & paranoia. My mind is not sunshiny enough for those kind of drugs. So I quit it from one day to the next. Then alkohol. That worked a long time. Worked like a dream. Made me sing, made me fight frustrations and anger. Made me a lyrical poet. Gave me the oh so necessary exaltation. To smash the grey stenching sound of boredom. However, things have gotten not really out of hand, but I took it a little too far. Now it simply doens't work any more. It causes more harm than it does good. I may be the addiction type in the sense that I need the rush and need to spice things up, but there's one thing that safes me each and every time: I can't lie to myself. Now I limited the drinking to only just human levels and it makes me feel good. Sometimes it's really easy, sometimes a bit difficult. Take for instance yesterday. I was having a bitch of a day. At one point I was playing Iggy Pop, the sun was shining and I was one step away from running to the liquor store. But I knew it wouldn't do me any good. So... that's it. Some might think I'm a pussy for not taking any REAL drugs. Hence the shame. But since you asked...

bulletholes said...

Barbara- we have a real variety of people at any given meeting.

Val G- i got another habit I'd love to share with you...
yes Angela, you should feel geschmeichelt but try not to worry...its just a Traum

bulletholes said...

Iggy Pop would cause anyone to relapse. Just thinking about him makes me want to get high!
He had a song I liked a long time ago, but I don't remember what it was.
I see these youngsters come in and all they have done is smoke a little pot, but it became the center of their life, ruined their scholarly abilities, and kept them from being what they could be.
myself, pot was a way to express myself, and it led me to more insidious drugs trhat are much harder to be able to use on your own terms.
I like what you have written, it makes me think and helps with my own recovery in some way.
I will continue to post about the preambles and what I am doing on this.
Yes, it was a serious question, mostly!

GrizzBabe said...

Food is my drug of choice.

leslie said...

Windows.

Mother of Invention said...

Mine has always been food,well only since becoming diabetic actually... Reverend Bullet Holes!