I can get really aggravated when people share about things that are just not my experience. There was this one time when I heard a person share about a dual sobriety date, which I thought was an utter crap. That wouldn’t have worked for me at all. I thought it was dangerous for this idiot to be telling newcomers that this was “allowed” but the most I could do to fix things was to share my own esh: that I needed to go “cold turkey.” This same person was a church-going Christian and would share about how he worked one step or another in the context of practicing his religion. That would usually aggravate me too, since practicing my religion is what helped me become a full blown sex addict.
This guy just about drive me nuts until this one time, before a meeting, I was trash talking someone who bugged me even more. You want to talk about a constant series of drunk-a-logs. If he wasn’t being triggering, he was gross. And he went on forever! After I’d finished complaining basically that he was allowed to speak, the first guy gently commented that he found it a mystery who did well in SAA and who didn’t. I hated hearing that and wanted to discount it because after all, the guy was a moron with two sobriety dates.
It hit me that I was a righteous, angry gossip at that moment (and probably others too) while the moron guy seemed mature and relaxed. Although I was the right one, he was the sober one. Standing side by side, the comparison was obvious to me and my fellow gossipers. Suddenly it hit me that I was full of crap, not him. Maybe my rigid sobriety definition would NOT have worked for him, just like he said it didn’t. Maybe if he’d listened to someone like me instead of his sponsor, he wouldn’t have made it. Maybe other people think I’m full of crap (gasp) when I start talking about how atheism works for me, since it didn’t work like that for them.
I find that all rather unsettling. I would like recovery to work the same way for all of us, like a recipe. When I joined up, that’s what I was after: a recipe for recovery. How can anyone cook anything edible when you pick and choose the ingredients you want? That’s stupid. Why bother with a recipe if you’re just going to improvise? I remember the first time I heard that people put ketchup on eggs – I’m sorry folks, but that’s just the wrong way to fix eggs! They taste like crap with ketchup. And believe it or not, some people eat eggs on a sandwich with bacon and peanut butter! Gag! The RIGHT way to do eggs is with grated cheese. If you want recovery (I mean good eggs) then you damn well better learn to like cheese and don’t give me any of that crap about lactose intolerance or that you just don’t like cheesy stuff because cheese is absolutely essential to the recipe.