When I first got sober, I was going to meetings at a club house in Hermosa Beach Ca. There was this fellow that would say, every time he shared, “we stay sober no matter,” and then he would yell “WHAT”! It certainly would get your attention, especially if you were new and shaky.
It had the same effect as the fellow who used to throw the big book from the podium, slamming it down on the floor. I literally would jump out of my seat!
I love club houses and because I did not go to detox, I was very shaky. I shook it out in the rooms. I would sit on my hands because they would involuntarily and suddenly fly up in the air. As a result, I got called on a lot by mistake.
Back then everything seemed like a “WHAT”: no booze, no bars, no drugs, no relationships, no lower companions, no going to slippery places. Then there was my resistance to all those “meeting rules”, (sorry meeting guidelines), and following directions (which I did grudgingly) by trying to be of service to someone new, getting a sponsor and working the steps. If I got the idea that a drink seemed like a good idea, my sponsor would volunteer me to wash the ash trays and coffee cups at the clubhouse and sweep the floor. And to quiet the physical craving, I would eat sugar.
My sponsor frequently told me to eat sugar if the cravings started. I would polish off a pint of ice cream every evening, until I found myself addressing that issue at yet another type of meeting. In fact, one morning my sponsor came early to pick me up and remarked that she was sorry that I had had a slip because my eyes looked swollen, and I was unable to focus my attention. Indeed, I had had no slip, just a hearty helping of double chocolate chip mint ice cream!
Even though I had many questions and “WHAT!’s” in my head, I stayed sober. And there have been many more of those WHAT moments in my sobriety along the way: making amends, moving from CA to FL, parents dying, friends relapsing, losing jobs, getting jobs, marriages, divorce, a new marriage and a career, and still staying sober no matter what.
Finding a higher power has been another big one for me, as it took me awhile to find my HP. I needed One that I was willing to do business with for my spirituality, which has indeed been essential to my program and my sobriety. Even in these difficult times of unmanageability: a pandemic and hand sanitizer, cleaning solutions and wearing a mask, staying 6-feet away from people and attending recovery Zoom meetings. It all seems so overwhelming, but so did getting sober in the beginning. I often think about that slogan that that fellow would bang on about and now feel grateful I was there to hear it:
We stay sober no matter WHAT!