Monday, October 19, 2009

I didn't wanna get up this morning, plain and simple lol! But, I managed to haul my carcasse out of the nice warm bed and here I am... Yesterday I "reclaimed" my home office from the various stacks that had been accumulating. I drained and cleaned my 10g aquarium, that I might start over with it. I had a serious snail situation going on so I moved the inhabitants (fish) to my other two aquariums and will begin anew with the 10 gallon. I always feels good to make something clean, deep clean, re-done.

About 13 years ago, I had just attended my first ever weekend AA men's retreat. I had been forever changed by the experience. The weekend was based around Steps 4 and 5. I was about 9 mos sober when I went on this retreat, and got my first look at real "down to the bone" recovery. Men were sharing deeply , crying, "peeling away the onion layers," laughing to the point of tears. It was an almost magical experience and I wanted/needed more. It was my first real glimpse into the depth of the AA program, and why we go to the legnths we go to in order to stay sober. I had been going to meeting like a madman for the 9 months leading up to the retreat but man, my program really kicked into gear. It wasn't long after that, that I completed my first Step and Step 5 with my sponsor.

I am so grateful that my sponsor had gently pressed me to go to that retreat. I have only missed that weekend retreat 3 times since then, all due to my son's birthday so not a bad trade off, lol. I make at least one weekend retreat each year, usually one in January/February at this wonderful Spiritual Center not 5 miles from home. It's not camping, fires, cabins like the fall retreat is, it's indoors, individual rooms/bathrooms in a very religious setting. But, it's still the same AA. There's the saftey, the honesty, the pain shared and joy released. There's the personal progress on Step work, the "peeling of the onion layers," the bonding, the changes to one's soul that can only occur between alcoholics who have suffered the same self inflicted indignities. It really helps me to retreat occasionally. I need that time to help get "back on the beam" where necessary. I need to take time to reflect deeply on where I am in my life and where I want to go. It's tough to do that (for me) in my normal home setting with all that's going on in our lives. Although, now that I have been on over 20 AA retreats over my years of sobriety, I can at least "go back there" in my mind and spirit anytime I want. That's very kool!

I'm not sure where this came from lol, I guess it's just that time of year. Have a peaceful day!


Syd said...

It sounds like a great experience. I haven't been to a retreat but have heard that they are fantastic. I hope to make a couple of them this year.

Steve E. said...

A very good and positive post, Scott. I take yours and others...put them all together and they help keep me sober. I don't know if they can keep me "humble"!!!!

PEACE, man!