Christopher S. – Gay Al Anon Family Recovery Speaker – “Here and Clear!”
Enjoy this talk by Christopher, a gay Al Anon speaker who is delivering this talk at a LGBTQIA convention and sharing his powerful story of recovery. While not an alcoholic or addict himself, Chris recounts his harrowing tale and shares very personal insights in to how he became engulfed in his partner’s alcoholism. He shares how he was able to make a difference and find himself through the 12 step process of recovery.
A slip in An-Anon and how taking the steps is merely a suggestion
I would get the phone calls, and of course they were just erratic phone calls. Sometimes my mother would be drunk. Sometimes my family would be screaming, and I was a bundle of nerves. I was a wreck, but I would consistently be drawn to that drama, and I was really grateful that I had a sponsor. He was in the Navy and brought me in to the program at this time. I went to my first meeting and it was wonderful. It was wonderful and it was awful at the same time. Certainly there’s many things I not understand. You all spoke a different language which I did not understand. The other thing I remember was that there was laughter going on. I didn’t comprehend that because you know alcohol is a serious business, joking is not funny and I didn’t understand how we’re supposed to get them sober with all this stuff as we are spending our time sitting here laughing. But the other thing was that there seemed to be something that I did not know anything about, and I desperately wanted to find out. So I stuck around, and thank God I stuck around. That was actually in October of 1984. I had my first slip in November of 1984. And so I know there’s probably alcoholics in the room going, “how do they do that.?” Well I’ll tell you my mother called and she had actually hit a bottom and she was in bed and she would not get out of bed.
She said she was incapacitated and was convinced that she was dying, physically and spiritually, so she just decided she would never get out of bed ever again. So of course my brothers and sisters called me and urged me to come home. Eventually, the Red Cross called me and said you have a family emergency you need to go home. I went home and when I came in to see my mother, she was in fact in bed and had been for some time. I thought, “this is great!” I’m in Al-Anon now, certainly I can just convey to her what these 12 steps are and she’s going to go to a meeting and get her life together. It’ll be fabulous! I it had it all scripted, but she didn’t get her copy, so that wasn’t the reaction that I got. I started to revert to what I knew, which was to pull out all the manipulating tools that I had. Today, luckily I have a program, I see it differently. That is why the twelve steps are suggested.
Yes, these 12 steps are suggested. Yes that’s true. That’s what we say, but the reality is that I suggest that you take a breath after you exhale and continue ad infinitum, if you like that feeling of consciousness. If you would like to continue living, you know it’s really that simple. You know the word pull on a ripcord when you’re jumping out a plane that’s a good “suggestion” to follow.
Thank God for the wonderful people and the program of Al-Anon for saving my life!