So it is important what we say and what we do in Alcoholics Anonymous. It is important what we say to the new person in Alcoholics Anonymous. It is important that we instill hope in the new person in Alcoholics Anonymous and encourage them. They’ve had enough of the other crap. Believe me, for years I was pretty good at sarcastic one liners in AA. I try not to do that anymore, although every once in a while I’ll slip and I’ll do it. My sponsor pulled me aside one time he said, “You know people who really love you don’t even want to talk to you anymore.” I said, “Why?” He told me it was about my smart comments and sarcasm. I really thought I was just being clever. Thank you very much. Another lesson learned. I said a prayer, and do not say this prayer unless you mean it, I promise you. I said, “God please show me the effects my humor has on other people.” So I’m in a meeting and this little girl comes up to me all bubbly and happy, I just remember her eyes I don’t even remember her name. I remember those eyes to this day. I just said a one liner that took her off at the knees and I’m like 7 years sober this time.
I laughed and I walked away. As I walked away, her eyes came to mind and I stopped in the middle of the aisle meeting start crying. I just destroyed her spirit and now I do my best not to do that. Another time I was with a friend of mine and we were walking up to the speaker at a meeting. I looked over and there’s a guy lying across the bunch chairs with the sheet sticking out in the aisle. So as we walked by, I reached down grabbed his legs and said, “Be healed!” I just kept going and started to laugh, “Ha ha.” After the meeting the guy came up to me said, “Can I talk to you for a minute.” I said, “Sure you can.” He said, “I’ve got hepatitis C and my liver is shot and they won’t put me on the transplant list and I’m dying. I was laying there trying to get up enough strength to make it through the meeting and you come up and made your cute little remark.”
I said, “I am so sorry.” You know, I talk about this all the time, but we all still have something to learn. We’re not here to put each other down. We’re here to lift each other up. I think somewhere that’s gotten lost in a lot of places I go. I started going to more meetings. I went to meetings and was busy, busy, and busy. I know it was just a matter of time where they brought up that three letter word. I braced myself. I knew what was coming. I knew what was coming. Sure enough, I was sitting in a meeting one day one of the old timers looked at me and said, “Ed don’t you think it’s time you got a job?”
When I came in the program and was in detox, I was shaking very badly. I was a wreck and had a rule that no one should touch me. Thank God Harry who was in charge of pouring coffee did not know my rule. In those horrible first few days, he’d come up behind me and he put his hand right here on my shoulder and he’d pour that coffee. There would be a peace come over me like I’d never known before, it was a break from the madness for the first time in my life. I could breathe momentarily I know everything’s going to be okay.