Most alcoholics in early recovery have some time of “plan” to stay sober and to manage their lives. I have to say, for anyone in this spot, don’t use your plan. Grab one of us who have been here a while after the meeting and tell us your plan. We really want to know the plan. One of the best ones I have ever heard was a guy who was selling illegal substances to set himself up financially for sobriety. Anyways, I’ve got a buddy who was sponsoring a guy who got two DUIs in rapid succession. He lived in a small town in Nebraska.
After coming back to the program, the guy came up with a plan. He made five Molotov cocktails and went down to the small county courthouse. As you can already tell, not a good plan. He put a cocktail in each corner of the building. Now I’ve never read the instructions on a Molotov cocktail. But I believe throwing is involved at some point.They might even have you know the universal sign for throwing this. When he got to the final one, he set it by his car and fell asleep! Luckily, all the cocktails sat harmlessly by the courthouse, he forgot to throw them!
Yeah, so if you’re new, I really hope you’re out of plans. I really hope you are all out of them. So after leaving AA when I was new, I went back to that meeting and I stuck around alcoholics who were working a program. My wife reached out to the Al-Anon Family Groups, and I just can’t tell you how much I appreciate the great atmosphere in and around Al-Anon that I’ve heard and seen and felt this weekend. It makes me proud, and makes me so glad, because when I was a newcomer in Alcoholics Anonymous, there was a time or two where I would go to meetings and I would hear people telling jokes about Al-Anon. I’m not talking about good-natured wonderful jokes. I’ve told a few tonight. I’m talking about mean, ignorant jokes, and until I stuck around long enough to find out that these were just mean, ignorant people.
Until I stuck around long enough to know this, I was very confused and very injured by it because my wife had reached out to the Al-Anon Family Groups and I was really proud of her and really glad she did. When I would hear these things, I’d sit in my seat and I’d go mad. I would think, “This is not what we’re supposed to be doing.” I mean can you imagine going to a meeting and hearing people telling ignorant ill tempered, untruthful jokes about Alcoholics Anonymous. I know that as a member of AA I would think, “Oh you can’t imagine how wrong you are! You don’t have any information! You talking about AA like this is not based on any real information, you know.” This is why it is so important to be grateful for, and show the utmost respect and admiration for those in Al-Anon. They sure make wonderful companions in the journey of recovery!
Odomtology’s note: Scott’s experience highlights how vital Al-Anon is for many people in recovery. Sometimes humor can be used to uplift and lighten the mood, but other times it can be damaging. This is why in recovery it is so important to check our motives, to make sure that we are not gaining in some way by trying to tear someone or something down. The impact Al-Anon has had on those recovering from substance abuse issues is immeasurable, but it is safe to say that millions of lives have been positively impacted by the fellowship and continue to every day.