Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dr. Paul...


One of my worries (sounds much better than fear, don't you think?) is that I will start repeating myself in my blog articles.  It's a race at my advanced age - will senility creep into my daily life before I live long enough to not care what people really think of my repeating myself?  The point: I thought sure I'd written this story here in the past but can't seem to find it in any of the places that I could have written it so here it is either for the first time or the 10th time.

Anyway, Dave mentioned today some things from the story "Acceptance Was the Answer..." (4th ed. BB - "Doctor, Addict, Alcoholic" in the 3rd ed. BB).  I love this story.

From the time I was about 3 years sober to the time I was 10 years along, I quoted this story in almost every share and I used it as much or more as the basic text of AA in explaining how we needed to deal with life and life's problems.  When, infrequently, folks would challenge that his "instruction" was not part of the basic text, I would scoff and assure them that it must have been an oversight or that, since it was still in between the blue covers, it certainly was part of my program of recovery.

Sigh...

I was blessed for a period of ~12 years in my middle sobriety to attend several trips, retreats and conventions with Dr. Paul, the author of this story, and Max.  While we were never close, we eventually had a nodding relationship that borders on intimacy that I've only found in this program.  I was profoundly impressed by his spiritual path and the fact that I, on more than one occasion, saw him 12-stepping new folks with as much skill as any I'd ever seen.


Early in our acquaintance, we were at a conference together at a huge resort in Mexico.  We were sort of standing around after lunch.  I was waiting for my wife who was engaged in a conversation and I spotted Dr. Paul across the dining pavilion - at least 80-100 feet away.  He seemed to be sort of staring at me but I presumed that he was looking at someone else behind me or in the group where my wife's conversation was.  I just smiled and sort of turned away.

I noticed that he broke off from his group and started walking toward us.  Again, I sort of looked around and presumed he was either mistaking me for someone else or was coming to talk to someone  else in the group.

He marched right up to me.

I said "Hi."

With what seemed like exaggerated earnestness, he said "Are you all right?"

Confused, I said "yes."

He said "Good!  I thought you might be thinking."

...and turned on his heal and walked back to his group.

I loved that...

5 comments:

Steve E said...

"Good! I thought you might be thinking."

Ed, ya CAUGHT me!!!

Peace!

Mary Christine said...

Nice story.

Scott said...

lol, that's a GREAT story...

and while we're definitely NOT supposed to idolize anyone in AA, I am definitely well connected to Dr Paul in my thinking and doing.

When I first read his story in the Big Book, my recovery opened right up and my life changed...

Syd said...

Thanks for sharing this Ed. I'll have to re-read that story now with a new context.

Patty said...

That was great, thanks for sharing it!