Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tom...


Last night I pitched a lead at a meeting that I don't normally go to on Tuesday nights.  My 15 minutes went fine.  The topic was the 11th step.  I love the 11th step and have some experience that seemed useful.

After my lead, the discussion started and, after 2-3 people had shared, Tom shared.

You probably know Tom.

Tom has probably visited your meeting.  Maybe Tom is there most every day.

Tom started out sharing about how he was new in town and that he was on his way back to Afghanistan and was in more pain than was humanly possible to conceive and (now sort of dancing around the back of the room) was tired of sleeping in the cold but he got here from Louisiana by way of Selma and Chicago and St. Louis and got a bus ticket from Kansas City to Denver where he had a job but then his tools got ripped off because he was a great stone worker and then he was headed on the bus to work at a stone quarry where they were going to give him new tools in the south but because of some behavior problems on the bus he was pulled off and hassled (not his fault, mind you) and told that he had to wait 24 hours to continue his trip because they wanted to see him less manic and then he realized that he'd left his grandfather's wallet and other valuables on the seat of the bus and...

Tom would occasionally slip and swear and then he'd catch himself and apologize and then congratulate himself about not swearing much.

After he'd gone on for about 8-9 minutes (I was deeply engaged in meditation with my eyes closed when I realized one of the members of the group was nudging me and asking me "what should we do?"), one of the members of this group interrupted him and asked him to wrap up and sit down.  After another 2-3 minutes and increasingly stern requests, Tom shut up and found a chair in the middle of the room where he remained twitchy and, with great flair, picked items off the literature table and went for coffee 2-3 times.

Tom may or may not have been high or loaded and, it was clear, he might have had problems other than alcoholism.

I was so proud of this group, I could have just hugged them all...

It was a good meeting.  Several folks shared useful insights, experiences and, perspectives on the 11th step in their lives.

Many of us shared after the meeting that "...there but by the grace of God go I..."

About 2/3 of the way through the meetings, Tom interrupted again and said "...I just want to say I love AA..."

Me too...

4 comments:

Syd said...

I think that I know Tom, not in all his manifestations, but in the essence of his dysfunctionality.

Mary Christine said...

Me too...

Steve E. said...

There is not much more to say than, "Me, too."

Scott said...

I know Tom... and love him and AA also...