Thursday, January 21, 2010

Passing it on...

I had "one of those moments" today.

I have a sponsee who fell and broke his hip a week ago last Friday.  They wheeled him in and screwed the hip back together.  He's doing fine. He sits and marvels in his condo as he watches this train of guys he sponsors, me, other members from several meetings he attends regularly traipse in and out pretty much taking care of his every need.  It's cool to watch.  This is the guy who, 3 years ago and with 20 years in AA, didn't have anyone but me in his phone to call when his life burned down (sudden divorce, etc.).

I was over at his place this afternoon putting spikes on his crutches (yes, for real) since he has to get out and the whole thing of crutches on the ice can be pretty challenging for him.

I was between errands and just sort of dropped in and caught him in the middle of a 5th step with one of his guys.  It's a small place and so I could hear their conversation from the room I was in but we were all "cool" with that.

I caught my breath as I heard my guy say to his "so, you see, it's not just that we had these ideas as to how life was supposed to work but we really believed that our very lives were at stake - our grasp of the use of these character defects was a matter of life and death for us." I could sense that he was quoting, almost verbatim, a conversation we'd first had over 15 years ago.  His guy was "getting it" just the way he "got it."

I sometimes feel inadequate in this AA thing - sponsorship, living in accordance with these principles, my faltering attempts at service, showing up in my life and family as an example of AA working.  The whole deal.  Another blogger has a great zeal and an articulate and clear way of explaining how we have to take these steps "as fast as we can" and that, typically, his guys don't take more than a couple of months to complete their first time through the 12 steps.  I often envy him that.

My busted-up sponsee today took a little over 3 years to complete his 4th step with me.  It took us nearly another 4 years to complete the 5th step - to get to the experience he was sharing with this guy just getting into this deal for the 1st time.

He holds my record for taking the longest.  As you can imagine, there's a long story that goes with why it took that long and it's certainly not how I recommend doing this deal but, what I got as I attended my menial task this afternoon and listened on with tears of gratitude, something profound had happened a while ago and was, this afternoon, happening again.

AA works - it really does.


garden-variety drunk said...

Thank you for your beautiful post and the great reminder that this really does work, again and again

Mary Christine said...

That is a beautiful thing.

Syd said...

I'm glad for you, for him and for each of us who works the steps in God's time.

Mike said...

Thanks for the post.
I had a sponsee who is 15 years sober. He accepted the fact he was an addict but never worked the steps. I ran over them like they were hot, after 15 years I was lucky enough to do the 1st 2nd and 3rd steps with him. He moved some distance away, and I lost touch with him, but I do hope he continues the good work.

Scott W said...

Wow. Miracles in motion!