Wednesday, March 27, 2024


 I'm thinking about connections this week, the gift of our shared histories and recoveries - like Dr Bob said after meeting Bill that first time, "He talked my language." How many times have I heard a complete stranger say what I'm feeling? How many times does someone share something that lights a flame in me, or triggers an insight? 

A good friend and her husband are moving out of state. I say "good friend" though this isn't someone I've hung out with all that much. But we've been in various Step Groups together over the years, have socialized, and have shared many, many meetings together, and deep conversations - that intimacy we can have in Program where we weave in and out of each other's lives. Connections.

I'm also thinking of a small group that meets online every 2 weeks, starting for a good friend's 30th anniversary during the pandemic. The wonders of technology let us stay connected from multiple cities across the country, where if left to our own devices, we might see each other once a year. Connections.

The Big Book says "We are normally people who would not mix." What I like to say in response to that is, "I would've drank with any of you," and we might've been best friends by the end of the evening, or the end of the bottle or bag. I still cringe when I think of my ex and I getting chummy with the out-of-town band at one of our local spots, inviting them over the next night to party Portland-style. Oh man, did the next morning's hangover have us saying, "What did we do?" followed by a phone call to back out of our offer. Embarrassing, but we knew we'd never see these people again, so what the heck. I/we had lots of grand plans in those days - the brilliant ideas of the sitting-on-the-barstool variety that never, ever came to pass. I am still and always grateful to wake up clear headed each morning, remembering what I did the day before and with whom. 

My spouse and I made it through the big rummage sale this past weekend, a little bit richer, a little less in the garage, sharing laughter along the way. Knowing it could be a dicey time, we started each morning with the Serenity Prayer and our intention to go with the flow. Interesting, isn't it, to actually talk about what is, or might be, going on rather than relying on mind reading? Ha! I will also say that being in recovery has taught me how to comfortably talk with strangers, thus I made a couple of sale-pals as we counted down the hours. I also paid attention to the still, small voice that was not so still and not so small when it shouted, "Get out of here!" on Sunday. Because a friend was there to help out, I was able to take an introvert's break, catch the bus home for a quiet couple of hours, and return refreshed and ready to load out when the time came. Thank you, Program tools. Thank you "to thine own self be true." Sometimes the connection is with myself. 

What are the connections that feed you today, whether particular meetings or particular people? How do you honor the connection to your higher self when the busy world wants to distract you? Is there a potential disruption to your path that could be averted with a conversation?

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Ready for an inventory or small group discussion? Check out my workbook "I've Been Sober a Long Time - Now What?" with 78 pages of topics, member's views, and processing questions. (See the Jan 13, 2023 post for a sample.) Available in PDF format ($12.95) for those of you outside the US (or who prefer that format) or hardcopy ($19.95 mailed to you). Email me at with questions.  You can order from the WEB VERSION of this page, payment link on top right. Note that the workbook is also available at Portland Area Intergroup at 825 NE 20th 

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