I have been reading some AA blogs, after a near slip late last month, and attending meetings. I've had near slips before but this one rocked me to the core, I was so close, I could taste it. I started having drinking dreams, I knew it was time to do something. So I am grateful for two blogs I have discovered, Syd's and Steve's, as well as Mary's wonderful blog, which helped me get through this latest patch.
I left a comment on Steve's blog about one of my first sponsors, and have been thinking about him a lot the past few days. He's long gone, he was in his late 70's when he was my sponsor, but to me he was not only a sponsor, but like a grandfather as well.
I was sitting in the 24 hour club on a Saturday night, trying to get sober. It was during an open meeting, but it might have been a men's only meeting. I don't know, I was the only female there, but they didn't tell me to leave. An elderly man was speaking, telling his story. I sat there entralled, like it was listening to Scherazade herself spin a story. It was a story of a man who got sober by the help of his first sponsor, a man most famous for a little book he once wrote about his own drinking.
His actual story has long been erased from my mind, by ECT , but what I recall of it, was my sponsor was half drunk in an AA room listening to a speaker. For some reason everything the speaker was saying touched a nerve in him, he sat there listening, and had his epiphamy, if he kept on drinking, he would loose his wife, his children, his job, and if he really hit bottom, his life. His drinking, the way he drank, his black outs, even the poison of his choice was identical to the speakers. At the end of the meeting, the speaker came up to my sponsor, then a very young man in his 30's and talked to him a bit more and at the end of the night, my sponsor walked out of the meeting with the speaker, who became his first sponsor, and a phone number. He never touched a drink again, so motivated he was by the speaker and his story.
My sponsor was a former English professor at Rutgers. He was a widower when I met him, his children were out of the state. He would go to AA meetings every other day, was a sponsor to two other men, including the one one who ran the 24 hour club, and was involved in local politics. Every Sunday he would take me to a Chinese restaurant in Trenton, introducing me to the waiters as his "adopted" granddaughter; and indeed when I was in the hospital with the DT's, he brought me Chinese take out for my first meal I could eat. After a period of time, I got a female sponsor, but I continued on with two sponsors, so fragile was my sobriety, I felt I needed two for that first year. After two years, I stayed on with the woman, and he and I stayed as friends, constantly working together in local politics for our congressman, and offering me tips and advice over weekly Chinese or Diner food every Sunday after a meeting.
The speaker that changed my sponsor's life was Charles Jackson, a name which probably doesn't mean anything anymore. But he got my first sponsor sober, he wrote one heck of a book and left a great film noir for the ages. Not to shabby for life.
Here is a clip from the great film noir, "The Lost Weekend", one of several books that Charles Jackson wrote during his lifetime. I wish they still made movies like this.