so there is the woman in our home group who can't get more than five days of sobriety in a row. she does well for a few days, then bottoms out.

there is a long and short of it and she called me yesterday, after she had picked up a drink. i talked to her and said i needed to make a few phone calls before i called her back, because she just kept saying that nobody would talk to her and "penni, you HAVE TO HELP ME!"

i called s, a man who i respect and admire and is a walking big book; i called i, who is her temporary sponsor, and i called wendy, my sponsor. they all basically echoed the same thing -- call me before you drink because i cannot help you after -- except for wendy, who added the words, "pen, say to her 'it is clear to me that you would rather drink than be sober....' over and over again, in different variations, because are talking to the alcohol and not the person." i wanted to talk with folks with a strong sobriety because the last thing i want to do is say/do the wrong thing that may have mislead her.

another friend in my homegroup picked her up and brought her to a 7pm meeting. as soon as she saw me, she sat next to me and held my hand. yes, she was drunk. she reeked from her pores and about 10 minutes after she sat, i ushered her outside because she was talking in a very loud whisper and i didn't want to disrupt the meeting.

she is sick and she is suffering.

got a voice mail message from her today that she was having a tough day but was sipping tea and being kind to herself. i realize i can do no more for her unless she wants to put down her sword. she has to want it and not give it lip service. she has to have the willingness and the action behind it.

however -- and here is where i step up and onto my soapbox -- in talking to another friend of bill's today that is now a good friend of mine and attended the same meeting last night, she said "who was that last night?" i said her name and explained she was in my home group in the mornings. "oh, so you knew her?"


"she was so obnoxious -- what was the matter with her?"

honestly, i could scarcely believe the question -- i mean, we are all alcoholics, attending a closed meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous -- i said "she was loaded."

"she was disruptive and obnoxious," as she shook her head...

i was dumbstruck, but only momentarily.

"hey A -- when we say as we are locking our hands before the Lord's prayer 'Let's have a moment of silence for the still sick and suffering, both in and out of the rooms,' -- what exactly is that supposed to mean? only the sick and suffering that keep it to themselves? that step into the room in a neat package?"

she just looked at me.

no wonder people are so freaking scared to stop drinking. they feel if they fuck up, they are going to be judged. but not by me. i am not fond of talking to you while you are inebriated. i did what i felt was the next right thing last night -- had a meeting outside of the meeting to help another alcoholic -- and i will still have boundaries in place. but if she came in again in the same condition and asked me to sit with her, i would still do it. please -- i know i need to protect my sobriety and i work hard to do so. but i for one don't expect everyone who walks into the rooms of AA to have it as together as someone who has been sober for years.

hell, i'd rather have the sobriety of the drunk i was helping last night who today, is trying to get just one day than the attitude of someone with however many months clean.


/end soapbox.

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