Thursday, July 08, 2010

An Intimate Gathering of 50,000

So “Why?” I’ve been asked, “Would you go to Texas in the summer to spend five days with 50,000 people?”

Simple answer: Because they are 50,000 sober people.

Better answer: Because with 20-plus years of sobriety I can sometimes begin to think I know some stuff; I can sometimes feel like a senior member of my group; I can smile knowingly at newcomers and I can forget that I am just at the beginning of making a sober and sane life.

But in San Antonio I was a baby again. Yes there were folks there with one year or maybe 5 five years but the typical attendee had 10 to 20 years of recovery. The speakers had 18, 28, 38 and 52 years of sobriety. One evening five speakers each had more than 40 years. Folks with that kind of history have been sober long enough to change careers several times, have more than one marriage or divorce or death –in sobriety. They have seen AA change and they have changed. They have had many sponsors and home groups and sponsees and worked the steps a variety of ways and their immersion and transformation shows.

Being with those folks doesn’t make me more sober or make time move faster but it is a powerful reminder that there are lots of people who still have what I want and it makes me recommit to this life out of the woods.

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