By the time Friday rolled around, I had quit my bitching and accepted the fact that this was a different convention. I was the one with the problem, not the convention. Hmmmm, funny, really. After that I had a super time and learned more about myself than I was expecting. Here are some insights:
1. I tend to evaluate my present by judging my past, i.e. by this I mean when I speak about how great life is today it is always in reference to how crappy life used to be when I was drinking. I need to work on that. This kind of thinking can set me in an emotional tailspin. I was illuminated by Pat D., from Derry, Ireland. A very nice man, and, like all of us, deeply flawed.
2. I do not let people into my life where it counts. I can open up the surface of things and spout the talk, but my heart is closed to all but a few. I can change this too, if I want it.
3. The focus of the convention was “Where we came from” and “Helping Others”. By this I mean that AA started with Bill W. helping Dr. Bob, just two drunks helping each other. In the second subject it comes down excelling at one job, rather than trying to work several jobs somewhat well. Tradition 5 was a large subject as was the spectre of diluting the message by pandering to rehabs and drug addicts. We must be firm in this resolve, and help who we are able to help. This is not ‘Addictions Anonymous’. “Shoemaker, stick to thy last!” The reason why NA doesn’t work as well is because too many addicts are not being pushed to keep it strong and spread the message of recovery from drugs. It is also AAs fault that we allow them to come to the meetings. As Bill said, allow them the experience, strength, and hope, and politely show them the door, pointing them in a direction where they can find the help they need.
4. Do not believe the statistics about AA. These are numbers put together by outside groups with a reason all their own, and it’s probably money.
So lots to think about. I’ll write more later. I have jet lag. Here are two pictures, one of Tossa de Mar from a hill overlooking the town, and another of the Hotel Golden Bahia pool area. My room did not overlook the pool.