Saturday, August 20, 2016

Unity Eve

Tomorrow is the annual Unity Day Picnic that our local fellowship puts on to mark the end of the term of that year's Activities and Events Subcommittee. This year, A&E had some successes, but also some fiascoes, and in general the rhetoric being tossed about this time last summer about how much better "a new approach" seems kind of a cruel mockery now.
I wasn't involved on the subcommittee, so I don't know why turned out to be the way it turned out to be. But I also know that this year will likely be different; the new chairperson is the same person that was chair a few years ago, the one time when I was involved with this committee, and I'm already looking forward to helping out again. There's something to be said for individuals who have a lot of drive and energy, but also have an ability to compromise and effectively delegate tasks and authority. I thought this person did well in her previous term as chair, and I see no reason to think it will be different this time around.
And I'm glad to be invested in the fellowship again. I've been writing frequently recently about my renewed commitment to the program, and I feel much more a part of the fellowship than I have for a couple of years. It's almost amusing, and a bit amazing to me, to be regarded, without irony, as one of the "predecessors" of the fellowship now (I like that term so much better than "old-timer"). It's a rare meeting anymore when there are more than two or three other people there whose arrival predates mine. And with the amount of experience and clean time comes a certain cachet. Not everyone with a ton of time generates or is held in  respect, but in most cases, we are, and I am proving to be no exception. One of the unexpected developments of the recent opiate epidemic in the area is that people that have managed to put together long periods of clean time are held in reverence, even awe,  by a whole lot of younger people that cannot keep it down for long periods. I don't necessarily feel that it is totally deserved; my drug of choice wasn't physically addicting, and I didn't even try to get clean until my mid-30's, a lot later in my life than a lot of those people that are in the rooms how. But I'd be lying if I told you that it didn't feel good, that the respect given the predecessors doesn't contribute to my feeling comfortable again. And the best part of having so many newer members is that they are much less judgmental than some of the members that have been here for a while. I'm well aware that I do not work a perfect program, and I have become much more tolerant of the flaws in other people's programs, too, in the last few years. But there is a frequent undercurrent in the fellowship of people that pass judgment and thus discount the positive aspects we all bring to the table. I'm not pointing fingers and or saying it's a terminal issue; I'm well aware that I engaged in that tendency up until a few years ago. But it's nice to have people around that see who I am through the lenses of what I am doing now and have been for the last year or two--because that's all they've been around long enough to see.
The logistics of tomorrow may be somewhat difficult. I won't be out of work until after 9 AM, and it starts at noon. I need some sleep tomorrow, because I have my home group at 6 and another night of work tomorrow night before the work week concludes. But I am sure that if I can get three hours of sleep, I can do all right. And I intend to have fun while doing it.

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