09 October 2007


Throughout my sobriety, I've had the good fortune to be asked to speak frequently. The first time I spoke was for a former high school teacher of mine who had 8 months of sobriety. The day I was to speak was my 89th day of sobriety and he nearly panicked when he realized that I had less than the required 90 days. The most recent time I spoke was Sunday, for the third time in a week. In between I've probably averaged speaking once a month or so, which makes a total of almost 200 times.

I enjoy speaking. I enjoyed it less in the beginning than I do now. But even early on, for whatever reason, I didn't get particularly nervous. These days I look forward to it with a kind of eager anticipation. There's a certain edge to the feeling, but it's not the same as being nervous. It's more that I want very much to have a positive impact on people's sobriety. Not on everyone, but just on one or two or, if I'm really lucky, a few. Whether they're new to the program and not sure they belong, or have been around longer than I have and are wondering, "Is this all there is?" I always pray that my Higher Power put the right words in my mouth and that someone get something out of whatever words come out of my mouth.

I only planned what I wanted to say once. I felt completely ineffective that time and no one came up afterward to say anything that might have dissuaded me from that opinion. I've seen others plan what they're going to say and make it work, but that's not for me. Not that I don't think about what I'm going to say. I usually—if I have enough advance notice—spend a lot of time thinking about it. Then in the event, some of the things I've thought about come out and others don't. Afterwards, I normally have thoughts like "I should have said this…" and "I wish I'd said that…" but I've learned to just let those thoughts go.

My story always comes out different—different from any thoughts I might have had about how it would go, and different from any time I've told it before. I usually feel pretty good about how things went when I'm done. One or two people will normally approach me who have obviously been affected, in a good way, by what I've said. It's gratifying and I'm grateful that the experience nearly always has a positive effect on me, and usually on one or two others as well.


The Discovering Alcoholic said...

A few weeks back you had asked me about a graphic I had posted. At the time, I didn't have an answer... now I do.

Take care.


Namenlosen Trinker said...

Thanks, Discovering! I look forward to exploring more about Bunky and his concepts. I am familiar with the name, but can't quite put my finger on how I know it...

Katia said...

I am in awe of people who can get up there and share their message/story. Its torture for me to just raise my hand and put one coherent sentence together. I hate it, but I know I have to. My heart starts to race and my palms get sweaty, and one I am called on, my mind goes blank (or worse yet, everything runs in together and everything comes out like goooo).

Have a great day!