At my men’s meeting on Wednesday, Rich took the chair. He’s been sober a little over a year, maybe a year and a half. He’s a little older than me, with a wife. He’s doing well. He’s a quiet guy, and seems to work a good program. When he sat in front to lead the meeting, he started with, “I don’t have anything profound to say.” Then he talked about his life for a few minutes and opened up the meeting to discussion.
And I thought, was a marvelous way to start a meeting. Nothing profound. When I drank, I always had something profound to say. Before I drank, I always had something profound to say. I loved to hear myself talk. I read Kafka and Dostoevsky and Camus and Hesse. I studied classical music and traveled and blah blah blah. If anyone was talking about these things, I thought it was crucial that I contribute my experience and opinion.
In sobriety I’ve tried to temper that a bit. I’m still self-important and puffed up. I assume that people care about my internal world. Hell, if I didn’t why would I write a blog instead of a diary? The whole point is that other people might read and benefit from my thoughts. Blogging is an inherently egotistical act.
But it’s a relief not to feel like I have to be the smartest or the wisest or the loudest. At work I am a small cog in a big machine. In AA I am a guy who sits in a chair and talks for 3 minutes an hour. I don’t have a lot to contribute other than my presence and my narrow range of expertise. I try to be thoughtful. That’s not the same as profound.
A life of sobriety, live the AA way, tends to be a relatively simple life. At least from an emotional and spiritual perspective, I think. I try to relax. Accept things. Let go of things. When I don’t lie so much, I have fewer troubles to confront. When I’m kind to people, I make friends. When I say what I mean and I do what I say, things tend to work themselves out. Life can be simple if I let it be. There’s nothing profound about it. There doesn’t need to be.