From an AA meeting in Iraq
In truth, the week of February 23, there was no meeting for the first time in the modern era. Most of the military personnel that were here have redeployed. There are still a couple military people, and a couple of us contractors who haven't had the sense to go home, but this past week, March 1st, we had a good turnout, 5 contractors and 1 soldier, even though we had to scramble at the last minute to find a new room as our regular room is again being used as a store room.
We talked about relationships, a subject much reviled in some circles especially among the bleeding deacon types mentioned in the 12 & 12. But the Big Book tells us that our relations with our Higher Power, family and fellow human beings have been ruined, unhealthy or non-existent. In the 12 & 12, it says that the desire for a partnership with another person is one of our basic human instincts, but as an alcoholic, I never met an instinct I couldn't take to an unhealthy extreme. Relationships are fertile ground for fear and resentment, and it has been said that being in a relationship is like throwing gasoline on the fire of our character defects.
Relationships have a lot to do with recovery. Developing a relationship with a Higher Power has kept me sober and brought a guiding force into my life. Finding and working with a sponsor meant learning how to trust and be open with another human being. I had lost the ability to have friends - I always hung out with the friends of the different women I was in relationships with until they became fed up with me, too. Now, thanks to the Program, I have learned how to be a good friend, how to be where I said when I said, how to listen and share honestly. And if I diligently work on my character defects and practice the program's principles in my daily life, I will be much better suited for a true partnership with another human being. I'd like to welcome Heather. She is stationed up north and was at Doha for an afternoon recently.
Take care, everyone, and I hope God's path for you is clearly marked and free of dips and speed bumps. (I know, unreasonable, but a nice sentiment nonetheless.)