In Toronto some recovery groups in churches have reopened for f2f meetings, all adhering, as much as possible to safety protocols. Many of the other usual places i.e. community centres, hospitals – have been slower at reopening for user groups of any sort. There are rumours that community centres will be reopening in October, at the earliest. This depends on the return to school over the next couple of weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a return to more restrictions.
I haven’t taken advantage of these reopened recovery meetings. I’m happy with the zoom community that allows for easy attendance – no transit to deal with for one thing. Social distancing is easy to maintain & one can mute a member easily 🙂 No more leaving the room to silence them.
I went to my first f2f meeting meeting haven been asked to speak there – a twenty minute talk about my recovery experience. It was within walking distance & I timed my departure to arrive just as the meeting started. There was sign in for contact tracing & hand sanitizer at the door. Chairs were placed for social distancing. Some members were masked a couple were not. I kept mine on. The first participant berated the unmasked for defying protocols & they didn’t bat an eyelash. The others, when they participated removed their masks to speak then put them back on. This made sense to me so when I did my little talk I did the same.
After a very brief look at my drinking history I focused on a line in the Big Book ‘we will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.’ There is a difference between intuitive knowing & automatic reflex. One thing I’ve discovered is that if I am baffled I should do nothing rather than respond because I’m afraid to admit I’m unsure – to be unsure is admit I’m stupid, incapable etc.
I wasn’t sure what to do about the unmasked but knew my primary purpose there was to share my experiences not lecture on masks. Social distance was kept & I was thanked by some for talking about living the steps today & note dragging them through a drunk-a-log.
At my zoom meetings many are longing for the social context of face-to-face, I am not one of those. I certainly enjoy that context but am content not having to deal with indoor social distancing & dealing with people only via eye contact.
from October 2015
It’s a SOCA convention
a man in a rust-red tweed sport coat
riches out his hand
‘are you here for the convention’
it’s my hotel but not my problem
though I am awake & out before 9 a.m.
not hungover or looking to score
the schooners around me are boats
not beer glasses
in some brassy sports bar
I know about recovery
rooms of people sitting in circles
rounds of support
restless feet in black shoes
where they end by
they want to show me mercy
but I don’t want to hold their hands
joining in that circle
won’t bring me into their lives
one is the loneliest number
who has one rusty nail
sees one snow flake
though no two flakes are identical
I am recovering like them
but I don’t enter their circle
won’t make snow angels with them
I felt the itch that induced SOCA
but never scratched it that way
he reaches out his hand
I say ‘not here for the conference’
and sail out into the morning
not ready for conformity
(SOCA – Southern Ontario Cocaine Anonymous)
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