I am home from my road trip and all I can say is Thank GOD!
The trip to Midland was uneventful. There was some rain but nothing freezing. I was cold but the roads were clear. The conference was held in the Clarion in Midland. I am here to tell you -DON’T STAY IN THE CLARION IN MIDLAND!!! My first room I was in for a total of an hour. I called the front desk about 10 times. The only thing that worked in the room was the air conditioner. They assured me as soon as they could get to it they would send maintenance to fix it. They were explaining to me that many of the rooms had the same problem as mine and they were working just as hard as they could to get them fixed. It’s pretty amazing that when I went to get my badge and conference packet that all the maintenance people were in their little office with their feet up having coffee. I went to the desk and said ‘ok – give me another room or a refund – I need warmth!’ They did give me another room. Pack up and move again. The heat was working and it felt wonderful. The rooms had the small coffeemakers. Beside the coffee maker were the mugs with dirty well used paper towels in them. OMG, blech. I made sure all the coffee I drank was from the AA hospitality room. This conference has been in the making since last fall. You would think that the hotel would at least have been somewhat prepared for the appearance of people from all over the United States in their facility.
The AA Speakers were wonderful. I especially enjoyed yesterday mornings speaker, Polly from California. She was witty and wonderful and an inspiration to me. I picked up a couple of CD’s, but not of this conference, but two nuns in recovery. I listened to them in the cd player on the way home. They were so funny. And proof that if JUST believing in God were enough, there would be no need for Alcoholics Anonymous. Those gals had more faith going in than I’ve ever had.
I saw a few old friends…..very few. Many had moved, many more had died. Some of them had simply disappeared. My first and favorite sponsor was one of the dead. She used to listen to me rant and rave and throw fits. Then she would say…..’well, you know you can do what ever you have to do, but I suggest you pray about that.’ Pray? PRAY??? Pray hell, I’ve got real problems!!! She was wonderful. She was a good 20 years older than me. She was funny, beautiful and a real flashy dresser. I would say “Sue, you are so beautiful, what is your secret?” She said, “If it doesn’t look a little whoreish…..don’t wear it!” I chose this woman to be my sponsor on something she said from the podium the first time I met her. She said “I was a daily drunk and a periodic marryier.” I thought “I’VE FOUND A SPONSOR!!!”
The truth is this. We suffer from a fatal malady. Over 90% of all people who have alcoholism die from it before ever having any kind of treatment at all. The rest of us are just a bunch of walking miracles.