Talking about Wheelchair Jerry got me thinking about The Clubhouse. I got sober there, my brother took me to my first meeting there in 1997. I had been holed up for 6 months before that unable to leave the house except to get booze- paranoid, drunk, panicky I don't remember much of that time but things had gotten progressively worse for the previous 10 years and then the final year was a spirally downward plummet. Like a plane falling out of the sky.
Fast forward 2 years. I'm still sober and I'm selling raffle tickets at the Club House- the tickets are $50 each- more than most people here can afford. I sell to groups of 5- "share a ticket for $10". I sell my tickets quickly but I'm also in quite a few of those groups of 5. If I can only get 4 people together I would throw in the other $10 myself. It was a $10,000 cash prize- nothing to sneeze at. The other $10,000 will go to fix the roof- 6 years later that roof still isn't fixed- go figure where the money went. Anyway, one of the many tickets I was in on was with Bones and three others. The night they drew the ticket, they had a dance(there's always a dance in recovery) Our ticket won. We split the pot- $2,000 each. None of the other ticket holder were at the dance that night. At around 11:00 pm the manager lead to the back room. the opened the safe and started to count out $2,000 in 20 dollar bills.
"You're going to give me 100 20 dollar bills?" I asked somewhat surprised.
"Well, yea, how else would you propose we do it?" Was the response.
I was wearing a green army pants and as I left the back room that Saturday night my loose pockets were full of money. I stepped out into the main room of our dark, beat up smokey recovery club house and 200 plus people looked at me with envy. With my pockets bulging from the 20 dollar bills every ne'er-do-well, thief, drunk, drug addict, prostitute, delinquent, punk, pedophile, rapist parolee staring at me and my new found wealth.
"I'll tell you what" Bobby V said surveying the situation-
"you walk slowly to your car and I'll make sure no one follows you."
I walked, as casually as I could, to my car with all eyes on me. As I drove home I kept watch in the rear view mirror to make sure no beat up car with whiskey dings was behind me.
Why the paranoia if these people are trying to quit drinking and drugging? There is a saying that many people have in recovery. You don't have to get good to get better
Which reminds me of another story...