You can work it. Health and happiness begin when you work your program of recovery.
A guest post by an anonymous contributor.
We would sit in the back of the room on the floor, behind the rows of chairs. The carpet was blue, hence the name, “the blue room”. The building and room are still there. Recently, they stopped having meetings there. Many years ago, the blue carpet was removed and replaced with laminate flooring.
We sat on the carpet, near the back wall, close to the table where the coffee pot sat and sometimes a box of donuts or cookies. We would quietly joke about the clichés of meetings. Old-timers who seemed to love the sound of their own voices would repeat certain phrases over and over again.
We developed a game where we would drop something on the floor every time we heard one of these over-used phrases. I don’t remember what object we would drop, though it was probably the white chips we collected for, “an honest desire to get clean, just for today.”, “meeting makers make it.”
“Keep coming back.”, “take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.”, “90 in 90”, “Don’t use no matter what”, “Let go, let God”, “work the steps or die”. There were so many. I don’t remember most of them anymore, but my friend and I, at the time, became masters, learning every phrase. We entertained ourselves, making fun of the meetings and these people who took themselves way too seriously.
I don’t know what ever became of my friend. We eventually lost touch when she found new friends and seemed to disappear from the meetings we both used to go to. Maybe it was wrong to sit in the back, quietly making fun of 12-step meetings and laughing at the ridiculous overused phrases.
At the end of every meeting, they would close by gathering in a circle and saying a prayer together. Sometimes it was the “We version of the Serenity Prayer”. I thought they were saying, “Wee”. I wondered what the full version of the prayer sounded like. Then, they would say, “It works if you work it so work it your worth it.”
This chant at the end sounded funny to me. It sounded like something that evolved over time. I wondered if the ending chant would grow more in the future. I imagined them adding, “And work it, and work it, the more that you work it, it works so go work it.”, or something like that.
The funny thing about it is that strange and funny sayings that are repeated over and over again stick in your head. It is almost like brain washing. In fact, I remember once a man saying, “This program is about brain washing, but my brain needed a good washing.”
While I no longer go to meetings, I have fond memories of the frequent repetition of these recovery clichés. I sort of miss them and I wonder what great new sayings the groups have come up with since I’ve been gone.
Thank you for all of the supportive emails regarding this post! I have passed them along to the author who greatly appreciates them.