My brother was the troublemaker. My sister was the smart one. And I was the family’s “fragile flower.” The stories swapped at holiday dinners reinforced our identities, and as we grew up, we were true to them. My brother got into drugs. My sister got into law school, and I became sickly.
I am torn between wishing there were more men at meetings and then not feeling comfortable sharing when men do come to meetings. There are all kinds of things I don’t want to share in mixed company, and breast cancer is one of them. I have arrived at an age when my friends are starting to get diagnosed.
Somebody please help me, I’m talking too much. The people in my meeting love everything we do: cooking, talking, learning, talking, eating, talking, walking, talking. Actually, listening is something we could all do more of, but meetings are so exciting and we all have so much to say.
Fortunately I’d been attending Suppers meetings for a while and knew what to expect. When the discussion drifted into turbulent waters, I knew that the facilitator would draw us back into a safe setting – this is the facilitator’s number one responsibility.
Suppers is my shelter. I have heard that advertisers know just how to push your low self-esteem button to get you to buy their products. I’m very vulnerable to these messages. There must be twenty bottles in my bathroom representing fear-based purchases to tighten my jowls, touch up my roots, or whiten my teeth.
Our Suppers group has been struggling to interpret the boundaries around promotion. In the opening, it clearly requires us to “refrain from the promotion of any particular diet, product, or service.”
In the ten years of research and experiments that led to the program design for Suppers, remaining flexible and open was always a priority. With many years of Al Anon woven into my fiber, I believed in the therapeutic value of sharing experiences in safe settings, knowing I would not be judged. The active practice of nonjudgment became one of the few inflexible characteristics of the program, right up there with the focus on whole food preparation.
One of the things I like best about shopping in the produce section of our local organic food store is that there are no visual assaults. No packages with lists of ingredients, no health claims, no plastic signs helping me make my decisions based on someone else’s profit motive. The only messages are little paper signs telling me how many miles it took to bring each item to market. Bin after bin, red, orange, green, the vegetables and fruits are perfectly fresh if not perfectly formed.
You know how, when you learn something new, the whole world seems to be about that one thing? Well, for me, the world is all about that beet slaw.
I never cooked a meal in my life, but I probably made 10,000 pots of coffee. So when I heard that line, “If you can make a pot of coffee, you can make a pot of soup,” it made cooking sound possible. I made my first soup in an agency kitchen where I spent a lot of time coming back to life after getting sober.