Thursday, March 5, 2009
Friday 3/6/09 - SNAPSHOTS OF RECOVERY
I got sober at the 24 hour club in town about 20 minutes from my house by car. There was a meeting in a church two blocks from my house. I was afraid to go there. I was suffering the damages to my self-esteem which had never been very high and were brought even lower by the degradations of active alcoholism. I finally worked up the courage to go to a meeting there. A very vivid memory remains of women talking together in groups after the meeting. I remember clearly the thoughts that for a long time prevented me from approaching them. They looked so happy as they chatted and I heard myself whispering in my head, "If you approach them, you will ruin their good time. You will bring them down." Thank God, I continued to attend that meeting, my recovery continued and I improved slowly to the point where I did join in their conversations. They, of course, welcomed me. After a time, I became comfortable with being with my new friends.
(1 1/2 years)
I was always one who talked in AA meetings from the beginning. After about a year and a half a man I knew from meetings said in a kind, gentle, smiling way, "You finally make sense when you talk." This statement has stuck with me all these years for several reasons:
1. At the time I had no idea how little sense I made, how confused I was. I needed this insight.
2. I knew this man would never have said this if he hadn't known I had progressed enough to hear it.
3. It was wonderful to know I belonged, others understood me, and they sometimes saw me more clearly than I could see myself.
4. I felt total acceptance. I was accepted as an alcoholic seeking sobriety whether I made sense or not.
I was divorced and living with my two children. I was struggling to build a firm AA foundation, be a single parent, make financial ends meet, work, and then suddenly a hernia developed that required surgery. I was so fearful at that time that something might happen to me if I went under anesthesia that I opted to have the surgery with a local anesthetic. (I did this, but would NEVER do it again.) My parents came to help out after the surgery. At that time, I had a home group that I had been a part of for about 3 1/2 years. I will never forget what happened after the surgery when I was recovering at home. A bouquet of beautiful, brightly colored balloons with GET WELL SOON printed on them were delivered. They were sent by the members of my home group. I could not believe they took the thought, time, and effort to do this for me. I was filled with gratitude and overwhelmed with love.
I was about 5 years sober when I attended a work-related conference in Chicago. I was having personal relationship problems at the time and was very sad and confused. I found a noon meeting in a downtown Chicago location near the hotel. As I entered the room, only one other person had arrived and he was setting up the meeting room. I introduced myself as a member of AA and a visitor. I will never forget the moment when this man asked me if I wanted to chair the meeting. Tears come to my eyes just thinking of this because:
1. I was feeling so low and this offer lifted my spirits.
2. God must have been totally in charge as this man had absolutely no idea who I was, what I might say, or how I would chair the meeting.
3. I felt that total love, understanding, and acceptance that exists among recovering alcoholics.
I was sober quite a while and still no one asked me to sponsor them. This worried me. I worried what was wrong with me. I worried about my AA recovery. I knew that fear and worry were close friends of mine. I thought about this often and finally came to the conclusion that God was in charge of this part of my program just as He was in charge of everything else in my life. Why? Because I had turned my will over to Him when I finally got sober. I had been seeing a counselor since before I got sober and for several years after getting sober. I respected and loved her a great deal and knew that God had put her in my life. One day she told me she was seeing another woman in counseling and that she was newly sober. She asked if I would sponsor her. This would be my first. That's how God began my sponsorship life. I immediately said yes and this lady and I met. I took her through the steps and sponsored her for many years until she died several years ago from a medical condition. My joy in sponsoring has grown over the years and every time someone asks me to help them, I hear God Calling.
I don't ever want to forget these wonderful moments in my journey through sobriety. Each one and all the people involved are precious to me.
God bless you precious bloggers,
(Photo credit: Lee1959)