29 November 2020
26 November 2020
All of us, together and separately, have said of others and of ourselves, that anyone can make it. But in our hearts we doubt we can, at times each of us has doubted, been filled with doubt. Because we know, too well we know, that many can't.
All we are left with, sometimes, is hope and puzzlement: Recovery's Enigma.
A certain faith and an uncertain doubt are intertwined and from it a fabric both coarse and fine is woven.
So much of life a mystery and difficult and sometimes impossible to understand. Yet in moments distant and too close to us, at times we understand the very fabric of our lives and others can be torn apart.
We must work together to repair the damaged sail when the storm has calmed and we have taken measure of our losses and our gains. A thousand generations have brought us all this far. And by now we have learned that beyond the far horizon, soon another day will appear. We do our best to keep this ship in good repair, even knowing every day a multitude will die and a birth of plentitude will provide new menders who will tend to right our course.
Recovery's Enigma, that anyone can make it, yet many don't, becomes a good thing, not because in itself that it is good, but in our knowing we can make it right. Through learned strength and shared courage we continue to long, endure our struggles and to make life good. Move on. Move forward.
I don't know why I awoke in the middle of the night and felt compelled to write this. Somehow, the far horizon had become today, half a thousand years behind us and untold futures lie ahead.
I won't drink to that, to all of this, but I will pause.
Give thanks, be kind. There are many storms ahead. This is but one day for thanksgiving, with many more ahead. Give thanks. I'm going back to bed.
11 November 2020
Thanks to a Jan T. (I will protect her Anonymity), today I was reminded of my last Alcoholics Anonymous Sponsor (someone who, like you, is in Recovery and offers a helping hand and Guidance so that you may find another sober day). He lived a long, productive and honored life and maintained and flourished with over 60 years of continuous sobriety. He died sober and thanks to him, that is my best intention.
When I first got sober, the first 8 years were endless repetitions of relapse and recovery. One man did for me what a battery of doctors, therapists and psychiatrists were unable to do (partly, of course, due to my inability to following their best advice).
My Sponsor, M.M., after a deluge of discussions, one day, when I was completely perplexed and didn't know what to do next, offered me a small bit of advice that changed and likely saved my life. To paraphrase, he offered that when I don't know what to do next to gain another day of sobriety, I should help someone else. It's a Win/Win situation. Helping them in whatever way possible helps both of you.
My experience has confirmed this to be true. In a larger sense, each generation passes the mantle on to their successors. And so, life goes on.
Back to Jan T. (from the first sentence of this post): Jan got to know me through one of the many Recovery Groups I belong to on Facebook. She liked my posts and is currently reading the book of recovery I wrote, despite the fact that I've never met her in person. Today, she sent me a personal message saying verbatim:
He's talking to his disease
That is insane.
I declare myself insane - [smiley face, laughing till you cry face]"
I replied to her: "It's an eye-opener for people who have never had a substance use disorder!
HERE'S WHERE SHE KNOCKED ME OVER with a flood of memories of the life of the man who had saved my life. She shared with me that she had sent a passage from my book to a friend this very morning. If I understand correctly, the passage she sent her friend was about people who shut others out of their life simply to see who might persist to open that door.
Jan told me that her friend contacted her within minutes.
She concluded with a "Thank you, Jim."
When Jan reads this post, I'm hoping that she will understand that helping someone else is a Win/Win situation and in this case, a Win/Win/Win/Win situation (if you get my drift).
JAN! THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME FIND ANOTHER DAY SOBER.
I say this truly, thanks!
Do nothing, stay trapped.
DO GOOD, GET WELL SOONER.
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." - All Drinking Aside, p. 269.