Hello, Everyone. Whenever something interesting happens in recovery, because of recovery, I always like to take a minute and recognize it. I thought I would share this story with you.
Last week, I heard friend of mine decided she was no longer an alcoholic, and as long as she stayed away from the drugs, she could successfully drink. This depth of self-deception is so common in recovery, it would be ludicrous, if it weren’t also so deadly. It’s so common, in fact, that this same friend’s first sponsor also fell victim to this delusion of drinking like a gentleman. My friend and I spent untold hours swinging on an old porch swing, smoking cigarettes against the backdrop of Houston sunsets, talking of the obsession of some to drug addicts to drink. She swore up and down that she would never forget she was an alcoholic first. And yet, just a year later, she did just that.
Some people may try to stay in contact, remain friends, with those that go back out. I have no interest in doing that. We are people who normally would not mix that find solace in our recovery. Without the recovery to talk about, I am not sure what is left. I don’t want to be friends today with any drug addict that is not trying to clean house, help others, trust God. Do what you want to do, there is no anger or hurt. I’m just not going to sign off on your behavior. Find someone else to do that.
So, I’ve lost a friend to this disease.
Then, a few days later, I was walking out the door to a local 9:30 meeting when my phone alerted me to a comment on my blog (If you click the “Shotgun Writing” tab and scroll down to the bottom, you will see it). Rebecca was my roommate when I lived in Boston. I was in a terrible place in my disease. I was envious of her. She was vibrant, and lovely, and intelligent, and amazing (And she still is). Our friendship dissolved one night when my barbed tongue spat opinions that I had no right to voice. I said things that one cannot simply take back the next day. She was hurt and angry, and I could not/cannot blame her. My behavior was atrocious.
But somehow she came across my blog. And decided to say hello. At first I was embarrassed. I have blown my anonymity all over the internet, but as soon as someone else validated it, I was uncomfortable. I have to be honest, I really wanted to delete the message. But something told me, my intuitive voice I guess, that running from the message was not what I am about today. So, I commented back. A day later, Rebecca email me. And we’ve talked every day since then. It has been amazing reuniting with someone whom I cherished when I lived in Boston.
So, that is my story. I lost one friend to this disease, but then another walked back into my life. Life works in mysterious ways. When I get down about the long odds, the heartbreak, the broken families, the erratic behavior, the poverty, institutions, insanity, and death that permeate the AA culture, I sometimes forget that families also heal, sanity is fostered, love occurs, and relationships (even those separated by 13 years and 1500 miles) are mended. As long as I stay sober, there is always a chance.