Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Waking up to reality.......

Recently I noticed a change in a coworker of mine. This person and I are friends and she's normally bubbly, talkative and outgoing. The last few weeks she has been quiet, withdrawn and looks tired. At the end of the work day yesterday she stopped in my office and I finally asked her if something was bothering her. Her eyes filled with tears and she said, "No life just sucks". I asked if it was marriage problems and she said no. I would have left this alone but I could tell she really needed to talk to someone. Very few people know that I am a recovering alcoholic at work. So I looked at her and said, "I'll share something private with you if you'll share with me". She seemed to brighten a bit so I told her about AA and my recovery. She said "let's go in my office, I need to know how you knew you were an alcoholic and what made you decide to go to AA". So I told her my story and then she shared with me: Her 23 year old son has a terrible drinking problem. He has struggled for years and his girlfriend of six years has left him (they just bought a house together) and last Saturday night he and a friend got so drunk that his friend didn't know he had left the house, got in his truck and attempted to drive home. He blacked out while making a sharp curve, flew off the road, rolled and totaled the truck and was ejected from the vehicle. He was treated at the hospital for minor injuries but is suffering much pain, was thrown in jail for the night and will loose his license. I sat very quietly listening to her talk, sob, and blame herself, and be frustrated, and most of all heartbroken. For a split second I caught a look at what it is to be sober watching the alcoholic. I told her that unfortunately she may have to watch this train wreck. That he needs AA but he has to decide that. I also told her to get to an Al-Anon meeting. To talk to other people going through the same thing. I was also able to help her better understand
the disease. We talked for a bit more and as we were getting ready to leave she said, "It's crazy of all the days to tell me about yourself, it was today when I just needed so badly to talk to someone else". I looked her in the eye and said, "God knows when you're reaching the end of your rope and he sent me to tell you that you don't have to travel this journey alone". We hugged and went our separate ways. I thought about the situation a lot. How the effects of our drinking are like ripples in a pond touching everyone we know. Cunning, Baffling, Powerful.
As I came in the door my two youngest met me and wanted to go for a bike ride, so I changed my clothes and off we headed. We are so fortunate to live in our lovely little neighborhood. The homes were built after WWII and they are very sweet. It's also the only neighborhood that I know of in our town that has boulevards and massive oaks and maple trees. When I was little I always wanted to live in that neighborhood and eleven years ago my husband and I purchased a story and a half cape cod. All hardwood floors, built-ins, big back yard with flower gardens, a charming place to live. About half a mile from the house is a paved walking/biking path that wraps around the lake. We biked the big circle three times and as we came upon the lake the sun was shining it's brillance on the water and I realized that none of this would be happening if I was still drinking. This precious time with my children, laughing, biking, enjoying the gorgeous evening was only possible because of my HP and AA. It was a humbling moment for sure. I am grateful to my higher power, AA, and getting another chance. Life is precious.........


  1. Life is precious, indeed. I hope your friend will go to Al-Anon. There's a lot of that going around . . . http://stark-raving-sober.blogspot.com/2010/05/mothers-secret-son-is-addict.html

  2. glad you could enjoy the bike ride this evening...those moments are great...and so are those when you can be there for another and use your story to touch a life...nice.

  3. Isn't it awesome that you reached out and you were trusted?
    To me trust is everything.
    Enjoy what you have now...It is very fleeting!

  4. It is SO much fun, giving and not expecting anything in return. Then later, giving with your children, then suddenly realizing that God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves.

    "We absolutely insist on enjoying life." BB p132

  5. I'm really glad that you talked to her. It sounds like she would truly benefit from Al-Anon. I hope that she makes it to a meeting.