Boy, is it FRIGID outside tonight. We are sitting at (-15c/-21c w.c.). We got a little snow, and city workers, are tonight, hurriedly trying to clear snow from the streets. There is good news coming in the way of positive numbers beginning on Sunday with a trend moving from Zero to plus (+7c) by Wednesday next week.
That warmth cannot come sooner, as February was the coldest month on record here in the city.
Yesterday I welcomed a friend back from the U.S., the long nightmare that was Pittsburgh is over.
We had lunch, did some shopping, and sorted out various things that he needed to do so that he can reconnect with the community here. I had not been to the core malls in some time, so while we were there yesterday, we happened into Indigo Book sellers. and I invested in the next two books by Kathy Reichs, in the Temperance Brennan series, and last night, I could not get to bed early enough to start reading them.
Today was quiet. I was sleeping, and at one point, the same dream scene kept repeating itself over and over again, so I knew it was time to get out of bed, to try and reset the cycle. As I can only sit so long in front of this box, I spent some time surfing and stuff like that, and when I completed my circuit, I had two hours before I needed to get ready to go… I went back to bed for a short run.
Winter has not been kind to our folks. They are choosing to stay home, instead of venturing out in this frigid weather. I’ve been noting as well, some of our old timers have been MIA for a while. Which is out of character for some of them.
One of those men, returned to the fold this evening. I hadn’t seen him in a while, and I was starting to worry about him. Weren’t we all surprised when he got up there and spoke.
My friend has a number of years in, twenty seven to be exact.
For a while now, having listened to old timers talk and share at meetings, I know some things about them. Each of them approach the program differently. No two of them do it the same way, and I’ve written here, recently about folks who are just comfortable to warm a chair and occupy space.
If you hit enough meetings, and listen well, you sometimes get nuggets of wisdom, here and there.
I’ve talked to my friend who spoke tonight, in great depth over the months that have passed, and asked him why some folks, have put down their roots and roost where they are, and others keep to the notion that there is always something new to learn, and if you have the time to invest, they why not do that ?
While we were out there, most people have experiences of certain individuals who step in and stop us in our tracks which begins the slow grind out of hell, into life. As was the case for my friend.
He was working in a hospital, barely hanging on to life, trying to dry out after another ritual alcohol infused dance with massive amounts of cocaine trip. He was ordered to get a medical check up by his boss. So he goes to this office and sits down, as the doctor has his back to him. He, “the doctor” turns around and looks at my friend squarely and without skipping a beat says quite bluntly …
“Alcohol and Cocaine huh !!! ” Exclamation point …
He had not set eyes on my friend, nor knew his state. But he pegged him substance for substance.
That doctor knew him and began to sort him out and get him help.
The doctor tells him emphatically …
“You go and talk to this guy, do it now, Do it now, DO IT NOW !!!”
In a few months time, and after a few ins and outs, the miracle happened.
- The admission of powerlessness over his chosen substances
- The realization that there was a kernel of faith inside of him from his childhood
- And that that Power Greater than himself could actually help him
This was another example that most of us are either born into – or are educated in, some kind of faith background. And for some of us, when we come in, are provided the grace to be able to appreciate it for what it was and is, and allow that grace to save us.
I am very keen to know and to learn perspective from my long sober friends.
That kind of dictates or allows me to see where I am in the grand scheme of things. I’m not just walking around aimlessly not doing anything with my time. That I am, in fact, using my time properly, I’m invested in my own sobriety, and I am invested in the lives of my friends at large, and then, on a daily basis, I am invested in the lives of the guys I work with.
Constant. Daily, By The Book.
My friend tells us that “If we are alive, and breathing, we have a chance to live a life of our wildest dreams, in the program.” Simply, “if you are breathing, YOU have a chance !!!” Exclamation point !
You never know when God is going to step in and sort you out. Be mindful.
In my life, God, or angels, or particular people, stepped in when I most needed it and gave me a chance to get out of hell and get sorted out and clean up my life. When that happened in my life, it was not by my own steam, or by my choice, in those cases, it was divinely ordained. There are no two ways about that.
My friend tonight, had that same experience, when he most needed help.
God stepped in and rescued him from hell.
One day at a time, this past January, he celebrated twenty seven years sober. And in April, he will turn sixty six years young, Some old timers, with oodles of time, have aged very gracefully.
Others, not so much.
I remember the words spoken by another long sober member here …
CONSTANT VIGILANCE !!!
Alcohol and drugs are pernicious, patient and deadly.
If you go back out, it is a foregone conclusion that you will return to where ever you left off, when you quit, and will wind up in a much bigger jackpot that you could have imagined.
Meetings, Prayer, Meditation, Working with Others …
When you come to us, you get the recipe for life. My friend lives in that recipe.
i want men like him in my life, because they challenge me to cook.
What are you cooking ???
More to come, stay tuned …