Give honest advice when it’s solicited. The asking of it places you among their most trusted friends, consideration of it among their most influential, and the taking of it among their most sincere. Honesty is friendship’s truest indicator.
[If there’s one thing addicts do well, it’s telling stories. But after 9 years clean, they’re usually not lies anymore.]
Someone asked me recently how I did it. How I got off drugs, meth of all things. Undoubtedly tonight at my meeting I’ll be asked once again as is the tradition for anyone getting another annual chip. My ninth.
I’ve given a lot of thought to the question. Less to the mechanics of my leap into sobriety, but more about which of my words might just trigger another addict in attendance to turn on that light upstairs, illuminating them to the possibility that they, too, despite their past, deserve a future.
You see, it’s not so much the quitting of drugs that’s important. Equally necessary is the installation of hope and belief that you are worth far more in this world than the lonely company of any drug or its cohorts. It’s about having been utterly blinded by the stupor of a drug and its false promise of contentment that blocks out hope or vision there’s really anything more to life. To that end, we are all addicts. We all have something we’ve allowed to remain which blocks our hope and blurs our vision. Something to which we remain bound.
“Clean and sober.” It’s almost cliché these days.
The distinction between the two, however, is perhaps the most important thing I learned in my years of recovery so far. I got clean once, but I get more sober with each passing day.
The truly recovered are not recovered at all. They are recovering. And the truly recovering can instinctively tell the difference. A recovering person hasn’t simply stopped using, they have started living. It’s evident that a clarity of mind, purpose and a place for God was birthed at some moment, and rarely is that moment a single epiphany, but the commencement of lifelong epiphanies which, strung together, create the continuity of recovering.
It’s the high I get from my ongoing little epiphanies of life these days. They continue to escort me down a much more beautiful path. And when you find yourself in a much prettier place, hope is much easier to find. In fact, it seems to find you.
And isn’t that really the definition of God?
So for the addicts in all of us, I say to you, we are here in this world for one reason only: Be that hope for someone today. Be clean. Be sober. And most of all, live like you deserve to.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
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You never really stop worrying about your kids even when they’re adults. It’s like you wear for them a heart monitor that goes off at all times of the day and night alerting you to pray for them right now. I just woke from a nightmare about my kids and my fatherly superstition alerted me to take pause. At 1 am I can’t risk a text or a call but I can always risk a prayer. They’re unaware I spend these times tuning the dial into their private channels to see if they might be hurt, happy, worried, in harm’s way or just in secret want of something no one else may understand, save one who’s known them since before they were born. No need to teach them this parental peculiarity. They learn this phenomenon all by themselves as our own grandkids are away at school, asleep down their hall, or on a midnight road of crazy drivers protected only by the angels we’ve dispatched to their mercy on our knees from our 1am bedsides. They may be all grown up but they’ll never outgrow our rightful duties and responsibilities to worry psychically and to silently intervene as I am, and perhaps you are too right now at this very moment. #awakeinyourdreamscLifeMeansSoMuch.com
Our dinner conversation about happiness took an unexpected turn into serendipity.
After sharing what makes each of us happiest, I had an epiphany. All our happiest scenarios were circumstantial, based on fortunate events and experiences that either happened around us, to us, or were otherwise created by us to experience and briefly enjoy.
It occurred to me “that’s a lot of work for a moment of fleeting bliss which is ultimately dependent on the next one.”
Being continuously happy requires effort and exposure to things outside ourselves while being content is a still, taskless state of peace within our circumstances whatever they are. Happiness is the ! at the end while contentment is the sentence before it we need not work to write, because we just let it fall into place.
It was at that moment we all discovered that serendipity is both insightful, wondrous, beautiful, and exactly what our dinner conversation that evening had happily become.
in revving sheets
a bouncing frenzy
each drop competes
and a new river won.
I sat to watch
the cool summer rain
applaud the earth and
to it waved the checkered flag.
I don’t want to know it when I die. I just want to come home from a long day at work, open the door, drop my briefcase for the last time and suddenly everyone I ever loved jumps out from behind the sofa and yells “Surprise!” and all my old dogs run up and lick me like it’s been ME who’s been gone so long.
Of all human experiences, only one remains almost entirely unknown.
Despite relentless attempts at its description from every conceivable perspective, unhinged fantasy, limitless speculation and sordid detail, unchallenged since the beginning of time, we still know nothing more beyond its cause except for the promise that we never will for as long as we live. And then it will either be the nothing or the everything we ever dreamed of.
They don’t know when to stop.
They offer without an ask, buy before a need, don’t give or take no for an answer and expect nothing in return. The world’s not their oyster, but rather their responsibility. Their gifts give beyond holidays, life is their only prize and their every new morning a personal canvas for the fine art of being human. They create masterpieces in secret for needy people they’ve never even met and surprise unsuspecting strangers from the benevolence of their bottomless hearts. They neither demand nor expect the same for themselves, but survive on intuition, conscience, faith and opportunity. Their deeds are oft mistaken for angels and tiny pieces of heaven fell to earth, which of course, they are. They know no different and don’t know when to stop because indeed, this is what they were wonderfully made to do.
And someday. when you meet one, they will either change your life forever or inspire you to follow. #taganangel
Out of ICU after a near miss with a defibrillator yesterday. Not the original reason for admission but perhaps a red herring. Triglycerides down to 400 vs 2000+. Going for a stress test this morning. Maybe home. Good spirits and new awakenings abound from the past 6 days here, the greatest of which was waking up to another day, another sunrise, another chance to dance. #thanksforthelove
Well, your love and prayers brought me home from the hospital last night after an ordeal that logically should not have.
So many first hand nursing accounts of young dead COVID patients in the ICU hall next door was sobering to say the very least. I was in bad shape but my mountains were rolling hills in comparison to the desperation only 300 feet away I could occasionally hear when those sealed double doors opened. Some called it ‘the tomb’ while others called codes on the dead and dying.
There are indeed heroes inside those walls whose dedication to serve others seemingly outpaces their own need to survive.
Until there is a better solution, wear a mask. Keep your distance. Keep hope alive.
It does the dance
to get the glance
and soon entrance
upon the chance
you’ll drop your stance
and die just a little more.