Working With Others…

This was the topic in our meeting this morning. In my previous attempts at sobriety, I was not prepared to become involved with others, let alone “work” with them. I wanted the 12 step meetings to show me how to not drink so that I would stop making an ass of myself and then I would just go along my merry way with my life otherwise exactly as it had always been. And then I wondered why I would end up drunk and demoralzed yet again. Somewhere, some wise person has taught me that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is human connection. This is why working with others becomes critical to the recovering person. I don’t how or why this works to strengthen my own sobriety, just that it does. My cousin is doing very well. I have watched in awe as her skin has cleared, her eyes have begun to sparkle, and her thinking is so much more clear. There is hope where two weeks ago there was only despair. I have seen her return from the walking dead. And I am so grateful – there are not words to express. Over these past weeks I have been in touch with family members who I have not been close to since before my parents’ divorce when I was 12 years old. I have been reunited with aunts and uncles across the country as we all rally around my cousin hoping against hope that she gets well. And they keep on thanking me?! And I keep saying, “… no this is helping me beyond measure, to walk with her as she gets well…” There is so much beauty coming from the ashes of this situation, its hard to comprehend: A family has drawn closer to one another as they try to support my cousin as she battles this illness; Two cousins who used to be soul sisters and then entirely lost touch for more than 30 years are coming full circle; A spectacular woman is making a heroic comeback after hope for her was all but lost… And the list goes on and on. The fact that I get to be part of this simply by listening to her and saying, “Yeah I get that…” absolutely astounds me. Why are they thanking me when I am the one who is getting my socks blessed off?! It is a miracle. And it has taught me a valuable lesson: the more I work with others, the stronger my sobriety becomes. The more I give away, the more I receive. The more I share my own weaknesses, the more the shame shroud that held me hostage for decades fades away. The more honest I am, the more approachable I become. This is how we deal this disease irreparable blows: getting honest by sharing the struggle with another because active alcoholism thrives in the land of lies (to ourselves mostly) and isolation. It cannot handle honesty and vulnerabiltiy because the result is human connection.  Once again, this program of recovery has taught me to trust the wisdom found here, even if I think I know a better way. And so I am humbled and grateful to continue working with others…

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Published by: shineshine100

I am a 47 year old woman who is trying to live her best one and only life by putting down the wine glass and moving forward. I am a wife. I am a mom of three teens. I am a teacher. When not wasting time sipping poison I love to hike, bike, read, ski, cook, and do yoga.

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