Proud to Call Her “Friend”

Tomorrow a very good friend of mine takes her one year chip. I have the honour of being called her sponsor even though I am not sure I entirely buy into the title. But that is another post for another time. I met this woman originally through my daughter who was dating her son. Didn’t end well – again another post for another time. I actually had her and her son over for Thanksgiving dinner several months before I quit drinking for *hopefully* the very last time. One morning I walked into my recovery meeting and there she was sitting in the back row. “Shit” – my autopilot reaction whenever I run into anyone I have known in the rooms. My ego kicks into high gear about what she will think of me now that she knows I am part of the club. My fear wonders who she will tell. My flight response wonders if we can backtrack through the door, out to the parking lot without anyone noticing. My best self takes a deep breath and then a seat. It is awkward as I say hello after the meeting. She pretends not to know who I am – she admits this to me many months later. She was as mortified about running into me as I was her. My meeting happens every morning at 7am, seven days a week. She is at all of them. She is friendly, warm, funny and honest. Over the course of the next few months, we tentatively share our stories with one another. We have lots in common. I admire her for her ability to reach out and make connections with others. I am far more shy. Reserved. Introverted. She has been attending only a few weeks and knows far more group members than I. She texts them. She goes for coffee. She checks in with them. When she is struggling, she does not do so alone. I listen to her share her stories of reaching out and it encourages me to do the same thing. And before I know it, we are out for coffee. We walk. We make plans to meet at meetings. And we talk for long marathons on the phone when I am out of town. I cannot believe what she is dealing with in her life. She is desperate to end a very toxic but addictive relationship because she knows it is hurting her soul. Financial pressures force her to ready a family home of 34 years to prepare to sell it. Illness requires that she care for a terminally ill brother who lives clear across the country. Dementia means she must also provide care and guidance for her mom who also lives clear across the country. There are concerns for her kids. Trying to find work. And all the while trying to learn how to do all of it without her numbing liquid because it has stopped working. Her life is a roller coaster – much of it out of her own control. And she continues to show up, reach out, cry when needed and nap when all else fails. She celebrates the small victories knowing that these daily wins without alcohol are the foundation of a new life. And so she never gives up. She listens to her heart, body and soul. She knows when she needs to take care of herself and does so without apology. Over the past year, I have watched her get stronger, wiser, and more peaceful despite the storm that continues to rage around her. Despite the many different directions she is pulled. She rides each and every emotional waves that come at her and when it becomes too much she reaches into her now well stocked tool box of strategies and deals with life head on.  She is courageous. She is my friend. I am proud to count her among the most important people in my life. It has been an honour to watch her transform into this strong, sober woman over this past year. And to think I wanted to bolt from the room that morning before she noticed me. What a loss that would have been. So glad I swallowed my pride, sat down and let life unfold the way it was meant to rather than the way I wanted to manipulate it. Congratulations my friend…

Published by: shineshine100

I am a woman who realized that alcohol was taking the joy and vibrancy out of my life. It was an old, fickle friend who turned on me. I needed to let the habit go. Simple but not easy. This blog and the connections I made here helped. A lot. And for that I will always be grateful. Without wine, I have created a beautiful and deeply meaningful life. I am now a certified recovery coach helping others create their own beautiful lives... Thanks for stopping by!

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9 thoughts on “Proud to Call Her “Friend””

  1. Everything happens for a reason. Thank you for sharing how this turned out. It’s always weird to run into people I meetings. But it also provides an immediate common bond.

    I love how you have grown with her. Beautiful.

  2. Such a beautiful testimony. Your friend is courageous and brave. She is lucky to have you too. Congratulations to you both. Love and light, Phoenix

  3. Today is my 90 day sobriety celebration. I started reading your block over 100 days ago while I was still drinking. I’ve read all of your posts and must tell you that your journey is so inspiring. Thank you showing me the light to mAke my way into a 12 step meeting. I am a 33 year old wife, mother of two young girls, and a teacher. I finally feel like I am beginning to be the person I was meant to be. It’s not easy but I know I have support and am no longer “the only one.” Thank you my friend!!!!

    1. I am reading your comment with tears in my eyes. Congratulations on 90 days! What an accomplishment – not easy but so very worth it. I love the way we can use the internet to connect to one another in such positive ways. Tommy Rosen (Recovery 2.0 author and my personal favourite recovery book) has written that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety as we often think rather the opposite of addiction is human connection. It is when we are brave enough to say “I need help” that we deal this disease a very serious blow – we connect with others and the lie that we “are the only one” is defeated. Thank you and I wish you every blessing as you grow into the woman you are meant and deserve to be. Much love…

    1. I would say to tell your truth – share your experiences, what helps you get through the tough stuff and what you hope to change in the future (intentions) and then sit back and enjoy the amazing connections you will have with others who get you…

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