12 Stepping, detox, and gratitude…

I have had a wild weekend.  Saturday was fantastic and I was able to go to the local ski hill and watch some Nordic Combined ski jumping, which was thrilling.  A friend went as well, and he will put up pictures on website this afternoon.   The weather has warmed and spring is just around the corner.  Fantastic.

Yesterday I went to a morning meeting that I usually don’t go to.  It was a regular ’11th Step’ group that meets at 9AM–too early for me, really.  I prefer ending my day with a night meeting.  It sums up the experience for me. In any case it was kind of a dud. The woman who spoke on the 11th Step only had 4 1/2 months sobriety and was a chronic relapser. Yes, I am judging. When I hear someone speak on the Prayer of St. Francis D’Assisi and the importance of this action, they better have years and experience with sobriety behind them.

Then I went to a local pancake breakfast fundraiser for the local rescue squad, and in the middle of my flapjacks a friend called and alerted me that we were about to go no a 12th Step call.  For those of you who do not know, this is a type of intervention.

So I showed up and spoke to another friend (Bob) who has been on Xanax, Collodopin (sp?), and Methadone for years (prescribed, but for far too long). He was really messed up, but not as much as his miserable mother, who kept on saying that she didn’t want to live because of the shame of having a drug-addict for a son. Him I wanted to save. Her? I would’ve taken a baseball bat to her and not felt much for the old witch. It turns out that she has been baiting, berating, and shaming him since he was little boy. He is an only child and her big beef is that with his birth, her life ended. She has been angry at him for 53 years. I think In would be a drug addict too if I had to put up with her crap.

Anyway, short story….He is in detox at a local hospital to get off all the drugs and especially the Methadone, which is now in his bones. His Medicare covers the hospital stay, but not rehab, which he will need. It is not my job to find out about these things for him. I am neither his sponsor, nor his family. If he wants this path of sobriety, he has to make a commitment to himself. I think the hospital will assign him a social worker.

In short I am grateful. I am grateful that most of my family has always loved me unconditionally, and has never made me feel unwanted or unloved. I am grateful that there is no shame in my home regarding addiction of any sort, that the 12 Steps have been used by me and others to improve our lives and relieve the pain of decades that could have grown into real tragedy.  I am grateful to not have to be going through what Bob (not his real name)  is going through. Good luck buddy. Nothing miraculous about this. Just luck, good fortune, and a desire to change.


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Johnnyboy is a queer recovering alcoholic. For the moment he is also the primary caregiver for his mother, who suffers from age-related cognitive impairment. She is happy as a lark and is surrounded by a crew of sober women which gives him the freedom he needs to get out of town. When he is not at home in Somewheresville, he is searching out the proper path to travel for happiness and joy. He is a photographer who believes in the digital age, but feels that film is still where its at. He has a darkroom and works in it. He is single and is in remarkably great physical condition for all the damage he has submitted his body to. His cardiologist is very happy. Johnnyboy is over the age of 35.

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