Waiting at the bus stop on route to the office after attending the local psychiatric hospital this afternoon (Myself and a colleague had been to visit a client ), a car pulled over and I recognised the private number plate. Strange as I had only spoken to the driver on the phone three days earlier. A very good friend of mine was driving the car. We hadn’t seen each other in about five years. I ushered my colleague into the back seat and made a joke that I had just picked her up from the hospital and was escorting her on ‘Home Leave’. My friend quickly retorted “Its ok love, I know who the real patient is here!”
Everyday is different in my life today. Though I have a job, regularly attend meetings, stay sober, work the Steps and also have various commitments, no 24 are the same. Very different from where I was last time I saw this friend. Those days revolved around drinking and the madness it brought, I was very much the patient!
My life of late is very balanced, especially my inner life. During the five years since recovery found me I have been through some challenging periods of growth and Im now reaping the rewards. I’ve become very self aware and work on myself on a daily basis. Staying one ‘Step’ ahead of those pesky character defects that tempt me on a daily basis to ‘act out’ has become my spiritual practice. I can’t do that alone, so starting each day with Step 11 is how I ask for guidance from whatever it is that guides me. Step 11 – “Through prayer and meditation” asking only for knowledge of Its will for me and the power to carry that out. It didn’t start out that way today since I woke up in somebody else’s bed – Not very spiritual. But at least it was dry!
By 4:30pm I’m sat with a Social Worker discussing a case I’m involved with. Forgetting for a moment that she is neutral and neither for or against the individual I represent, I found myself slightly wound up. Those pesky defects! Stepping back from the situation slightly, taking a sip of water and recomposing myself, I become quickly aware of my ego rising to the fore. Its not about me and she isn’t against me. Stop feeling threatened and calm the fuck down D&O! All ends well and I feel the satisfaction gained by allowing the Program to work in my life. Progress not perfection!!
Earlier today around noon I was escorting another homeless person to the bus station. I was reconnecting her to the town of her former home, her area of connection. I had linked her up with homeless services through there and remain hopeful she will receive the support she needs. On the way another old friend and former drinking buddy was outside a bar smoking. He waved and I shouted over that I would call in and say hello on my way back. I did – he was surrounded by comrades who maybe more needing of the psychiatric care than those I was to visit later in the day. We spent a few short minutes with pleasantries and he updated me on the latest chaotic event of his recent life. I was pleased to make a sharp exit. He is somebody I care deeply about, we have been friends a lot of years, but his bar fly compadres are easy for me to walk away from nowadays. I know without this 12 Step Program of Recovery I would soon be drinking with them. I thank God thats not today and hopefully not in any 24 hours of a future that includes me… I don’t judge, Im just grateful its not me today – bless them!
Later at home Im going over the events and conversations of the day when a friend in the fellowship reaches out and asks for my help. Remembering I can’t stay sober alone, that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself, I say yes! Its partly how it works – ‘Step 12’, give freely of what you shall find! I phone my Sponsor and chat about his day as well as mine. He jokes that God puts crazy people in other crazy peoples path… I don’t argue with that, and remind him that He introduced us!
I bath, eat, meditate and pack a bag for tomorrow. I’m heading to Leeds after work, giving a presentation to my peers – my findings on homelessness in the United States! Thats on Saturday, Im going to get there the night before and make a meeting in the City centre.
I sit down to Write… No 24 the same, but for a few in a row I haven’t needed a drink, never hurt anybody (including myself) and have enjoyed this wonderful gift we call life!
“Die to the moment, every moment!” – Buddhist Philosophy.
“The secret of daily living is daily dying” – St Paul (formerly Saul, author of the New Testament).
Day Fourteen of the Word Press everyday inspiration challenge: Recreate a single day.
D&O in Fresno