Reflecting into the past

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The power of "paying it forward"

Now, this phrase is obviously commonly used in certain situations and while it's been used in a certain situation involving a friend of mine and a business opportunity lately, the idea never hit me as much as it did today when I talked to a girl that I just met last night at an AA meeting. Today I am 24 days clean....... I did this..... no detox, no rehab, nothing, just going through the withdrawals at home and support from the family and friends that I have in my life. But no one stopped me from going and getting more pills. I chose to make that decision. The last three days have been some of the most stressful days of my life...... But because of my faith in God, I've gotten through it and I've gotten through it Clean and Sober. I've been in so much pain too which only makes the cravings worse.... the tension complicates my pain beyond no end. However, sometimes you just do what ya gotta do for those you love..... and that's what I TRY to do though I feel like I fail so often. Anyway, I decided after the whole ordeal yesterday at the hospital with my friend to walk into an AA meeting late cuz that's the best I could do..... and I had no idea what the topic was or anything when I walked in,.... the first thing I did when I walked in was raise my hand..... and I thought "oh crap I just raised my hand and I have NO idea what I'm going to say!!!" So basically I just shared my story a little bit and my clean time and the way I've gone about it this time, blah blah blah..... and I shared my struggle and my complete and total fear of even talking in front of 50+ people but I also said that if I was going to stay clean, I knew I was going to just have to "put myself out there" and not care what anyone thinks......  I talked about how I have NEVER followed the guidelines they give you in the Detox unit like going to AA/NA mtgs, getting a sponsor, working the "steps" blah blah blah...... NEVER..... and I still didn't this time but one thing I did do which has made all the difference in the world is that I reached out to God at my rock bottom.... and it's true .... God always meets us where we are cuz He met me one day when I had a bunch of pills still left in my pocket and in a second's time, I ran to the bathroom and flushed them. How in the world I had the strength to do THAT? uhhhh I didn't...... that was God..... totally God but I reached out to Him and He answered me when I called...... so basically these are the things I shared..... and somehow, they flowed so smoothly out of my mouth like there wasn't a single person in the room. Again,..... a GOD thing.... HELLO!! I just don't speak in front of people..... but uh I guess I do now,..... anyway, I admitted to wanting to try and do it the NA way (even though it was an AA meeting technically) the principles are all the same and they don't exclude God cuz they know we can't stay clean w/o Him! Some ppl's views might be different but I know mine and I cling to them!!! That's all I've been doing!!!  So anyway, I was amazed at the swarming of support I got in that room..... I felt loved, understood, appreciated for sharing, I felt rewarded and I felt healed to just one more degree....... it was amazing....... so this girl comes up to me afterwards and gives me her number and says I'll be your sponsor if you're willing to call me everyday. There are definitely expectations in this program which I'm not used to.... I'm used to doing things my OWN way but I'm going to follow what they have to say and see where it leads and let God lead me through it. So she shared her story with me and it was so similar it was unreal, only her "drug of choice" was alcohol..... I shared with her how I watched my dad die from alcohol and it was hard as hell..... and I commended her for her FIVE year sobriety... that number scares me...... 24 days has been the longest 24 days of my life.... at least in 11 years it has been..... so the thought of going a year or two or 5 or 7...... wow I can't wait..... I'm finally ready......

So anyway, I had to take something to my friend in the hospital tonight and while I was there, I asked if a certain nurse was working on the detox unit that I used to be on ..... I was pretty much a permanent resident there....... she knew me by name immediately..... I asked her if she had just a couple minutes to come downstairs and when I shared with her where I was... she cried .... it touched her heart and she said "if I have to work here 25 years to hear one success story like yours, then it's all worth it"...... I just had to thank her for all she had allowed me to put her through when I was on detox cuz she and I clashed big time when I was on the unit time after time..... I'm going to do the same with my favorite nurse tomorrow during her shift during the day........

So anyway, as I was talking to my now new sponsor... she was sharing her story about how when she overdosed on vicodin and alcohol a few years ago and was taken to a hospital there was this nice man who actually treated her like she had value and didn't look down on her or anything... just loved her and felt bad for her...... and someone asked her recently "have you ever thanked him?" and she said i don't even know who he is...... so she told me she wrote a letter describing herself, the date and the circumstance and sent it to that unit she was on and prayed it got into the right hands..... until this day she doesn't know if it did or not...... but regardless if HE saw it, someone did and maybe that will educate those in ER's that aren't so nice to "people like us" who have addictions..... we have value as much as anyone else and deserve to be treated as so..... and she just wanted him to know that he is probably the one that saved her life and why she is now 5 years clean...... I thought that was an amazing story..... it inspired me to "pay it forward" .... in more ways than one!!!!