My right hand is wrapped in a filthy bandage which won’t be removed for another 10 days. I am trying to clean my house and cook and do yard work with a left hand and a painful dirty bandaged right hand. No, I am not feeling particularly gracious about this. But, I do realize that vacation is not as ill-timed as I may have thought. I will not be cooking or cleaning. I will not be pruning, mowing, or clipping. I will be sitting in a car and walking around beautiful places. I will be holding small children on my lap. I will be hugging children of all ages. It will be good.
I went to confession yesterday afternoon. Many think confession is all about guilt and self-recrimination; asking a priest for forgiveness rather than God himself. To me, it is such a blessing. I went to confession because I missed mass last week. I was sick, but I went to have coffee with a friend, so how sick is that really? So I went to confession. I also threw in the “not being kind and loving and feeling angry” part that I feel like I always confess. The priest was so wonderful when he said that these things do not happen overnight and that I can do one concrete action every day… like calling someone who could use an encouraging word. Something simple. Something doable. What a freaking great idea! So I wrote some letters this morning. I will make some calls later. I can definitely do that every day. I am grateful for that simple suggestion.
For us in AA, that ought to be so simple. But as time goes on, it becomes less and less simple. I look at the new people in my group and I am so happy for them. There is a whole herd of them who came in around the same time last year. Some of them have already celebrated a year. Some have had relapses and are at 6 or 9 months. One of them died (drunk) over the Memorial Day weekend. They have each other. Those relationships are so important and so valuable. They learn together. They learn from each other. A sponsor or some other elder is wonderful, and necessary, but those peer relationships are the glue that hold it all together.
For me, I think there are only about 10 of us left from my home group in those early years. Some moved away, some left AA. Sadly, I think most of them are dead. I have some dear friends from those early days and I treasure those relationships. My sponsor has no one left – except her husband. After 42 years of sobriety, they are the sole survivors. So sad. And wonderful, don’t get me wrong. Sober for an alcoholic beats all alternatives.
I am grateful for Max. He told me to form strong relationships with the people who were new with me. Thank God I didn’t hang on the coat tails of the long-timers – I would have no one now!
It’s time for exercise: treadmill or trail? Believe it or not, I’m picking treadmill because I don’t want to fall or anything with this hand. I need to healthy come Wednesday. Hit the road day!