I am not sure if I have written about this person or not but he has been very important to my recovery. I KNOW what you are thinking but it isn’t like that. He has native american roots and as I have said before I feel nature and respond to it. Having him as someone I can talk to makes AA all the better.
LOTS of Meetings
Okay, I have gone to a lot of meetings. Almost every day I get to one and some days 2 and on sh&tty days 3! Perhaps this is a new addiction but it is time spent on my recovery and not in a barroom. It calms my nerves and soothes me-sometimes it pisses me off. I guess any time you sit around in a group of people that can happen. But as many people say, pain is part of healing, laughing is part of healing. As long as it’s healing and I’m not drinking I guess it is a good thing.
I may have mentioned before there is a guy around here that is a long sober person, I actually call it “long suffering and sober.” I know it isn’t nice to say stuff like that about folks in the fellowship but recovering alcoholics can be asshats just like “normal” people. This guy pretty righteous. He tells people “How it is.” “How they should live.” When he first came back from his “snowbirding” (that is what we in the North call folks that escape the cold and weather here to go to Florida or other points South and return in the Spring), I was newly sober. I mean DAYS sober. In round robin, he would contribute and it was like a broken record, though some days he would downright visibly upset someone. I decided in silence that I would ignore him. His 20+ years or 30 if you counted when he smoked pot ….blah blah blah. It was clear to me that I needed to find some new people in my life to connect with and he certainly wasn’t going to be one of them.
It Takes A Village
There was a man with crazy white hair. Sometimes he wore a ponytail and sometimes not. He had a warmth and love for everyone you can feel it. And he was long sober and come to find out, had experience in the mental health field. Most of the folks in the Homeless Shelter (where I go to most of my meetings) are hours sober, many mentally compromised. But there are a few that have some time in and their perspective is helpful when the wheels are turning round and round in your head. I was barely working the steps, just coming out of the fog and there seemed to be more native americans at some of our meetings. Their sharing about how they felt in nature, the peace they felt just being in a place with the wind blew or the water flowed was one I could truly identify with. I felt at ease with this sort of conversation instead of the thumping of truth that others chose to throw out there.
When I came through the fog it wasn’t sudden, it slowly lifted. I thought that once I stopped worrying about my breath smelling and took some showers, I wouldn’t have anything to worry about. Was I ever wrong. I honestly needed help just living. I could brush my teeth and yes I even worked but breaking old habits was strange to me. Just finding a restaurant for lunch that didn’t serve alcohol was pretty foreign. I needed that in the first weeks mostly because every place I went into, knew of my “usual” and would often meet me at the table with it all ready mixed. That wasn’t going to work. The Medicine Man answered all my stupid questions and helped me learn to think again. He helped me to find some vitamins and homeopathics to help ease the fogginess. Just something silly like the right herbal tea before bed was gold to me.
The Medicine Man reminded me today about newcomer syndrome – like even newer than me. Stuff that I hadn’t thought about in a month or so. And that person that has a couple days or a week under their belt needs so little but a smile and encouragement. Just like for me and it is precious. Acceptance. They belong. They matter. We are all fighting this battle together.