Recovery on the Road
In reflection of my road to recovery, many of my pleasures today are the many connections made and friendships developed with great people across the country. My life is richer for meeting every one of those individuals and there is no way those meetings would or could have happened had I not been sober. When I drank, it was to escape the world and certainly not to reach out to a stranger, which is how each one of these people entered my life. We were once all strangers in a room filled with those seeking a common solution to a common problem. I needed them as much as they, me, and from that understanding we opened ourselves to receiving more questions and providing answers and before I knew it, I knew them.
In our meetings, we never lead with a discussion of politics or education or work. We focus first on foundational issues and questions such as how do you relate to a God or a Higher Power or how do you handle resentments or how do you manage a great loss? It doesn’t take long before you can realize who in the room comes with experience, strength and hope and who has found a spiritual connection with their world. So when I’m away from home, I try to identify with at least one such person in every meeting and try to engage with them afterwards. It’s in these meetings after the meeting that the fun really starts! From these encounters, I’ve met a businessman in Chicago who enlightened me on the history of the Cubs; and I met a ski lift operator in Vail who told me where to find the best powder stashes to ski and where to find a sunrise meeting, which turned out to be in the prettiest mountain side chapel I’ve ever seen. I’ve met a hotelier who offered my family a discount on Florida’s Sanibel Island, and I met a plumber in Denver who may be the smartest man in Colorado. As the list of these connections gets longer and my community of friends broadens, the world by coincidence gets smaller and less threatening.
When I drank, I drank alone to stay alone, and that’s how my life stayed until I was forced to change it. Today if I choose, and every day now brings a choice, I can be surrounded by people who understand the struggle, respect the challenge and insist on loving the life they live. These are my kind of people and I know you can find them too!
…A grateful recovering alcoholic…