Sunday, June 14, 2009

What it was like: Year Twelve

This is where I stopped keeping my journal. I just didn't have much drama going on, or much time to write.  I was busy working, being a student, being an AA member, and generally living life on life's terms.  

Since I had started my job in September of 1994, things really started changing for me.  I had some real stability.  I actually had vacation time!  I actually had a little bit of money to go take vacations.  

I was hanging around with my old best friend - my first sponsor in AA.   I had made a wonderful friend in a man who had gotten sober just a couple of months after I did.  We would meet at the meeting on Saturday mornings and then go take day long hikes in the mountains.  When we were done with that, we would generally go to a movie.   I love movies, but for some reason, I usually go when it is someone else's idea - but it was great fun to know all the movies.

In November 1995, I rented a house in North Denver.  Oh, how I loved that house!  It was over 100 years old.  It was 2 blocks from a lovely old church, which I walked to frequently.   If you have read about my journey for the last eleven or so days, you might have a pretty good concept of why I was so excited to live in a pretty little house and go to the pretty church two blocks away.  I always paid my rent on time.  I never caused a problem for my landlady and landlord - who lived just next door.  (When I told them I was moving 3 years later, my landlady actually cried!)  The police only came to my door once - and that was when my house was burglarized.  

I was working in Southwestern Denver, living in North Denver, and going to meetings in a northern suburb.  I was doing a lot of driving.  

At that time, I also started having a lot of pain in my neck.  I was diagnosed with arthritis in my spine.  My physician looked at the x-ray of my neck and told me my neck had been broken in several places - and he wondered what the heck happened!  I couldn't begin to explain it to him.  He told me with a very sad face that I would be in pain for the rest of my life.  By that time, I already realized that.  And you know the really odd thing about that? It was OK.  On the spectrum of pain, I would rather have physical pain than be in a bad marriage or any other number of situations that I was no longer in.  Later I would have an MRI and find that I had two ruptured discs as well as the arthritis, but that was later.  

One night, I couldn't sleep because of the pain, and decided to try a meeting at 6:30 a.m. since I was already awake.  It was on my way to work, I could get there and get to work on time.  I was so excited when I found that I liked the group.  And they liked me.  I met a bunch of people who would later become my friends.  And I met a woman who was to become my sponsor.  

As I alluded to earlier, my house was burglarized on December 27, 1995.  I had been in a car accident on December 23, 1995.  Someone at work said to me on New Year's Eve, "I hope you have a better year next year, this has been a bad one for you."  I couldn't believe it!  I thought 1995 was stellar.  Are you kidding me?  No one hit me for a year!  I knew where I lived, I knew where I worked, I had relationships with all of my children, I could go to church without shame, I knew who I was, and I was happy about who that was.  A burglary and a car accident?  Constant pain?  These are just things that normal people have.  Just regular life stuff.  I was grateful for every second of my new life. It was the most wonderful thing!  

My twelfth birthday is probably the only one that I have no written journal entry for.  I know that by then, I had a new sponsor - the one who I am so blessed to still call my sponsor today.  I know that she came to my old homegroup for my birthday meeting.  I know that my best friends were there.  

I know that I was grateful beyond comprehension for what God had been able to create from the broken wreckage of my (sober) life.  


Steve E. said...

Another WOW! I'm SO glad you got this blog in "on time".... ON TIME being just as we are leaving for the last mass...I'll comment later, sure want to.
Bless you, Mary.

Gin said...

Amazing how our perspectives are changed when we go through things like you did. "Normal" people would have been extremely depressed by the chronic physical pain. They would have cursed being burglarized and in a car accident in the same month, especially around Christmas. You have been to the other side and back, however. You know about real pain and about real suffering. This "life" junk - you've got it in the bag! :-)

Pam said...

I know I don't have to explain to you how God works mary....but I came to the computer this morning after my meditation....and started reading blogs. The answer to my question to God was written in one little sentence in your post. It led me to a different train of thought and my heart feels better than it did an hour ago. Im always so much lovin' you.

Scott W said...

It often comes down to perspectives. I try to see things as they really are, not as my crazy mind sometimes wants me to believe.

Carol said...

I'm glad that you have a good relationship with your sponsor. Mine is still steeped in chaos and we are program friends more than anything. I have prayed for someone new to come into my life but then I forget about it for months at a time.

Tall Karen said...

Thank you sharing such a stellar example of "practicing these principles in all our affairs." Who would have ever thought that we could make such an impression on another, that they would cry to see us move? I love your gentle words and ability sum up the highlights of an entire year in so little space. Can't wait to read more!

We are so blessed. Thank you for the B-day wishes! It's already been such a God-filled day!


garden-variety drunk said...

Hi Mary,

I love the part about your landlord because a similar thing happened to mine when I moved last year. Instead of avoiding my landlord, ducking behind bushes when they would walk by, pretending to be on the phone to avoid talking to them, turning in rent checks late at night to avoid anyone being in the offce, etc, etc., I actually started to say hi to my landlord. I wait until she was home and hand-deliver my rent check along with a nice conversation about her day and mine. We both had tears in our eyes when I moved away last May. G-d, I never would have guessed such a thing possible.

Syd said...

Living life on life's terms is a great thing. I'm sorry about your back but know that you have worked through that pain too.