Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What it was like: Year Twenty-two

In 2005, I celebrated 21 years of sobriety.  It had been a hard but good year.  I was spending a lot of time running, biking, and swimming and it really added a whole new dimension to my life.   I have always suffered from depression, and this physical activity seemed to keep the depression at bay, which was pretty wonderful.

On August 19 2005 (two years from the day my cowboy left for the last time) I went over the handlebars of my bike on my way to work.  I broke one or more ribs and was sidelined from all of my physical activity.  It was rough.  I was in a lot of pain.  Once the pain subsided I thought I could run again, but it only made the pain come back.  So I sat quietly and tried to learn whatever lessons God had in store for me.

I had started a blog the year before to talk about triathlon training.  I found that boring, so I started another one about politics.  I love politics and I used to spend a lot of time keeping track of what was going on.  I had endless opinions about most everything and I thought it would be fun to express them.  It was the time of Katrina and my son had gone with the National Guard to help.   I wrote about the frustration of knowing that the people he went to help were shooting at helicopters - like the one he was in.  And some jackass came along and started arguing with just about everything I said.  I had NO readership whatsoever, except for this guy.  I went to HIS blog with the intent to retaliate and found that he was an AA member.  Well, I wasn't going to put my AA life on my blog with my real name and political junk on it, so I started a whole different account just to be anonymous and talk to this guy.  Once we were AA members talking to each other, all the differences were overlooked... we were just fellow travelers on this road.  

Soon he stopped blogging and I was blogging maybe once a week.  Then in November of 2005, a wonderful blogger who has since stopped blogging discovered my blog and let her blogger buddies know and before long I had readers!  It was the most exciting thing!  I had a broken rib, I was not able to do most of the things that usually took a lot of my time, so I sat and wrote posts and visited others blogs for a great amount of time each day. I was in love with blogging and the bloggers.  It was such a wonderful thing.  

In the spring that year, I took a class in Icon Writing.  I spent a week in silent meditative painting of St. Michael the Archangel.  The instructor was a Russian Iconographer.  It was incredibly wonderful.  It was the same week my son was leaving for his training before he went to Iraq.  That was a difficult time for me, so to be spending a week meditating on this Saint, the Patron Saint of Soldiers - was incredible.  It helped me tremendously.  (I just found out this morning that I am going to be able to take another class in August - I cannot wait!)

I was able to go back to my old morning meeting some time in this year.  I was so glad to be back there.  That was a meaningful piece of healing in my life.  

I will probably later remember other things that happened that year, but I find my entry for my 22nd birthday so nice, I am going to post a lot of it here.  One of the members of my morning group died in July and his funeral happened to be on my 22nd AA birthday.  It might have been one of the better birthdays I have ever had.   

"On my actual birthday, I went to ___'s funeral.  There was some kind of symmetry in that, not that I seem to be able to articulate it.  I sat in the back of the church between J. and A. and felt so at home.  Where I belong.  Not necessarily at a funeral, but with my people.  These are truly my people.  I don't like them all, but I do love them - every single one.  They don't all love me, but we share our lives, our solutions, and our problems.  And because of that, we are not the ones who are being cremated and buried.  To see F. in a suit just about broke my heart.  He looked wonderful, let me hasten to add, not like so many drunks who buy a cheap suit and look like it.  But F. belongs in a tee shirt, shorts, and hiking boots - not a suit.  God Bless him.  

In February, E. suicided.  God Bless E.  May he rest in eternal peace.  I miss him.  

In February, M (my sponsor) and T. moved to the western slope.  God, there is a hole blowing right through me on that one.  

K. (my son) leaves today on a ship for Kuwait, then to Iraq.  Thank God for the program of AA, most of the time I am not overly mental about this.  Trying to stay in the moment, etc.  God Bless my son. I am so proud of him.  He is a good man.  Please hold him in the palm of your hand dear Lord.

Thank you for this 22 years and may I have another day."

I also wrote my blog that day, and if you are just insatiable for all the details of my 22nd birthday, you may check it out here... it is interesting all the wonderful comments and how many of those people are not around anymore.... just like my real meetings.  


Steve E. said...

Mary, this is a good blog, because it shows how you came to real spiritual growth, and lived life on life's terms. As if there were a choice--well, there's always a choice, I guess.

You brought to me memories of the many, many AA funerals I have attended, the deaths often having been 'planned' and executed.

(I went to July 24, 2006, Mary...WHY do I do this at 1 AM????)

BED TIME.......

Scott W said...

We've been blogging for five years (give or take a few months)? Hard to believe.

Lou said...

I'm smiling to myself right now..my husband is a political machine. He listens to 2 or 3 radio shows at a time. He call our legislators constantly. He scours the internet. I'm politically apathetic. All parties seem the same to me.

But my husband never gives up preaching his brand of politics to me.

Funny post for me, but also poignant.

Pam said...

oh I wish I had been keeping a journal all these years. I love reading yours thru you.

Ed G. said...

I'm pleased to have found you int the blogosphere. I share your experience with people coming and going in my life and am not surprised (with my limited experience) that it's the same w/Blogs.

As was shared in your 22nd b'day blog, you are a bright light to many, especially me...

Blessings and aloha...

Syd said...

I have to say that I like the AA recovery blog better than a political one. And I found it sad to read about the fellow in a suit in a casket. So sad for some reason. Bless you.

Mike Golch said...

good posting.I have made som changes to my blog roll I hope that you will like it.I have added 2 new blog listing.