« November 2009 | Main | January 2010 »

December 18, 2009

The School for the Deaf and AA

Last week I had the honor and the privilege of making a presentation on dangers of inhalant abuse to high school students at the Indiana School for the Deaf.  It was an extraordinary opportunity for me from the moment I walked into the Administration Building where I was met by a young woman who was to be my guide through one of the most humbling and memorable moments of my days. Over the next two hours I found myself immersed in a culture that was both familiar and foreign.  A culture where people looked, acted and dressed like me but who spoke a language I did not understand, American Sign Language. 

The presentation, to a  group of over 200 9th through 12th graders and school staff, went wonderfully and the student response was overwhelming.  When I finished they crowded around me signing frenetically their questions and expressions of thanks to my guide who conveyed to me not only their compassion and  eagerness but warmth and kindness as well.  I was greatly moved and left the school filled with admiration for those that experience challenges in their daily existence that I could never imagine.

Later that evening as I reflected on the experience I realized that I had the same type of experienced when I attended my very first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I was fresh out of the treatment center and when I walked into my first meeting I was like a stranger in a strange land.  There I found a culture I was not familiar with and did not understand.  As the meeting progressed I understood their words but they spoke a language that was foreign to me.  And at the end of the meeting many of them crowded around me and could not have been more warm, understanding and welcoming.  And I left the meeting that first night I remember feeling great admiration for the adversity so many of them had over come by applying the tools of 12 Step recovery and attending those meetings and that gave me great hope that my life would get better.

Two meeting...years apart...very different but the same....and today...I'm just a grateful traveler to be on this odyssey.  

December 18, 2009 at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 08, 2009

No one ever plans to grow up to be an addict



Dave Brosuis 
12/11/1984 - 6/9/2001

Happy Birthday Dave




December 8, 2009 at 08:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 07, 2009

Addiction - A Thief of Time

In a meeting recently we discussed the basic tenet of "One Day at a Time" and how important it is, especially in early recovery (and beyond) to live in the moment.  When I was abusing drugs and alcohol my concept of "time" revolved primarily around the regrets I had about the past and the fears I had about the future.  And as far as living in the moment my only concern about the present was where my next drink would come from.

Recovery, however has brought new understandings of many things in my life today and Time is no exception. I no longer live in the past or the future and know that the Now is all I have. I can make plans for tomorrow, next week or six months from now but appreciate that I have no control of events that may alter them.  I also know that I do not have the "luxury" of disappointment or resentment over things that don't happen the way I want them to happen.

And I have also come to understand that addiction is a thief of time when one is in the grips of the disease.  Addiction steals time from us when we are using...and robs those we love of the time we should be spending with them.  The stolen moments of physical and emotional support that are lost to spouse, family,friends, and co-workers when we are drinking and drugging are swindled from them and from us and become the plunder of addiction.

And while we cannot recover that which has been looted from us by this Thief of Time, Recovery can arrest the thief and restore our humanity and humility so that we can again live in the present and be present in the lives of those we love.

December 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack