Monday, December 29, 2014

Seventeen years.

Seventeen years ago I walked up Fairmount Boulevard in Cleveland Heights to Jane's house. A month earlier, Tina had informed me that Jane - a luminous light of a human - was sober. We had stood in Tina's cold garage smoking, me with wine glass in hand, when I tearfully explained to her that I knew I had to quit drinking. She cried too as she had been prepping to give me her private intervention speech.

Jane brought me in to her solarium sanctuary and told me a bunch of brilliant and hopeful things but the one I remember was this, delivered in a way that made me understand the words "beseeching" and "grace."

There is so much love.

Then she took me to a meeting, the second oldest women's meeting in the world. Miraculously, I kept showing up. I cried for about a year of meetings and clenched my teeth the rest of the time. I started taking Pilates. I moved, I breathed, I did what I intended to do. Like I said, for an addict, these are miraculous achievements.

I have so many tools now that I use to stay as healthy as I can. Movement, meditation, service work ... these are all in the kit of parts I have put together for myself to stay relatively not crazy. But it is so important to me that I don't forget the addict part of myself ... my inner slick trickster who made me believe that the best thing I could do any given day was to have another Jack Daniels or glass of wine.

I am one of the lucky ones. Michael was not. Jen was not. So many others who are sick and suffering are not.

So with immense gratitude, I offer myself to any of you who may need a hand. Every single good thing I have today is the direct result of this moment, seventeen years ago.

I have added to Jane's promise.

There is so much love. 
There is so much fun. 
There is so much laughter. 
There is so much to do.

Who is ready?

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