Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Interesting work with others
- A Hunger for Healing
I had a lot going on yesterday. I worked all day, emptying out more file drawers and carted off many bundles of papers, letters, old drafts of manuscripts, and other refuse from this career to the recycle bin. Nothing new there. But the highlights of the day were really those dealing with recovery.
I had a noon meeting with a sponsee to go over Step 12 and give him his one year medallion. I have had mixed emotions about this sponsee. He is brilliant and says all the right things. Yet, he does not regularly attend meetings and does not want to do service work. I have seen him grow, yet wonder whether he will darken the door at an Al-Anon meeting again. Working the 12 steps is not like graduating from college or receiving a certificate of completion. To me, it is truly about continuing to grow spiritually. I can say that I have done my part to the best of my ability to share my experience, strength and hope with this fellow. What he does with that is now up to him.
Later in the afternoon, I heard another sponsee's fifth step. Every experience with this step is different depending on the individual. All tell their life story and do a kind of self-reporting. But it is the way that the story is told that can vary so much. Some find this step brings up a lot of painful moments of self-knowledge and great remorse over past failures. I was critical of my past behavior and highly judgmental about myself. I can remember my sponsor reminding me not to be too hard on myself. No matter what I had done in the past, I could use the present to make changes and undergo new growth. The fifth step for me involved a lot of internal "cleansing".
Others have a more matter of fact approach in which the details of their life are shared as if they are giving a report. And that is what this sponsee did. His story was nearly devoid of emotion. It was a factual blow by blow. I would occasionally ask him questions about what he was feeling during some of the events he was sharing. And as the hours went past, he began to loosen up a bit. He admitted that there were many things that had been suppressed and that he preferred not to think about. We talked about those. I don't know whether he felt the great weight lifted from him. It is what each of us chooses to make it.
After the fifth step, I went to chair the book study group in which we are discussing Step 10. And after that was the regular meeting. There were several tender new comers who shared their tears and relief at being in the meeting. Several have left their alcoholic spouses or are dealing with children who are "out". Appropriately, the topic was grief. How good it feels not to be grieving at this moment. I am at a place of acceptance which is a blessing at the moment.
So by the time, I went to sleep last night it was late. The day had been full of recovery which helps me to sleep with a sense of peace.