A recap of my day would go something like this:
- a change of plans at 10:30 to take the entire group of 150 to a nearby Fort instead of to the island via boat. The wind was blowing too hard for a boat trip across the harbor.
- Take three groups of 50 eighth graders through the fort, the museum and to the nearby beach where most of the time they are running wild.
- Have to call down a couple of boys for trying to smash a living crab against a rock. Kid says, "But I just want to kill it." Yes, and I am starting to have a similar feeling about the kid.
- Another kid tells me that he just wants to kill something. So I tell him to run out in the street in front of a truck and he will get his wish. Definitely, not one of my better moments.
- Girls are drawing hearts in the sand. Boys are drawing huge penises and testicles in the sand with some shells spewing out the top. I am not a psychiatrist but wonder if this is wishful thinking on both parts.
- A highlight is that the dolphins decided to put on a show which captivated about 30 of the kids. Some were also interested in hermit crabs and a few other critters that we talked about in the tide pool. I start to feel a bit better.
- I am thankful to see all the buses leaving and cheerily wave them on their way, thinking how glad I am to see them go. And hoping that I won't see them again.
- Wondering what I am doing with this job and how ill suited I am to deal with these alien creatures. I used to be one, but that is but a faint memory to me now.
There were quite a few tears shed last night. Some people were struggling with loved ones who were deep in their disease. There was talk of how imperfect our ability to let go really is. But that it is indeed necessary if we are to feel any freedom in our own lives from alcoholism. I have been where they are--feeling helpless, lost, and not seeing how there will be any good outcome. And yet, I knew that I needed to come back, just as they are doing. And in my coming back, I began to feel better. That's the beauty of this program.
A few people shared about their deep faith and how that has sustained them in turning things over to the God of their understanding. I had none when I came in. I felt that the only Higher Power was me. And I was doing a really poor job of it. I know that letting go is difficult. But I gradually began to loosen my grip on others. And in doing so, I began to trust that they could find their own way without my directing them.
When I left that meeting, regardless of whether I heard solutions or just problems of life with alcoholism, I felt better. I was tired but felt at peace. Wearing life like a loose garment is something that this program gives me. And that's why I keep coming back.