Thursday, April 29, 2004
a sudden shift in priorities
"Oh yeah, life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone"

Last night I got a call from one of my friends (who also happens to be my sponsee in AA) saying she needed to go to a meeting and wanted to talk to me. When you get a call like this it's never good, and usually means the person is in trouble (and we all know how hard it can be to ask for help). I dropped everything to meet up with her.

I met her in the parking lot outside the meeting to talk to her before we went in. She confessed that she had started drinking again, and that she should have told me when we hung out on Saturday. She broke down and cried and we talked it out. She was afraid that I would be mad that she didn't tell me sooner, and I told her that it was better late than never. There is guilt and shame that comes with admitting to drinking again and I understood why she didn't sooner. But now it was time to develop a plan of action to get her back onto the road to recovery before she derailed her whole life again. As her sponsor this creates a large responsibility for me, as I try to draw up a plan of action to help her; she's come to me for guidance afterall (which all feels weird since she's older than me, but I have almost 5 years sobriety, she sure doesn't).

First thing I did was get her to commit to going to meetings with me every night for the next while. I cleared the decks by cancelling all my plans for the next week or so (including Survivor with Princess Blondie tonight) in order to make sure I'm there to help her out. My cell phone stays on 24 hours a day and she is to call me before she picks up her next drink. I gave her a list of other things I wanted her to do and then we went into the meeting.

The problem is, I am terrified that I won't be much help to her. Yeah we're best of friends, but I haven't exactly been a stellar spokesperson for AA. Since losing Shane 3 years ago, my appearances at the meetings have been sporadic at best. But most of all I am terrified that I will lose her to alcoholism, a common fate in this program. I have buried a few alcoholic friends who just couldn't ever seem to stop, and paid the price. And let me tell was one of the worst moments of my life as I watched two young children weeping at the graveyard as people tossed dirt on top of their mother's casket. It is a horrible image I will never be able to erase from my memory, and it terrifies me to think this could happen to my sponsee.

At the end of last night's meeting I gave my friend a big big hug and told her that I was NOT going to lose her, so she better do what I say. And that's what makes this such a great's all about paying it forward. Someone did this for me once, and now I am doing it for my friend. It's one of the foundations of AA, and it works. We help each other, and love each other until we can once again love ourselves.

I was very upset after I left her last night, and cried out of great fear and worry. Today wasn't much better, as I was in a different world all day while I was at work. However, I just got back from another meeting with her tonight, and I'm feeling better. She is starting to feel better too and a little stronger already. She knows what she has to do and is willing to do it. We had a great time at the meeting tonight (our giggling was frowned upon) and I look forward to the next meeting. Maybe this was all part of the big plan....a way of getting ME back into the rooms that I have been avoiding since losing Shane. This could be very good for us both.

Speaking of which, at the meeting tonight I recognized one of the guys as a member of my group from a long time ago. We got talking about the girl who drove drunk and killed Shane, and he told me that she was acquitted on the charges. My blood boils just thinking about it, but sadly it doesn't surprise me. I'll have to take comfort in the idea that she is the one who will have to live with what she's done for the rest of her life. And she better look out, coz karma is an unforgiving bitch.

Anyway, I'm pretty bagged. I'm gonna get in my jammies, and get ready for E.R. (and if I can stay awake, I wanna watch Survivor before someone ruins it for me; I taped it).
Thanks for listening. :-)

"It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'.....

.....And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night"