Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hope / Disappointment

I went to a step meeting a few days ago that I have only attended once before. It was quite by chance that I ended up there and was happy to be there. They were on the 12th Step. Although I am not officially there yet, I do learn a lot from hearing others share about what lies ahead for me.

As I sat down, I looked across the table and was sure I recognized a face there from about 15 years ago. There was still a few minutes so I went around and put my hand on his shoulder and said his name. He looked up, confused. I told him my first name and seeing that didn't help told him my last. He smiled and said, "Holy $hit! It's been forever!" We talked for a moment and then the meeting began.

He shared briefly in the beginning that he just had 30 days. Then later he shared about step 12. It seems he had a good number of years in the rooms a while back but has been struggling lately. He expressed gratitude for the program for people who were still there from when he was there a few years ago and for seeing someone he hadn't seen in 20 years, me. I felt sure I was meant to be there for myself and for him that day.

Afterwards I drove him back to his parents house and we spent some time sharing our stories since it had been so long. He told me all about what was going on with him and how much he didn't want to lose everything. He asked if I knew of anyone looking to rent a room out since he was looking to get out of mom and dad's. I told him we might have an extra room in the house or I might know someone.

He called me the next day asking if I had talked to my roomie which I hadn't yet. He said he was due a disability check that day and was considering joining me for a concert. The day after the concert I ran into an older lady I know, a very good friend who recently retired. Her significant other was recently admitted to a home, stage four cancer. She is worried about losing her home. Her son is due to come home from prison in March or April but she will likely lose the house before then.

I mentioned my friend to her and relayed his general situation. She knows of my recovery and is familiar with alcoholism and addiction as that is why her son is incarcerated. She said, "We can talk about it but you make sure you tell him, no drugs or any of that stuff." I said, "Sure thing, I'll be in touch." She though that maybe it was all a timing thing and that she was meant to run into me, a God thing, ya know?

Well, let's see.... I ran into him on Monday and he needs a room. I ran into her on Wednesday and she needs a tenant. Sounds like a plan, I can help two of my friends! So I call his cell number which he gave me on Monday.... "The number you have reached is not in service...." Hmmm He had also given me the number for his parents house, after a little while I opted to try it. A woman, presumably his mother, answered and I asked for him.

In the interest of keeping this already long story shorter she told me he was not there. He got his disability check and disappeared overnight. They told him he had to leave, that he had done this too many times. I was heartbroken. This guy, my age, similar interests, friends in common, old friends.... could easily have been me. I am glad that I did not connect him with my retired friend or bring him into our house. I am sorry he chose to go back out and other than praying there is not much I can do for him.

I just felt I needed to share this as it was very disappointing after having spent that afternoon with him, hearing his story and feeling his pain. I will pray for him and his family as I told his mother. Peace and Prayers to you my brother.


Syd said...

I hoped for a happy ending but alcoholism doesn't have too many of those. I hope that your friend decides to come back and stay sober. You did what you could. God brought the two of you together but the man's will had other plans.

J-Online said...

I'm sorry to hear about your fried. It's hard to watch someone make the same mistakes over and over again. I hope you know in your heart you did the best anyone could ask for (and more). You listened to him, and was trying to help him in a time of need. Too bad he was willing to help himself. You should be proud of your actions though. Thanks for sharing. good to see you blogging. Jen

AlkySeltzer said...

This is a good story and illustrates a lot of Step 12's benefits, and pitfalls. thanks for a good read, Sober Guy. But, as you know they (we) have to WANT it!

Zanejabbers said...

The God thing as you called it is what I call God Shots. It was no accident that you reconnected. It should give you an example of what you do not want to do. A very good read as ALKYSELTZER said. Maybe your friend will be back. Remember, we help each other, not rescue each other. Thanx.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

I agree with Steve-a-roni here, you have to want it and you have to find what will be your bottom. I hope he finds his way back and I am so glad that you were there for him at that meeting.