Saturday, October 28, 2006

We are not a glum lot

Last night I went to another good meeting (I can't remember many bad meetings. I remember one, however, where I was asked to speak to adolescents in their early recovery. They were passing around several huge bags of peanut M&Ms. A lot of crunching filled the air as I spoke. About half-way through my pitch (and I'm sure they were thinking "If I was that old, I'd quit using, too!"), they began throwing M&Ms around the room, at first a few randomly then with increasing energy and intensity. I wasn't too sure what to do so I just kept talking, although a few times an M&M whizzed perilously close to my head, smacking the wall behind me.)

Anyway, yesterday was a rough day for me because, as I've said, I'm trying to rebuild myself professionally since the transplant. I went to an interview yesterday morning I saw in the paper that sounded like a fit, then when I got there, I was interviewed by a guy with less experience than me by far, less credentialed, you know the drill, I'm sure. It was basically a position I could have filled about twenty-two years ago. I was very humbled when I left. Next I went to a meeting of my former insurance peers who I hadn't seen since well before the transplant. They held a presentation and as I looked around the room, I realized I was as well qualified or more than most of the people in the room, and I was unemployed.

Anyway, it was another "poor me" moment and another one of those moments of clarity where I realized the mess I was in was mainly created by me. When my s/o said, "You're right where you're supposed to be," I said "I'm right where I put myself." My self-will and ambition and intolerance put me where I am professionally and I may never dig myself out. Or, as I hope, God has another plan for my career that will make me uniquely useful and happy. As St. Augustine said, "First I believe; then I understand." I just have to have faith and do the footwork.

So before the meeting I took the Big Book and opened it, asking God to show me some answer. The page I opened to was from The Family Afterward, the four paragraphs around "We are not a glum lot." So when the meeting opened and the leader asked if there was a topic, I volunteered to read that portion. I know that when I travel or try to find a meeting in an unfamiliar building or church, I orient myself to the meetings' locations by the laughter. We had a few laughs in the meeting and one member with only a few months told a moving story of twelve-stepping his friend, so I left feeling better. Meetings inevitably adjust my attitude.

When I came into the rooms, there was nothing funny in my life. The police had confiscated my car; I was trying to sell cosmetics and failing so I didn't ruin my reputation in the insurance industry; I was so darkly depressed that most days I couldn't get off the couch; my house was a mess including uncut lawns, books piled around in heaps and weeks of dog hair lying about; my mother wasn't speaking to me and my father had to sneak around her to see me; and my brothers had pretty well given up on me.

Today, my life is filled with humor and joy. Yesterday was not one of those days, but those deep ruts in my recovery are today fleeting. By last night and bedtime, I was back in gratitude and I slept well. Today we're grouting the kitchen, so the house is coming along. I can't ask for much more.

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