I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I have ended up where I need to be.
Last night three of us gave our annual panel presentation to the local nursing students. The presentation is an informal discussion on alcoholism and addiction, we talk openly and honestly about the effects of alcoholism and also share about AA and how it works, drug addiction and NA are also touched on. Two of the people on the panel have medical backgrounds, one has done everything from basic nursing to respirator therapy, the other is a retired nurse. These two ladies were practicing alcoholics in their professions; one how has 6 years sobriety and the other 37 years. Our intent is to help the students who as nurse may possibly see a lot of sick alcoholics and addicts up close and personal both as patients and peers, also the family members effected. We try and break the stigma of what an alcoholic is, the three of us have all lead professional lives as practicing alcoholics but were also living very destructive lives. We talk about the obsessive nature of alcoholism, how the obsession is more powerful than our concern for family, friends and our own well being. We also share how we have found a solution, how the obsession has been removed or to put it in a better way, is in remission.
All of us enjoy doing this discussion. Some of the students are really interested in what we have to say. We hit a few nerves too when we talk, it is interesting to watch the expression on the faces, to see someone relate from their own experience. We do what we do because it is just another aspect of service without any expectations attached.
When I read the above quote this morning, it brought back what we shared last night. None of us set out in life to be chronic alcoholics. We didn't say as teenagers, I want to be physically, mentally and spiritually sick person by my 20's. Part of the importance of sharing our story with others, whether it be 40 students or just one on one, is we see where we have gone and where that life lead us both the bad and the good.
Every step I have taken and every step I take on the path is required. I step up to my ass in self pity shit, I wade through the muck of challenges I really do not like because they take me where I need to be. Where I thought I would be 30 years ago and where life took me are two different things. When I was about 8 years old I wanted to be an Oceanographer, 41 years later I am a full time student and part time desk clerk at a hotel, making just enough to survive and it is where I need to be today.
If my life would have been one filled with ease, would I have the gratitude I have for life today? I think the path of struggles both in and out of recovery have made me a better person. When I go through struggles and put them into perspective, I can see I am where I need to be. Struggle as always show me what I need to be doing or sometimes not doing, whatever the case may be. This was the indirect message we shared last night, three ex-drunks who had been to Hell and back, saying life was good today because we stumbled upon a path for living we hadn't intended upon taking.
Hope all are enjoying changing of the seasons, wonderful crisp evenings and mornings. The coffee always smells better when the house is naturally cool.
Peace Love Light
Life's a rollercoaster
2 weeks ago