As my eleventh day of being clean from pain killers winds down I find myself sitting in my basement- Lipped packed with chew- Cup of coffee- Watching the Heat/Celtic game- Feeling like I'm in such a great place in my life right now. I also find myself struggling to find the right things to post on the blog that helped me get clean- Whenever I've come here in the past 10 days everything just flowed out of me so effortlessly- so smoothly. For some reason I find myself with a bit of writer's block- I'll do my best to explain why---
Last night I attended my first ever NA meeting. I found the place from the pamphlet my AA buddy got for me and I made a promise to my wife and myself that I would attend. I got there nice and early- Cup of coffee in hand ready to see what was in store for me. I really didn't know what to expect. I was nervous- anxious- curious- just a ball of emotion as I was sitting down in the basement of this church. As I was driving there a thought came to me- What are you doing to do if you see someone there that you know? The meeting was in a different town, about 15 minutes from where I live and grew up- However- I did work in a store for 6 years in the adjacent town and I met a lot of people when working there.
So I'm sitting there- Meeting starts- Introductions are done- I'm Mr_Dean and I'm an addict- And who walks in and sits right in front of me as the intro's are winding down----- My son's T Ball Coach. Now I'm new to this whole process but I got the sense he's been to this meeting before, not sure why. Now throw in confusion to my emotional roller coaster. Should I say hi? Is that going to be more embarrassing for me.. Or him?? Did he see me already? What do I do? I just sat there to see how it played out.
The leader of the meeting goes over the "rules" of the meeting and it seemed it was predetermined that this one young man was going to speak. He gets up in front of everyone and tells his story--
I was so attentive to every single word he said. He explained his story and I hung on every word. He laid his story out very well- Everyone in the room listened carefully- Hearing his story vs. reading a blog made it so real- I felt his words and emotions and almost cried a few times. He's clean 8 months. His story was so powerful- The responses were so powerful- The emotions in this room were so powerful that I had to get up and leave- ten minutes before the meeting was scheduled to end.
I sat in my car in silence just thinking/digesting everything I just heard in that church basement. I haven't felt this much of a mixture of emotions ever in my life. Before I finally make my point let me say this- I know for the past 5-6 years I had a serious problem with pain killers- I was an addict- simple as that. But my journey was not even in the same Parking Lot of a Ball Park as this young man. It wasn't even close- My journey seemed like nothing compared to what this young man went through- or the others that spoke in that room. I drive home in complete silence- no radio- no customary phone call to the wife to let her know I was on my way home- Silence! It was deafening. My mind was racing all over the place. Here's what I felt-
Guilt- I felt guilty for being thankful that I never made it to the point that young man did. That upset me because I felt I shouldn't feel that way.
Confusion- What was I supposed to be feeling? Should I have left early? Should I have said hi to the coach? Should I have spoken up and shared my thoughts- shared my story?
Not Welcome- This last feeling was something that I put on myself obviously as no one in that room directly made me feel I wasn't welcome there- It was done indirectly and something I put on myself. Felt almost as if I didn't "fit in" with the rest at the meeting- Something I've struggled with my whole life- Always seeking attention/approval from others.
Made it home- went up to speak to my wife- broke down and cried like a baby because of all the emotions just came spilling out of me. I shared all of my feelings with her. Felt OK afterwards- Went into my man cave and texted my AA buddy to see if he could talk- When he get got back to me we spoke on the phone for about an hour- I shared all of my feelings with him and he put things into perspective for me- Pretty much saying it was OK to feel the way I was feeling- It was OK to feel thankful my hole never made it nearly as deep as the others in that room- I'm not belittling those in that room by feeling the way I felt which was another feeling I put on myself.
"You've been popping pills everyday of your life for the past five years- For 11 Days you haven't- You have every right to be happy.." This was said to me today by my other AA buddy- My friend for many years that I had lost touch with but recently connected with again during my recovery process.
I'll FINALLY wrap it up by saying this- Pink Cloud or not- I'm happy and In a very good spot in my life right now- My goal is to continue being happy while always trying to keep things in perspective- I'm ready for the curve balls that life WILL throw at me!
Thanks for Reading- Thanks for posting- Thank you all for being there-
So much for writer's block huh?
Keep Moving Forward-