I guess you can say this is a follow up to my last post about being a lone wolf.
Since I wrote that post, I have taken a few actions. To wit:
I finally reached out to my sponsor and had a great discussion. We caught up on some stuff going on with him, and he with me. I came to see just how much I really do care and respect the man, and just how he has rocketed into the fourth dimension, as they say in 12-step recovery (meaning he is living on a spiritual plane). He continues to show me how to be a man, how to be a man in our society and in the program, and how to care and give and accept as a man. As a person. He always re-ignites my gratitude for recovery and for the men and women who have helped me along, and continue to help me along.
I also have been meeting regularly with my step sponsor. This is a friend, an old-timer with decades of recovered time, who is taking me through some step work. Over lunch, we had a fantastic discussion on fears and surrender and coming to believe. We always draw strength from each other and there was a great calmness to him that I didn’t see the week before. That was mainly because he was able to reach out to others and share his issues. Long time sobriety doesn’t mean that we can be a stand alone Easter Island fixture. Folks, regardless of time, still need one another, and he showed me that, through his examples, not just his words. As usual, he pinpointed so many very things about me that I really didn’t see myself and am grateful for that.
I have also been mysteriously getting calls and texts from those with less time in the program who have wanted to talk. And I have spoken to them. I say “mysteriously” but really I know it’s Creator showing me to where I need to be. I have been grateful to hear from these other men and that they would come to me for guidance or to just be an ear to bend. As usual, I am always lighter and yet fuller when I finish my discussions with them. A sort of glow seeps in through my protective walls when this happens and it cascades and reflects into a greater radiance. This buoys my spirits and bounds me to others.
After my physio appointment the other day, I wondered what I would do with a pocket of time I had, and realized that there was a meeting about three blocks away. I hopped on my (new!) bike and got there about 25 minutes into the meeting, but it was great. (I want to note that I don’t even like being one minute late to meetings and often judge others who come late…but who cares! The time we walk in is the perfect time sometimes). I felt that buzz from being with others. I found myself, once again, refreshed from hearing people’s stories and walking away with less judgement than what I walked in with.
For example, one of my good recovery friends and a stalwart for the program, Big John, discussed how he has been homeless for some time now. I would have never known that because he never complains about it, never moans about it. He speaks from a place of treasure and wealth of spirit, even if he doesn’t have a bed to call his own. And I complain about what again? He is an example of spiritual guidance and acceptance. He plays out his life as if he chose it, and embraces what is there. That is something I find attractive. That is where I need to be, in my outlook.
I made (and kept) plans with friends for coffee or simple chats. I have been blowing people off as of late, and it was surprisingly enjoyable to reacquaint myself with some of the guys I have know for a while, who aren’t in recovery or running. Just regular dudes with issues and situations like the rest of us – family, jobs, kids, etc.
On the running front, I made it to my first running group workout. I had some anxiety about it, but in the end I knew it would be fine. I surprised myself by actually going up and introducing myself to a few of the folks there. I didn’t linger in conversation much, but I made the effort. For the workout, we were divided into small groups according to our speed / fitness. Me and another newer member were paired up, and we ended up chatting a lot during the run. She was very cool and even cooler was how the other faster runners, as they would pass us, would encourage us (“Good job guys!”, “Nice hustle!”)
To many readers, this might be a “big deal? I do this all the time and it’s not a struggle”. And kudos if that’s the case. To this kiddo here, this is Big Deal Stuff. Important. Vital, even, to my existence. I am a toddler in many ways in this new life, so this is something I need to keep reminding myself of.
All of these occurences have opened things up for me.
The timing of all of this is, of course, impeccable and reeks of Creator at work. The alignment of these actions and opportunities is outside of my realm and brings me to lush reminder that I am not in charge of things – I just have to do the next right indicated thing. I do the legwork (no pun intended) and He takes care of the outcome. He knows better than I do, that’s for sure.
Even when it deals with me dealing with others – never my forte. At least, that is the story I tell myself.
And here’s the thing – all of these small rewards I am getting by connecting with others come only when I step out of my comfort zone. I don’t like to want to get out of my comfort zone (who does?) but that’s where the good mojo happens. That’s where the juice flows. That’s where I see things in a new light. The bounty I get – stronger identification with others like me, deeper understanding that I am not alone or unique, bolder feeling of being linked to something greater than myself – far outweighs the initial fears I must move over. And those fears can freeze me for a long time. As they have recently.
It’s taken me a long time, but I am slowly starting to see the real reason I am here – to meld with humanity, to help, to aid, to just be with others and not allow my fears to overtake and stunt me. During a meditation at temple today, I asked Creator where it was he needed me to be. I immediately had a picture of a detox unit that I once spoke at pop up in my mind. Here is the “discussion” I had with Creator after that:
Me: But why there? (detox unit) I don’t want to go there (and help others)
Me: I am afraid. I don’t like those places and the people in them.
Me: Why don’t I like those people, Creator?
Him: Because they remind you of you.
Me: So why do I need to help others like that?
Him: To be whole.
Epic stuff, eh? But that’s it in a nutshell. I have had these “conversations” with the Big Enchilada before and they always turn out this way. So it seems that my floor plan includes, nay demands that I connect with people, even if I don’t feel like it. But what did I say about mojo? It happens outside my little safety bubble.
I feel like a newcomer in so many ways in my life now…and I am enjoying it. Ego bruising, but needed.
I plan to hit a meeting tomorrow and at least 1-2 a week, if not more. My running club is once a week. Meeting with others in the program and out of the program may tack on another 1-2 moments out of my week again. So I seem to be getting busier. But that’s okay. I certainly found lots of time to drink, so I can find the time to work on this, and work on my links and relationships with others. Even if my mind wants to pull me back.
Action. Humility. Acceptance.
This works on all levels for me in all parts of my life.
These days, I feel like a pack animal and not a recluse.
I am truly running with wolves.
Thanks for reading.