Perception Check / Alteration

June 26, 2009

Oooo, there’s been trouble brewing in them thar hills this week. I don’t normally have tough weeks or particularly tough days for that matter. To have a string of them in a row is really unusual. Each day this week has seen some sort of problem right off the get-go to start my day. It has been a struggle to get my mind and mood altered sufficiently to be civil once I get to work in order that I treat our clients accordingly. ‘Cuz it wouldn’t be fair to take my frustrations out on them, would it?? No. Thank God for that 20 minute drive to work, I tell ya.

Most of it stems from problems getting a service guy out to check the air conditioner; then when he did arrive for the check up the fan motor was seized. This, of course, occurred during our first real hot weather of the season – the house is like an oven. Anyway, it has created some tension between Lynda and I – plus there have been other situations happening in concert with that which haven’t helped. The weather is supposed to cool off somewhat by Saturday which is when the replacement motor is to be installed. Natch. So that has been my week so far – less than ideal…. but read on. This isn’t just a bitch session.

On arriving at our community meeting tonight, on the bus with our clients, I ran into my female friend C___. We give one another a hug and a check in, ‘How you doin’?’ We both acknowledge that we’re having a few tough days, laugh it off initially but it’s really apparent that C___ is deeply troubled, dwelling on something. There’s an interruption, my cell rings with a call from a former client, a quick dialogue and then the meeting starts. Following, C___ and I cross paths again and she asks if we can talk – ‘Sure, what’s up?’ “During the meeting I realized I’m angry; really freaking ANGRY and it’s AT my therapist!” We didn’t get into the issue that is causing her to be angry but did have a talk about who her anger is harming, what the anger might be a symptom of, how to deal with the subsequent emotional fall-out and whether it might be an adverse reaction / delaying mechanism to where her therapy is leading her. She had cancelled her last scheduled appointment with him because of how she was feeling about him. (Besides being an alcoholic and an addict C___ struggles with having been sexually abused as a youngster by someone in a position of trust.) I came away feeling my problems were small potatoes. I can deal with my stuff.

The meeting itself was a special one celebrating one of the members, Murray, who had achieved the 30 year mark in his sobriety. Everything throughout the night went off without a hitch except for one notable absence – Vince, the fellow who was supposed to present him with his medallion pulled a no-show. Seemed sort of odd but he is, after all, pretty old and known to have problems with memory. Could simply have been feeling off as it has been awfully hot and humid. After arriving back at the residence I received a call to inform me that Vince had been found dead in his home today by a family member; likely as the result of a heart attack. Stunning….. and suddenly I felt as though I have no problems large or small. I’m living, breathing, am cared for and about, I had enough to eat today and have a roof over my head… I’m okay.

A couple of special notes about the meeting. Murray asked his 26 y.o. grand-daughter to be the speaker and she did a terrific job speaking about her 3+ years in recovery. Difficult circumstance with so much family in attendance; wonderful execution. I also spent some time talking with my 88 (89?) y.o. girlfriend Audrey – in a couple of days she leaves for western Canada for 2 weeks holiday at her son’s. While she’s away she will mark 52 years sober. God love her.


  1. Thirty years sobriety. That is just amazing.

    Until I got to the one with 52 years sobriety.

    It’s amazing these guys keep going back to meetings to help others. I wish my brothers would go.

  2. That’s how it’s done Kitty. Continue to pass along that which was so freely given to you. If you want to keep it you must also give it away. A two way street – by helping the newcomer you aid in your own recovery.
    I’ve got a brother who I wish would get on board as well. The doors will always be open for him and a chair reserved.

  3. When you write about gaining perspective, it has an overlap effect over here.

  4. If it has that effect – all to the good. I know I needed that little tune-up on that particular day as it is easy to get carried away by the small day-to-day stuff.. and lose sight of the bigger pcture of what is really important. I came away with a sense of gratitude that my problems are small if not entirely trivial.

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