Before my meeting each Monday evening, a few of us try to have coffee to catch up on the week that had passed. There might be only two of us on any given Monday but because we don’t see each other or talk during the week, there always seems to be some news. The news may be nothing more than how our week was and at other times, what might be going on with someone we know in the fellowship.
We were not talking about the “someone we know in the fellowship” as gossip but had a frank discussion of why this person, or anyone who can sustain sobriety for a certain period of time just can’t seem to string more than “x” number of months together.
It is true that as similar as we all are there are differences and those differences are sometimes what makes some never relapse and some who can’t stop relapsing. I understand divine timing. I’ve written about it. But I can’t just ignore the people around me who relapse and say, “Well, I guess it’s just not their time”. I get the HALT; written about that, too. I understand spiritual bankruptcy and that any addiction is a disease. We do not choose addiction. But why do people choose recovery and then turn their backs on it?
I know I’m asking a question of which there is no answer. You can read all of the books on relapse and go to meetings that discuss relapse but it is so private, so individual that every one’s reasons and situations. I clearly remember telling someone who had relapsed like a million times and on death’s door that she needed to pray not for God’s will but the courage to accept Step One. There is no way anyone can maintain sobriety with practicing with perfection that Step every day for the rest of their lives.
So today, friends, I’m frustrated. My friend who I was talking with at coffee had gone in and out a couple of times. I’m not sure she could tell you why. Well, actually she says that she couldn’t live with alcohol and she couldn’t live without it therefore, the “yo-yo effect”. It wasn’t funny at the time, but today when she talks about it she laughs because she told God that He “had one more chance to help her!” But He did!
Bear with me and let me go back to the frustration. I know someone who was sober for almost four months and working an incredibly strong program. Life happened and that was all there was to it. I had a feeling though, that there was a drink in the plan even before that but it was sooner than I had expected. I had actually asked but was met with denial. Imagine that!
Today I got a text message from someone I had worked with about a year ago. I do not have friendliest texting phone but managed to write “Are you sober?” After a few minutes passed I knew what the answer was. “No. I slipped”. This young girl had been in jail, lost her child to CPS, regained her child and now “slipped”. I guess I can only pray, right?
I know it is human frailty. We all have it. I guess I want to understand what I can’t understand. I want answers! And there are none. So the bottom line is this. Since only God knows what is in store for any of us, and He is the only one that “could and would if He were sought”, I am asking that all of us choose someone who can’t seem to get it and pray for them like there is no tomorrow because they might not be. And then when you are done praying for that person, pray for another and another that they may “get it” one last time. Lastly, be in gratitude for the fact that you are sober and can offer a prayer and a hand to the man who still suffers.
Namaste’. May you walk your journey in peace and harmony.
Like Grateful Recovery on Facebook. Kathy L. is the author of "The Intervention Book" (Conari Press) in print, e-book, and audio.