I wrote this on MAY 20th, 2015 at 3:22am:
Before I stopped drinking and using, I spent a brief stint on the streets. I like to think of my self as compassionate and understanding, but in reality I give a few dollars and quickly become uninterested and dismissive. But tonight something was different. It might have been the chill in the air that reminded me of what is was like, what happened and what it’s like now. I stood outside my Tuesday night meeting feeling “recovered,” laughing with my fellows. I got tired and cold. I knew it was time to head to my tiny home and crawl into my warm bed. That’s when I met T.
She looked like I used to feel…broken, lost and alone…desperate.
I didn’t want to be bothered, but she asked for help. A jacket and a blanket was her only request…not money. I looked into her eyes and all I could see was a warped reflection of myself…an alternate version of my sister…maybe even a hint of my daughter.
I spent about 15 minutes calling shelters while trying not to become too invested in the person who stood next to me. “You can’t save anyone,” I reminded myself. I kept thinking I’m cold, I have to work tomorrow and there was that show I wanted to watch on Netflix. She just stood there. I was secretly hoping she would get bored and move on but she had no where to go.
I had no luck with the shelters and she said thanks for trying and started to fade back into the shadows. The thought crossed my mind, “If I was was that cold how cold must she be?”
Perhaps it was the fact that she had no expectations or demands, I don’t know for sure, but I opened the door and loaded her in the car. We swung by the house where I got her a sweatshirt, jacket and a blanket while she defrosted in the car. I drove to a 24 hour donut shop and we sipped warmed cups of coffee while she told me her story and I told her mine.
4 hours later, it was past time for me to go back to my sheltered world. I bribed the guy at the donut shop to let her stay and we said our goodbyes. She thanked me and said that it was the first time she felt like a human being in weeks. I thought about it, I had to agree the same was true for me.
I know I am not the cause or the cure. I can’t fix anyone. But I was also taught the question isn’t “if we should give” but “when and how to give.” I gave the most precious commodity there is…time…time that was given to me to do the next right thing. In return, for a brief moment, my problems didn’t seem quite so important.
..Sleep is overrated when we get to work for a Power greater than ourselves.
Good luck T, thank you.
“There but for the grace of God go I”
NOVEMBER 4TH 2015 – UPDATE
TONIGHT I WENT TO MY HOMEGROUP AND AT THE END OF THE MEETING A WOMAN CAME UP TO ME AND SAID THANK YOU.
SHE WAS CLEAN, SOBER, PRESENT AND BARELY RECOGNIZABLE…IT WAS T.
I AM TOUCHED TO THE DEEPEST PART OF MY SOUL AND FEEL MORE CONNECTED TO THE UNIVERSE THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN.
GOD IS BIGGER THAN I CAN COMPREHEND AND I AM PART OF SOMETHING GREATER THAN ME.
November 4th, 2016 – Today
“T” came to my homegroup for about 6 months. She participated regularly, lived in an sober living environment for women and had found a sponsor. She cleaned up nicely, found friends and got a boyfriend.
Then one day I didn’t see her anymore. She hasn’t come back to our meeting and I haven’t seen her in any others.
I like to think she’s sober, but honestly I don’t know. What I do know is that, during the brief time she spent with us, I watched her entire life change. If this experience has shown me anything, it’s that when we have a desire to stop, when we truly make a decision to do the work and delve into action then life can change.
I don’t know where you are T, but I pray that you are well.
Missing your reminder of hope in my day,