A Prayer For Those Who Still Suffer.

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283634_259455274167841_1410730909_nRecovery can be the greatest gift of a person’s life. It was in mine. I remember the feeling of being so helpless, hopeless and full of fear for such a long time leading up to coming into treatment the last time. I had no idea how a person lived a lifetime without drinking. I could not seem to manage not drinking for a couple hours, let alone days, weeks, months or years. It still continues to amaze me looking back on how it all transpired. In many ways I am blessed in my job, working at the place I first came to believe that MAYBE it was possible to make it a day not drinking. I have the opportunity to watch others come in, just as broken as I was. Grasping at the smallest thing, fighting to put their demons to bed and climb out of the pit of addiction. Possibly the hardest won fight of their lives. I get to hear from the alumni who call or come out to check in with us. The miracle of recovery working in their lives. 30, 60, 90 days clean and sober…families getting back together, gainfully employed, going to meetings…a desire to give away what was given to them. Then all of a sudden a shift…less meetings, less calls…life suddenly became very busy and very real. They call it a pink a cloud, the treatment high, that feeling of wonder and amazement that comes with staying sober…that eventually leaves. Then what happens? Some of us trudge through the ordinariness of our lives, staying plugged into our 12 step meetings, working with our sponsors. Learning to live a life in recovery. Some of us drink. Back on the circuit again. It is a painful place to be in. The knowing that you had a solution but for that moment in time that solution no longer rings true for them. I don’t hear from all of them, some just fall off. It happened this last week with a couple alumni and it will happen again. It always breaks my heart a little when I hear the news. I know the pain of relapse. I am reminded that I am just one drink away from a drunk. That everything that I have been given and worked for the past 5 years can disappear if I put my guard down. I pray that prayer I was taught early on…”God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” For all of us…

Joan Swenson alumni #113

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