Monday, September 10, 2007

A Reason for Living

One of the biggest differences I have noticed in me lately is that I crave human contact. For years, I shied away from humans, scared of them. Long, lonely nights would be spent drinking and listening to music that would make me cry. It was a sad and lonely existence not fit for even the meekest of us. Steely Dan. Joni Mitchell. Bruce Coburn. All maestros that once sung the soundtrack that was my life.

Last night, I went to a Sunday evening Alcoholics Anonymous speaker's meeting. A good time was had by all and there was a wonderful young man sharing his story. He had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals with homicidal and suicidal thoughts for years. He got sober at twenty three... twenty three. He said he drank to hide his pain. I also drank to hide my pain and to assuage my social anxieties. I felt a strong tying chord with him.

"Thanks for sharing your story," I told the young man after the meeting as I shook his hand vigorously.

"No, thank you," he replied, catching me by surprise. "Thank you for being here to listen to it. Keep coming back."

I watched as a group of cranky, old alcoholics gathered around this young man to say thanks and to encourage him, too, to keep coming back. I thought of the courage it took to get in front of a very large group of people to speak. "I want that," I thought. "I want that confidence. I want to be so sure of myself."

I arrived home to find that Rosa had cooked supper. It was such a nice surprise. The house smelled of wonderful food as I walked in the door. Barbecue chicken. Field peas. German potato salad. Fried okra. All comfort foods that I enjoy.

"You are a saint," I told Rosa sitting at my kitchen table hungrily eating.

"I can cook, you know," Rosa replied as she smiled.

"And what a wonderful cook you are," I said leaning over the table to give her a kiss.

It was so nice to come home to something like that. A surprise. I usually do all the cooking. We sat out on my porch for hours after supper and the last light of the sunlight faded away. Cigarillos were smoked and much calm and quiet conversation was had.

"You're different lately," Rosa told me at one point.

"I think I have found a higher power," I replied. "A purpose for living."

"What is your purpose?" Rosa then asked.

"I want to help others. I want to help others stay sober and to get through their mental illnesses."

"I just want you to be happy," Rosa told me. "And if that makes you happy then I say go for it."

The day ended with our usual rituals. Rosa took a long bath as I curled up on the couch reading a book as the Weather Channel softly droned on the television. I took my nightly medications and then drifted off into slumber land, curled up in the bed with Maggie and Rosa by my side. It was a quiet, calm, and serene day much needed out of the many tumultuous days I had experienced in my life. I hope you all have a great day today and I am off for my morning walk.

20 comments:

sattvicwarrior said...

keep up the good work. and GOOD for you !!
your only in the here and now and there is nothing constant but change
life is about choices in that realm of consciousness we call reality.
so do what you are doing. CHANGT FO THE BETTER!
foe whose better than YOU ????
NO ONE OF COURSE. so you deserve the best by treating your self with the best..
SELF LOVE AND APPRECIATION !
good luck:)

Le Fleur said...

Hmm, morning walk. Perhaps I should take one too so I can getmymind off this Chemistry test I have at noon...

Congratulations on another good day and for finding out what really makes you happy. There are plenty people out here who want you to be happy :)

CRUSTYBEEF said...

what a great day you had!!
And thanks again for stopping over yesterday and doing the Superbowl shuffle with the best of us! :)
Cigarello's at sundown...so wonderful.
Meals made by your beloved-delicious
meetings met with confidence-GOOD FOR YOU!!!
Here's to a good start to Monday-
I'm raising my coffee that Soul and I share to you!
Always,
Crusty~

Cheryl said...

What a pleasure it was to come here and read this post. I love to hear you happy.

Whitney said...

I, too, see a change in you!! I think you are happy and realizing that it is okay to be happy.

What a great life you lead and you DO touch everyone you come in contact with either through this blog or at your meetings. I like what that guy said to you "Thank you for being here to listen to it." We tend to forget that those sharing also need us to listen.

Can't wait to get my questions!!
Whitney

Tee said...

Great post!

Barb said...

I wish I shared your peace...that will be my mantra today!
You are radiating~

B~

pattycakes said...

sounds like you had a wonderful day, full of things most people crave. people to talk to , someone to love us , and a nice meal to come home to. just think how far you have come . have a great day andrew :)

SOUL: said...

i see crusty toasted you at our smoke and choke... you are welcome to join us anytime!

it's nice to be back to reading your words. i love your writing and have missed it!

Anonymous Boxer said...

(((hands clapping)))

Moonroot said...

What a good day - and how lovely to read about it. As always, your writing draws me in.

hensteeth said...

I'm glad to see you taking your life by the horns and giving it a good shake, Andrew. You give me hope.

Portia said...

you & rosa make a great team:)

Candleman said...

Bingo Andrew, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Ironically, the way to solve personal problems is usually to get outside yourself in the service of others.

Way to go!

Josie Two Shoes said...

Every day I am more and more inspired by the wonderful direction you are moving in your life, Andrew. I read this post and I just sit here smiling!

How wonderful for Rosa to surprise you with a lovely dinner - you really have found a very special soul mate in her. Maybe it's true as is said, that there is someone for everyone. She's delightful, and so caring and understanding!
Truly, you both are blessed!

mago said...

Halkyonic days for you both - enjoy!

You seemingly reached a kind of balance. I am pleased about this, it's a sign of hope.

SOUL: said...

send rosa my way... i'm HUNGRY! :))

Nikita1 said...

Well done, Andrew! It pays off to keep going back! Your confidence is growing...chin up! you're great!

EE said...

Is your camera still broken? I miss your pictures.

betsy said...

I came across your blog by accident. Lots of your posts made me smile. Especially this one, and about craving human contact. Stuff like this makes me feel less lonely, I suppose I mean when you read other people's thoughts and they mirror your own.