Friday, November 2, 2007

It's a Small World...

I saw an old childhood friend at the noon LaGrange A.A. meeting. He was shocked when he saw me. We haven't see each other since attending school together as children.

"You go to these meetings?" he asked, astonished.

"Yeah, I do," I replied as I shook his hand, embarrassed.

"I always thought you would be a doctor by now. Not some drunk attending A.A. meetings," he told me as he chuckled.

I laughed nervously back. He was here because he was court ordered having gotten a D.U.I.

"I screwed up," he said. "I got drunk and drove to try and see my ex-wife. We had been fighting. These court costs are costing me a fortune!"

I went on inside and sat down ready for a meeting. My friend followed me in and sat beside me holding his court papers to be signed. The meeting started.

"Please bring your court papers up to the front to be signed," the chairperson said at the start of the meeting. My friend sheepishly walked up there to get his papers autographed.

"Humiliating," he said, whispering as he sat down beside me again.

I patted him on the shoulder and told him no one was thinking badly of him. We see it all the time. So many court ordered people come and go. Most of us had been there at one point or another in our lives.

Today's meeting was about gratitude -- gratitude for sobriety and gratitude for all the good things you have in your life. It was a meeting much needed as I have a tendency to be depressed and morose -- thinking only of the negatives. A side effect of my schizophrenia.

"I have serious gratitude for being sober today," I said as I shared. "It truly is a miracle and God is working wonders in my life."

The meeting ended and I bid my friend farewell knowing I would never see him again unless he had more court ordered meetings to attend.

"Don't be a stranger," he said as he climbed into his car after giving me his cell phone number.

"I'll try not to," I said as I then drove the thirty minutes home.

I've been there before having gotten a D.U.I. to similar circumstances. Mine ended in a broken arm and shoulder though. You would have thought I would have learned my lesson then and quit drinking. I always was hardheaded and incorrigible.


Josie Two Shoes said...

You're like me Andrew, we don't learn lessons easily. We like to keep repeating the same painful behaviors over and over until finally the light dawns on us that we are self-defeating! I think you're doing amazingly well these days. I'm a big fan of grattitude. Did you notice the gratitude box on my sidebar? You should try it - makes me think of something to put there each day! :-)

Kelly Jene said...

I am grateful you didn't get more hurt and that you are still here with us. Maybe your presence helped your old friend, just a bit.

I think the more gratitude we have, the more we have to live for. Make sense?

Josie Two Shoes said...

Kelly is right, Andrew, maybe part of the reason you were at today's meeting was to be a comforting presence for your friend there. You know how hard it is to be the new person, and the odd one out, I'm sure he was so happy to see you! Funny how when we do things to improve our own lives, it tends to benefit others as well!

mapiprincesa! said...

I am willing to bet that meeting is one that your ex-classmate will never forget. Because of you.

Remember how important you are. Remember how you continue to influence and teach. Live by example. That is more powerful than most job positions ever could be.

neilfelix said...

Andrew, I believe God puts each person we meet into our paths for a reason. You might not see the reason now, and neither does your friend, but sometime in the future one of you will have that Ah HA moment when realization strikes. You were meant to touch his life in some way. God doesn't make mistakes, there's a reason even when it's not obvious.

Barb said...

Big benefits come to those that find gratitude amidst the everyday. And I suspect you were on the lips of your elementary school friend, as he spoke with a renewed sence of purpose, after coming to the court mandated AA meeting today. See, once again, you made a HUGE difference in someone's life today!

Did I mention HUGE?


Beautifully Profound said...

You drove today! Yaaaay.

Cheryl said...

You sound good Andrew. You really thrive when you're around people. I'm glad that you got to this one. It sounds like it's livelier than some of the others. You never know who you'll meet, huh?


How are you holding up? I hope okay!! It seems that things are improving over by you and that's so good!!
Hang in there and regardless of what your dad or anyone else thinks...believe in yourself..AA helps you and the med's, and your drive, compassion and will to improve yourself!!!

justLacey said...

I hate running into people I new when I was young. It always seems we are so different now. Even friends I still have from high school sometimes are like strangers now.