My gastric sleeve surgery was done on Monday, the 17th. Today is the fifth day since that surgery. It has been a tough go, but I am healing and I can feel that I am getting better. What is difficult about today, however, is that all the week's medicine, all the week's changes and all the stress of the week has hit me like a giant wrecking ball. I am too emotional, feel all alone and think most people are dumb (including myself).
So I did what I have been taught to do when I feel like this: I picked up the telephone and called three people in my 12 Step program. Two are part of my sponsorship family, i.e. we share the same sponsor. One USED to be in my sponsorship family but now has a different sponsor. All are loving, sweet women who have been sober longer than I have been and have really strong and centered sobriety.
None of them were available.
That happens sometimes, despite our vow to always be there for each other. Circumstances can be such that when you know you really REALLY need to talk to another alcoholic you cannot find one.
What I have been taught regarding this is to look at the situation as God gently reminding me to really, truly rely solely upon Him. If, for instance, I was the type that would drink if I cannot get ahold of someone then the obvious answer would be to keep calling people until you find someone you can talk to even if it means calling the local sobriety hotline. HOWEVER, eventually you have to be able to say, "Ok, no HUMAN is available. I guess I had better turn to God and ask for HIS comfort and help and strength and advice".
In the book Alcoholics Anonymous (referred to by members as The Big Book), there is the A B C(s) of the program.
A) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives
B) That probably no human power could relieve our alcoholism
C) That God could, and would, if he were sought
The acceptance of these 'facts' about ourselves is essential to our recovery. I have to be able to say, without any sought, that my grabbing control of my own life and pushing aside the guidance of God and those creatures He has made available to me for help is a remedy for disaster. If I think I am the only one who can do this deal, that what I want is all that is important, then I am in trouble.
I also have to be willing to admit, as painful as it may be to do so, that the behavior or disposition of another human being towards me cannot be the foundation of my sobriety. I cannot think, ever, that I will stay sober if someone else behaves a certain way. I cannot think, ever, that I will drink if such and such a thing happens. If my sober life is dependent upon someone else's existence and/or behavior, then I am on a collision course with sorrow. I will not stay sober, simply because humans are unreliable.
Even the most stable of us cannot live up to perfection. We might strive to do so with all our hearts but there are going to be times we blow it. Whether it is being late for work or forgetting to pay a bill or not saying the right thing at the right time or saying the wrong thing out loud for all to hear, human beings will eventually screw something up and let someone down.
That is why, when I placed my third call and got a voice mail, I thought to myself, "Man, no one is ever here when I need something...." and had to make a conscious effort to remember that it is not their JOB to be here for me when I need them. It is MY job to reach out for help. And when there are no humans available, then my job is to take it to the next level and get on my knees.
And pray for help.
I am feeling funky because I am five days out of major surgery and a reaction to anesthetic can be depression.
I am feeling funky because I am so worried about my sister-in-law and the children.
I am feeling funky because I am so heartbroken over the behavior of my brother and his blindness towards the destruction he is causing.
I am feeling funky because I don't get to go to Mass tonight - Father Larry told me not to come until I have been at least a WEEK out of surgery so I am going to go tomorrow to the youth Mass at 5:30pm which is not one of my favorites because, well, I am not a youth anymore. No big deal...there is a reason we try to have a Mass that reaches out to and involves the teens. My parish is so wonderfully orthodox that those kids get nothing but solid Catholic teaching and liturgy without them even knowing it. Just kidding...they know it. That's why they come. It is one of the most heavily attended Masses on Sunday because kids in this area are hungry for solid teaching - no Christian flavored kind of cool lots of drums and guitars and yelling; rather, it is a beautiful Mass that the TEENS participate in by being servers and Eucharistic Ministers and ushers and choir members and readers. You should see them. They are just so darn cute.
But I am old now and I like the Saturday night Vigil Mass and the Youth Mass is just too loud for me and, and and and...blah blah blah blah.....SHAPE UP Leslie!
I am feeling funky because I do not have the energy to sit through the entire speaker meeting at NS tonight. A friend of mine from Dixon is down here speaking. I am going to go join her for dinner and then I am going to come home. Again...it is not what I WANT TO DO, so I am feeling sad and funky.
So I have two reasons for feeling low and depressed that are probably legitimate (my brother and anesthetic wearing off) and two reasons that are really all about me not getting my way.
See? Prayer works. Getting on my knees and asking God for guidance and insight as to why I feel so dang bad today allowed me to relax, to think, to ponder and to realize I am going to be ok. No problem. Life is good and I am fine.
Which is why this program works......and why I am happy today even when feeling a little funky and depressed.