Friday: The Mirror


“My spiritual awakening was electrically sudden and absolutely convincing. At once I became a part – if only a tiny part – of a cosmos that was ruled by justice and love in the person of God.”

I spoke to a very, long sober woman, on the way home tonight. When I am conflicted, I usually know who to talk to.

She reminded me that the “ROOMS” are like One Big Hospital. However, at any given time, we are not all on the same floor.

And that if something is bothering me to the point of obsession, the only thing I can do is look in the mirror and the only inventory I can take is my own.

We see each other, night after night. And all we can see, is what is on the outside, and usually, we don’t necessarily, get to see, or know intimately, what is going on in the inside of our friends and fellows.

The same goes for everyone else.

The lesson of approval is sitting on my dashboard right now. This was a lesson that was one of the harshest lessons Todd ever had to teach me, the hard way.

I know what that lesson felt like in real-time.

I hated the mirror in the bathroom for a very long time. Today, we have three mirrors in the apartment. The bathroom mirror, there is one in the bedroom, and another at the front door.

The only time I ever looked in the mirror, was when I took my pills every night.

The first two years of sobriety, were spent, always looking at my shoes. I never looked you in the eye, and I never took off my baseball cap to uncover my face. It took two years for that to change.

It did.

One day I walked into my aftercare office and I wasn’t wearing the cap, and one of the counselors remarked to me that …”Hey, you did not look at your shoes once today, I can see your face.” It was a watershed moment in my sobriety.

Being sober, is contingent and directly related to what everyone else is either doing or NOT doing. If that makes me a little bit critical, then so be it.

I was reminded again tonight that, the only thing that I can change is me.

However difficult I find it – changing others is not my job.

I can make the decision to say hello to people who won’t necessarily say hello to me first. And for the most part, those people who want nothing to do with me, I’d rather eat dirt then say anything to them.

In the world, we are born and are raised in a family to do certain things and achieve certain goals as they come. We go to school, we graduate, get a good job, find a gal, get married and pop out a few kids.

Thankfully, I did not choose that route.

But even as a young gay boy, and a serious alcoholic at that, I could not make it work in the big wide world around me. Seriously !!!

Over my lifetime, God attempted to get my attention. And I did have my good moments at certain periods in my life. When I got sober the second time, I turned my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understood Him.

I committed, I relocated, and I turned it all over.

The rest they say is history.

I am always in seeking mode. I’m always looking for the next great lesson. However slow in coming they are. But I persist.

The rooms provide, if you know how to make them work for you.

You just got to keep showing up. And doing something small, every day, in a good way, that you had not done, in the past.

Little Small Changes – Build to Big Life Changes.

A good friend of mine hit the TEN year mark tonight. I watched him get sober.

He has a good sober wife, a three-year old son, and a life of his dreams.

All possible because one certain man showed up for him, every day, in those first years of sobriety. Just his friends mere presence, in a particular meeting, that guy just kept showing up. He was reliable. And my friend depended on that guy, always being in the same chair, day after day, week after week and year after year.

I am that guy, for my friends today. I show up. Sit in the same seat. Day, Week, Month and Year after Year. I am always present, even if I don’t want to be. Because one day, that simple presence may change a life for the better.

If we skip a day, we might miss a miracle on the way.