When Father Mark Brian, arrived at Kingcome Village, on the Up Coast of British Columbia, and met the indigenous population that lived there, he did not know, what he did not know, until he learned what he did not know, until he learned it.
One of those “things” he did not know, at first, is why, every time he looked at one of his “people” because they were his people, the sheep in his flock, there was no pretension about him, no ego to boost, no needs to be filled, he had to “come to know them,” as they were, as God would have had it, all along, that one thing was “The Depth of Sadness” that was in the eyes of all the Indians of Kingcome Village.
If you have never read Margaret Craven’s, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, I highly recommend you find a copy.
Tonight, I heard one of our women speak, for the first time, in our meeting. She has been sober a long time, almost twenty-five years. She came in, in her twenties, but the road to sobriety was LONG and ARDUOUS.
In the beginning we all laughed with her. Midway into the story, I stopped breathing. I could not take a breath, for the life of me. I was sitting on the edge of my chair, holding my breath, just waiting for the miracle to take place.
Because she really needed a miracle.
When we begin to drink, we do not know what we do not know. If we continue to drink and add drugs to that mix, there is certainly, MORE, that we do not know.
Not listening to warnings, or following rules, and doing everything that one can to circumvent the rule of good, sane, human behavior, is going to lead us into a jackpot that can’t possibly be escaped.
Bad friends, Bad boys, illicit behavior, drugs and alcohol do not have very good endings. I know this, from my own personal experience.
My friend tonight, had the jackpot of everything that was bad, in her life. Because she did not know, what she did not know.
We do stupid things in our youth, and many, do not survive their mistakes. I did stupid things in my youth, to Todd’s credit, and by the Grace of God, I did survive my past.
When a bad boy, becomes a bad marriage, what is the logical ending of this very bad scenario ? A BABY WILL MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER …
Hell, let’s keep drinking and drugging, have one healthy baby, born without a problem, and let’s add another baby …
Bring into this really serious bad situation, a couple of attempts to sober up, that fail, and four months into a second pregnancy, the husband activates an intervention.
Mom is now CIRCLING the DRAIN …
What, I don’t have a problem. IT’S ALL HIS FAULT …
Can you see where this is going ?
Pregnant, addicted and insane, people begin to PRAY for her second baby to be born healthy. Mom cannot, for the life of her, understand WHY her friends are praying for her baby, because in her words, She Did Not Have a Problem …
Luckily, amid this point she hits rehab, again. And walks through the doors, only to turn around and say to us, “Don’t you know who I am ?”
- I don’t do rules
- I don’t pay bills
- I don’t pay rent, and I sure as shit
- DON’T TAKE THE BUS …
How do you imagine this is going to end ? Not well, as I was hearing this story.
Still sitting on the edge of my chair, and not breathing, I had not noticed I was holding my breath, until the Miracle happened.
The right woman walked into our woman’s life and took her in, homeless, hungry, drunk and high, void of emotion, having lost her husband AND her children, she had no place to go.
My friend learned about rules, via the suggestions. She learned how to pay bills, by attaining welfare, thereby being able to pay her rent, TO this SOBER Woman. And she went to meetings.
Her sponsor told her to hit ninety in ninety. And better yet, take a newcomer chip every day for the first thirty days.
Back in the day … Her day, and back in my day … when we got sober, suggestions were not suggestions, per se, they were life savers. You either did them or you didn’t, because if you did not do as you were told, sobriety would never happen for us hard-headed, arrogant, entitled men and women some of us are, when we came into the rooms.
Newcomers today scoff every time we mention suggestions to them. They would rather eat dirt, then put forth the energy and commitment to the work sobriety entails, if you really want Top Drawer Sobriety.
The Miracle began to happen.
My friend did exactly what she was told to do, like I did, what I was told to do, from the very first day. Next April, by the grace of God, she will hit Twenty Five Years Clean and Sober.
Her kids, now in their twenties, never saw mom drunk. They were too young when she finally took her last drink. One of her sons, recently, asked mom to accompany him to pick out an engagement ring for his now fiancee …
Most women, in the rooms, could not possibly get how incredible this little act is, unless you have kids, that you were able to keep, having not lost them, indefinitely, due to your alcoholism and drug addiction.
Most of the women I know, lost big, having lost those miracles we call children.
But our woman, tonight, has the husband, who was there at the intervention, and she has her kids, THREE KIDS, now in their twenties, in tact.
Happy, Joyous and Free.
As she closed her share, I remembered to breathe. And I noticed my friends sitting to my right hand side, had also stopped breathing at some point.
I knew, for the very first time, in all my years of sobriety, those words that Mark Brian had to figure out for himself …
The Depths of Sadness, in his people’s eyes.
What he did not know, is what we all do not know, when we come in, until we hear another drunk, tell their story to us.
The Depth of Sadness …
Thank God for the rooms, and SOME of the people in them.