Keeping things in context is mucho importante.
I’ve been so wrapped up in my own little world of recovery, treatment, and AA that, I’ve come to realize, I may have lost sight of some important things that are worth a good look.
After a week of putting all my resentments in a crock pot and letting me eat them alive, I have come to see that, things could be a helluva lot worse. It seems that my small, self-centered world has taken me out of the bigger picture, so much so, that I’ve missed out on some pretty important concepts in my sober life.
I prayed for compassion, and, what do you know, God blessed me with some.
I went to the hospital to see a friend, who I mentioned had surgery for a very serious staph infection. In all honesty, I really went for selfish reasons. I wanted to get out the resentment I had against this kid for leaving me in the lurch when I needed a friend out of my system. So, in the spirit of AA, I went with the idea that I was going to do some service. I’d show up for the person who hadn’t shown up for me, and thereby, get some relief.
And, yes, I did get relief. But, I also gained some major perspective.
My friend was in really, really bad shape. In severe pain, emaciated, and practically immobile. He’d been cooped up in his hospital room for over a week, and having just had major surgery for staph in his throat could barely talk, obviously hadn’t been eating much, and was clearly wonky on some pretty hard hitting sedatives.
He needed a visitor. It wasn’t about wanting. It wasn’t about him being a needy or whiny person. In a tiny room all to himself, for over a week, I don’t know how he was still sane, let alone well enough to have a lucid conversation with me.
I was immediately hit pretty hard with guilt. Guilt for having judged this dude so harshly. No matter what he had or hadn’t done for me, his current situation is pretty dire, and, I was completely taken aback by my own selfish approach to having gone to see him. My motives for going certainly weren’t unkind, but, I really hadn’t stopped to think that someone who’s been living out life in an extended hospital stay might have it a bit worse than me.
I may struggle with my day-to-day life, but, at least I have my freedom. I can get around. I don’t need to buzz a nurse to fluff my pillow or bring me a Pepsi. I can turn my neck from left to right, no problem. This guy, well, he can’t. And, God reminded me that some things trump others.
I’m in control today. I can choose not to drink. I still have the disease of Alcoholism, but, so long as I don’t pick up that first drink, I can live me life. I can get to the places I need to go.
So, I made good on my resentment, but my trip to the hospital turned out to be more than a lesson in letting things go. It taught me that regardless of my situation, there are a million other situations out there. And, truly, they are a lot worse than my lot, people everywhere are struggling every day. So, today, I am grateful for my health. I am grateful that my friend made it to the hospital in time for them to catch this nasty infection, that could have caused him permanent paralysis.
From now on, before I hold my grudges, or make good on them, I’m going to remember that not everything is as it appears in my head. In fact, it probably has no relation whatsoever to what is going on in my head. To get true perspective, I have to get out of my head, and into reality.
In reality, I am an Alcoholic, and around me, the world still turns. Every now and then, I’ve got to put my shit aside and take in what is all around me.