Goodbye My Sponsor

Note to reader: The following was first published on May 25, 2011.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

Only moments after finishing a speech today I learn you died. For a moment air leaves my world and then, standing outside minutes later in the sun, I hear you saying, “Remember, Peter, the moment you’re in is the only place you have to be.” And the air returns and I thank the sun for being there.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

In our first days together you over and over again say keep your head where your feet are, stay in the moment. Over our first coffee together you tell me you want me to stop biting my nails. I am perplexed. Why? Because you’ll have to stay in the moment you’re in.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

Once just before a meeting I tell you I didn’t feel like coming. You smiled and said, “There are only two times you should come to a meeting, when you want to and when you don’t.” Being a typical alcoholic I say, “What if I’m not sure,”  and you smile at me with so much love and say, “I stand corrected, there are three times.”

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

Walking together to the parking lot after a meeting one evening you touch my arm and say, “Look up, Peter. Look over there.” And you are pointing at a white church steeple and the beautiful blue-black sky beyond sprinkled with stars. “Don’t miss it,” you say, and I didn’t.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

You teach me to look for my unhealthy patterns. You may not get free of them right away, but when you begin to notice them you’re breaking their grip. And remember, alcoholism is like a sleeping dragon, every once in awhile it will open it’s eyes to see if you’re paying attention to your sobriety.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

I am doing my best one day at a time and I am alive today so much because of you and yes I am present and accounted for in this moment, and you are here with me.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

for E. L.

Goodbye My Sponsor

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

Only moments after finishing a speech today I learn you’ve died. For a moment air leaves my world and then, standing outside minutes later in the sun, I hear you saying, “Remember, Peter, the moment you’re in is the only place you have to be.” And the air returns and I thank the sun for being there.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

In our first days together you over and over again say keep your head where your feet are, stay in the moment. Over our first coffee together you tell me you want me to stop biting my nails. I am perplexed. Why? Because you’ll have to stay in the moment you’re in.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

Once just before a meeting I tell you I didn’t feel like coming. You smiled and said, “There are only two times you should come to a meeting, when you want to and when you don’t.” Being a typical alcoholic I say, “What if I’m not sure,”  and you smile at me with so much love and say, “I stand corrected, there are three times."

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

Walking together to the parking lot after a meeting one evening you touch my arm and say, “Look up, Peter. Look over there.” And you are pointing at a white church steeple and the beautiful blue-black sky beyond sprinkled with stars. “Don’t miss it,” you say, and I didn’t.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

You teach me to look for my unhealthy patterns. You may not get free of them right away, but when you begin to notice them you’re breaking their grip. And remember, alcoholism is like a sleeping dragon, every once in awhile it will open it’s eyes to see if you’re paying attention to your sobriety.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

I am doing my best one day at a time and I am alive today so much because of you and yes I am present and accounted for in this moment and you are here with me.

Goodbye my sponsor I love you.

 

for E. L.

Thoughts on Lindsay Lohan

No matter how you hold Lindsay Lohan’s behavior up to the light, you are looking at someone in the merciless grip of addiction.  I am a recovering alcoholic so the struggle for sobriety is not foreign to me. Continued use usually ends in, as the saying goes, jails, institution or death.  The story for those who continue to use never ends with the words, and they lived happily ever after. As long as Ms Lohan or anyone is using, life is at risk.

This week Superior Court Judge Marsha N. Revel sentenced Ms. Lohan to 90 days in jail to be followed by a 90-day inpatient rehab program to commence within two days of her release. With all my heart I hope Ms. Lohan gets that she is battling with addiction, accepts its reality, and commits to getting sober, sobriety being far more important than any waiting screen role. Apparently this is lost on Chris Hanely, one of the producers of Inferno, a so-called biopic of Linda Lovelace with Ms. Lohan slated to play the part. Hanely is quoted in PEOPLE as calling the 90 and 90 sentence “A pretty brutal judgment.”  Ms. Lohan’s parents have complained that the sentence is too harsh.

Here’s the reality as I see it. Ms. Lohan has not hit her “bottom” yet, the “bottom” being that moment when it finally hits the person deep in their center that unless they get well, all is lost. Without hitting “bottom”, no one recovers. I am genuinely sorry for the suffering Ms. Lohan and the millions of others who are battling with addiction endure. It’s hell. I can only hope those around her and those around the countless others understand that you will lose anything and everything you put before your sobriety.

As a good friend of mine, Jimmy, once said: “You’re not responsible for your addiction, you’re responsible for your recovery.” And so it is for Ms. Lohan, me, and everyone else who faces the challenge of addiction.

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