"There is one thing more than anything else that will defeat us in our recovery; this is an attitude of indifference or intolerance toward spiritual principles."
This is a passage from one of the readings at the beginning of every Narcotics Anonymous meeting. It is one I have been struggling with since I first entered (was forced into) the program. More accurately it is something I have been struggling with since I became old enough to think for myself. I have always believed that there was something greater than myself working in this world, guiding me through this life...I just didn't know quite what.
I'll be completely honest when I say I still don't have a fucking clue. They call it the "God of our understanding" at meetings, but my sponsor wisely calls it "the God of my misunderstanding." I guess I am not so good at accepting things that I do not understand. The trouble is that right now I am completely lost. I have no idea what the hell I am supposed to be doing, let alone why I have to endure this heaviness in my chest. I guess that is the definition of "the God of our misunderstanding," isn't it?
A friend suggested that I keep a "proof" list, a list of ways that I see something greater than myself working in this fucked up world. I started last night with my writing about how her letter to me was a hell of a sign. Tonight I want to document one more that has been on my mind a lot since I have returned to Wisconsin, you might even call it proof.
When I got back into town, completely heartbroken and defeated, I went back to work at the meatpacking plant that I worked at growing up. Needless to say it was what you might call...well...fucking demoralizing. Every time I was there I thought about her and how far I had fallen, for fuck's sake I was working here in high school! Just a month ago I was making a good salary, living in Brooklyn and engaged to a beautiful and smart woman. Look at where I am now...
I came in one Saturday and it was just me and my uncle (who owns the place). We chatted for a few minutes before he asked me to pick up the garbage in the front lawn and cut the grass. The first thought was, "fucking awesome, I won't have to work in the freezer," and I grabbed some imitation latex gloves and headed outside.
The thing about the plant is that it is located smack dab in the middle of the worst fucking neighborhood in Milwaukee. I headed outside and started picking up the ridiculous amount of trash in the front yard on that warm fall day. I got about a quarter of the way before I bent down to pick up a coffee cup. It was covered in dirt, obviously there for a long time, waterlogged to the point of near disintegration.
I bent down to pick it up, not paying attention as I reached my hand down for it. As I lifted the cup up I noticed something sticking straight up at me from the grass, a hypodermic needle. I felt the wind leave my lungs. I sat down in the grass, completely terrified at how close I had come to Hep C or HIV or something fun like that. What the fuck? I just came an inch from getting stuck by an AIDS needle, that shit was just too much to handle.
I threw the needle out onto the street and cut the grass, angry music blasting in my ear-buds. I didn't think much more about it, but for some reason it kept popping into my mind.
I went to a meeting that night at the psych facility in a posh little town by my parent's house and could not help but thinking about that brush with infectious disease on the way there. I was clean for the first time in a long fucking while, thoughts seemed so...real. Why did this encounter happen? What did this mean?
I walked into that meeting and realized what it meant as soon as I planted my ass in the chair. My addiction is always waiting in the grass, ready to prick me and send me down the same old path if I am not paying attention. What else could I see that as but proof that something somewhere is trying to tell me something? How naive could I be to think that was just a simple coincidence.
I don't believe in fucking coincidences.
I suppose this is another notch on my "proof" list. Proof that something greater than me has a hand in my life, something my stupid ass addict brain cannot control. Something I have to open my eyes to see. Strange because for so long I didn't want to believe that something was taking place beyond my understanding. Strange because it is something I have to take my fogged up glasses off to see. Strange because now that I have them off, I see better than I ever have before.