Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friends

One of my close friends is an alcoholic. That's certainly not something I ever saw myself typing (or something my friend thought she'd be) and yet here I am.

She's been sober for a year now, and it's been an interesting journey to walk with her through rehab and begin the adventure through the twelve principles of AA. Sometimes I feel like my support and prayers just aren't enough...but it's all I can do. 

A year ago, when she hit rock bottom, I didn't know her well. I knew who she was (& vice versa) but we never spent time together. We saw each other almost daily but never really connected. I knew she had ended up in the hospital but didn't find out until mid-summer exactly why that was. Come early fall, her transformation from party-all-night to motivated-stick-to-it girl was noticeable and we began to hang out. She seemed thankful to have someone to do non-alcohol related activities with, and the more we hung out, the more I heard of her story. I never pushed or asked questions but as we became more comfortable with each other, parts of our past were naturally shared. Hers just happens to be a bit more "exciting" than mine! 

Throughout her journey, I've learned a lot too. I never knew AA meetings are held multiple times a day, although it makes total sense. I never knew that one of things members of AA are encouraged to do is to "confess" their wrongdoings in life to someone outside their family, as a part of moving ahead in life. Truthfully, I believe many people (alcoholics or not) could learn from AA and their principles. My friend has become more spiritual and connected to God in the past year than I knew possible, especially for her. The two of us joke that really, everyone should attend AA for the simple reason of spiritual renewal- not far from the truth. 

Of course, some of her old tendencies shine through-- she's still as sarcastic, still sassy and direct when something makes her mad, her family issues still drive her insane...but I'm proud of her and how far she's come. A year can and does make a difference. 

I can only imagine how hard this journey is for her...I wish I could do more than stand by and cheer her on.

11 comments:

  1. Congrats to your friend on one year!!! That is such a hard journey, but one that she is taking is stride, and works hard at everyday! good job!

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  2. You are a good friend to stand by your friend and offer her whatever support you can. Kudos to you!

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  3. I have a family member who struggles with alcoholism.. it's the hardest thing to see. I'm glad your friend is in recovery- good for her!

    And on a lighter note, my playroom floor is made of step2 foam mats:) They are nice and thick so the kids can tackle each other and fall down and not feel a thing:)

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  4. I think by being there and willing to listen, you are giving her everything she needs! Isn't that what a lot of us need? Someone who will listen?

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  5. stopping by from SITS.
    How AWESOME.....tell her great job!!!!
    I think you are being an awesome friend to her.....it is always nice to have a friend to talk to who will not judge you!!!!!!
    it sounds like you are just what she needs!!!!!
    have a great week!!!!!

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  6. That's great! Chris is over 3 years sober now, and it's been amazing to watch his journey. You're doing exactly what she needs you to do :0)

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  7. Congrats! One year sober is fabulous! What an inspiring story of change. And what a special friendship y'all must share.

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  8. One year is a major milestone - congrats to your friend.

    I think just being here and cheering can do a lot.

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  9. Congrats to your friend. And what a great friend you are. Standing by her and cheering her on is what she needs.

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  10. Congrats to her! And I'm sure you're doing more than you realize.

    My brother is an alcoholic. He's been sober now, gosh, nearly 20 years?
    I've gone to meetings with him and memorized the Serenity prayer. ;)

    I remember when he hit the 11 year mark, we went to celebrate, eating at TGI Fridays. We had a cake and everything. It was nice to see him happy.

    Just keep on being the good friend you are!

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  11. But seriously, that's enough! Knowing that you have someone cheering you on...and loving you through it, IS ENOUGH.

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Comments warmly welcomed! :-)