He sat in all humility, my guess is he wanted to disappear completely, but he had to come back. He had to try again to get this thing called recovery. He had a piece of it but it’s hard outside our walls. It’s hard to work your job, go to school and get in those recovery meetings and meet with your sponsor, the things that keep you alive. So you miss an AA meeting because your job has left you worn. Then another and another and no one is requiring a signed slip like when you were in the ARC. You don’t have a required group to attend where the tools of recovery will be reinforced. You aren’t surrounded by 99 other men and the staff supporting and pulling for you.
You’re out there. On your own.
And sometimes it’s too much.
“Welcome back”, I said as I saw him sitting in the chair outside the Intake office. He’s always a soft-spoken man and this day perhaps softer as he said, “thanks for having me back.”
Thanks for having me back? Really? As if we wouldn’t or as if we aren’t the ones grateful you chose to come back and regain order and sobriety and peace. Thank you! YOU for knowing this is a safe place.
His words have been playing in my head as I think of the times I’ve left. I know I’m the same kind of different as these men. The ones who have couch-surfed in crack houses or lost their business, their nursing license, their teaching positions; the one who have lost it all because of the disease of addiction.
We have a program too, we followers of Jesus. Because it’s hard out there. Out there where we so easily fall victim to greed and gossip, or envy and apathy. I’m only different in that my failures have been kept quiet. It’s like that for most of us. The envy, hate or whatever it is that haunts us makes us no different. Just more presentable. Not to God but to each other.
Still, God loves me. His forgiveness and grace are free and unending. His love, unconditional.
Thanks for having me back.
This is edited from the original post published in 2012.