When we are poured out and empty

Her eyes rimmed red as tears began to form. He sat in silence, empty of feeling having poured them out. Again. It was quiet in Jenny’s office as we sat with our feelings, our pain. Another fatal overdose. Another life lost. Another friend, son, brother, gone. He was 28. These times when we’ve poured ourselves out, when we feel empty of caring, these are the times we question: Is this...

When have you had enough?

Enough is enough. His words were heavy with conviction as he spoke to the room filled with 100+ people. Most were men, like him, addicts and alcoholics. It was a night of celebrating sobriety. One month, two, a year, 5 years and more. We’d celebrate program completions and we would share with cheers, encouragement and words of caution. Mark was the resident manager. He lived upstairs in a private room...

Learning to Love ‘These People’

“Mama, are you going to give that man some money?” We stopped for after school Icee’s at the corner convenience store. The homeless man stood at the corner in his rumpled, dirty clothes and his blank stare. “No. We don’t give money to those people.” I continued the education that had been given me as a child. These people were different. They’re on drugs or drunks. They’re not like us....

Rescued and Redeemed

  I saw his grizzled face, breadcrumbs around his dry mouth, as he offered a smile that looked genuinely happy to see me. I returned the smile that probably showed more concern than joy. He didn’t look well, not like the last time I saw him. He was much thinner, unkempt, but his eyes eager to be seen, to be welcomed ‘home’. He’s not the only one I’ve seen worse...

Is your craving lying to you?

I’m more likely to crave those tortilla chips than chocolate. You know, the blue ones that aren’t overly salted and a tad thinner than the ‘other’ ones? Yes, I’ll choose those any day over chocolate. Even Dove (seriously, Hershey doesn’t compare!) I remember hearing about the odd cravings pregnant women would have but I never had any nor did my friends. Sure, we enjoyed in more indulgences and blamed that...

Where is the renewal of my soul?

How do you tell them you’re tired? That your smiles aren’t as real as they use to be? That, most days, you have to make yourself show up. This isn’t suppose to happen. Not to us, not to people who are the ones who hug you when you’ve come back after your last relapse. Not to people who are grace-givers and hope-peddlers. This isn’t suppose to happen. But it does....

What if The Church were more like AA?

Through our ministry with men in recovery, we’ve been introduced to AA and NA and their many partner groups. We have become proponents and believers in the Twelve Step program. We see spiritual truths woven through the principles of the steps.  The very core of AA is surrender. It’s what Bill W’s friend told him was the only thing that brought him sobriety: admitting his powerlessness and surrendering to God. Step...

When does a winning team look like losers?

At recess, I was never the first one chosen for a team but I wasn’t the last either. It was awkward for everyone when the numbers of kids left was down to three or four. I can only imagine the anxiety of wondering if you’d be chosen on knowing that you’d be picked last. Again. I’ve noticed businesses are using the word team more these days. People are part of...