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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:21 PM

Something small happened today that I feel very good about.

Last edited Wed Feb 6, 2013, 05:36 PM - Edit history (2)

My current job is to go to the homes and apartments of mentally ill people and help them with their daily living skills. Today, as I arrived a few minutes early at the apartment of one of my clients, I was gathering my things to go in. As I was doing this, a young woman was walking by on the sidewalk. When she saw me, she came into the street to my driver's side window and signaled me to roll down. I thought she was going to accuse me of checking her out (which I wasnt). Instead she asked for directions to a particular address that she identified as a recovery center. I gave her directions and she went to her car, which was a couple of spaces behind me.

I got out and approached her, told her that my name is Jack, and asked (politely and diplomatically) if she, as I, is an addicted person. She said that she is. She stated that she finally decided that it was time for her to do this. I shared with her that I've been in recovery for 23+ years. I told her that as bad as she feels today, that she's doing the right thing and that it WILL get better. I told her that someday, she'd likely be saying the same things to someone else what I said to her today.

She smiled a mile wide. We said our goodbyes and she tooted her horn to me as she was pulling away. I'd never seen her before and I'll likely never see her again, but I feel so good to see that a young woman, who may not have even been born yet (or at least was very little) when I went into recovery, has decided that she was going to take her first step today and that I got the chance to be a minute part of it!

Please allow me to ad that if anyone here is struggling with an addiction, and if you fear the difficulty of the choice to go into recovery, than it WILL get better and it WILL be worth it! I promise you that the wonderful woman who married me almost 15 years ago wouldn't have pissed on me when I was an active drunk and I wouldn't have deserved it. BUT, it IS a disease that you CAN put into remision one day at a time.

Thank you for letting me share. That's my 2 cents, and quite possibly overpriced at that.

PEACE!

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Something small happened today that I feel very good about. (Original post)
MarianJack Feb 2013 OP
brer cat Feb 2013 #1
MarianJack Feb 2013 #4
Historic NY Feb 2013 #2
MarianJack Feb 2013 #5
Skittles Feb 2013 #3
MarianJack Feb 2013 #6
quinnox Feb 2013 #7
MarianJack Feb 2013 #8
Nine Feb 2013 #9
MarianJack Feb 2013 #10
cally Feb 2013 #11
MarianJack Feb 2013 #14
calimary Feb 2013 #12
MarianJack Feb 2013 #15
Liberal_in_LA Feb 2013 #13
MarianJack Feb 2013 #17
decayincl Feb 2013 #16
MarianJack Feb 2013 #18
oldhippydude Feb 2013 #19
MarianJack Feb 2013 #22
oldhippydude Feb 2013 #31
decayincl Feb 2013 #20
MarianJack Feb 2013 #23
TuxedoKat Feb 2013 #21
MarianJack Feb 2013 #24
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #25
MarianJack Feb 2013 #30
Rowdyboy Feb 2013 #26
MarianJack Feb 2013 #29
Rhiannon12866 Feb 2013 #27
MarianJack Feb 2013 #28
Rhiannon12866 Feb 2013 #33
Permanut Feb 2013 #32
MarianJack Feb 2013 #43
Mnemosyne Feb 2013 #34
Flying Squirrel Feb 2013 #35
NMDemDist2 Feb 2013 #40
MarianJack Feb 2013 #44
2pooped2pop Feb 2013 #36
jwirr Feb 2013 #37
davsand Feb 2013 #38
NMDemDist2 Feb 2013 #39
rosesaylavee Feb 2013 #41
mac56 Feb 2013 #42

Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:28 PM

1. Not such a small thing, Jack.

You added to her confidence at a time she probably needed all the help she could get.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:32 PM

4. Thank you, brer cat.

She did have a big smile.

PEACE

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:30 PM

2. She must have figured you were the guy to give her a straight answer...

sometimes people observe others who exude a message of trust. You were approachable, I know how that works.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:35 PM

5. I have worked with many young women, and...

...I think that many of them get to look at me as a sort of uncle figure. They also know that I'm happily married and I won't cheat on my wife and that I'm not going to try to get into their pants. Maybe this young woman felt that, too.

Thank you, Historic NY!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:30 PM

3. small? no

sometimes it's a few encouraging words that make all the difference in a person's life

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Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:36 PM

6. Thanks, Skittles!

I knew at the moment that I couldn't just say nothing to her.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:37 PM

7. good story

 

It would be nice if the woman actually is successful in her battle, because a lot of people fail and die in that kind of struggle. Happy endings do happen, though uncommon.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:41 PM

8. True, quinnox, but...

...maybe not quite as uncommon as you may think.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:45 PM

9. Very nice story. Thank you for sharing. (nt)

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Response to Nine (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:34 PM

10. My pleasure, Nine!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:43 PM

11. thanks for sharing your story

It matters and offers hope.

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Response to cally (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:54 PM

14. Thanks, cally!

I certainly HOPE that this young woman makes it!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:45 PM

12. A story worth WAY more than two cents!

Thank you so much for posting this, MarianJack! It gives us all hope!

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Response to calimary (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:56 PM

15. Thanks, calimary!

I remember just how hopeless I felt in the last couple of years that I was drunk. I'm glad that my small action can give others hope.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:49 PM

13. nice story

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:58 PM

17. Thank you, Lberal_in_LA!

We have an LA up here in Maine, too. That's how many people refer to the Lewiston/Auburn area.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:57 PM

16. I have 30 years of sobriety.

I have never hidden the fact that I was next in line to be the town drunk. Then, one day, seeing my marriage fall apart, I decided to make a change. I went to my first AA meeting. The best thing that ever happened to me. I have never kept my past a secret. Though I don't attend meetings very often these days, I do practice the steps and encourage others who are still struggling.

I would be dead now if I hadn't gotten sober. Life is good. And, I still have that woman. She hung in there and we are very happy.

I encourage any of you who are still suffering to try a few meetings. Or meet with someone you know who has been in recovery for awhile. Listen. When your time comes to try, you will find a band of brothers and sisters unlike any you've imagined.

Good Luck

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Response to decayincl (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:03 PM

18. WOW! What a story!

I'm a newbie compared to you.

With me, the sight of a ratchewing on a Burger King wrapper about 8 inches from my nose conviced me that the 3 friends that I was always telling to go f*** themselves whenever they told me that I had a server problem with alcohol were right. Interestingly enough, 2 of those 3 are the only friends from my drinking era that are still in my life. The third is someone I simply lost touch with, although I still consider him a friend.

Thank you for sharing and welcome to DU!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:14 PM

19. 34 years

there are many more than can be imagined..

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Response to oldhippydude (Reply #19)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:26 PM

22. Congrats, oldhippiedude!

Since I was 34 when I went into recovery I'm hoping for 50+ years before I go to the happy hunting ground!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:02 AM

31. started at age 32

however continued using nicotine... genetic factors, and nicotine, will probably mean that I won't hit 50.... and that's the beauty of one day at a time...

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:19 PM

20. 23 years is a good long time.

I hope you don't think I was trying to start any kind of contest to see who has the most chips.

I was my group's designated driver in High School. Shortly before I turned 21 I had my fist beer. It loosened me up. I stepped away from the corner of the room. I became the smartest guy in the room and was a real casanova (NOT). Anyway if one is good, a 12 pack is better. A couple of weeks after that first beer, I had friends tell me I had a drinking problem. For some of us it doesn't take long to fall so far.

I appreciate your OP. My hope is that others will address their addictions because of it.

Peace be with you as well.

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Response to decayincl (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:31 PM

23. The thought of a contest never came close to my mind.

We all only have today. Some of us have a lot more todays than others. I share your hope that others will address their addictions.

My short answer is frequently that I just got tired of taking my pants off over my head.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:24 PM

21. Thanks for sharing that story

How wonderful that you were there to give her that encouragement that she was doing the right thing. Hope she continues to recover.

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Response to TuxedoKat (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:32 PM

24. I hope she makes it!

She's worth it!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:34 PM

25. Not small Jack

Good for you, and her.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:59 PM

30. Thank you, but I'll say...

...good for HER!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:40 PM

26. Good story. Thanks and hope you keep it up. Life can be a bitch but decent people can really make

a difference. I worked with the unemployed (many of them long-term) for 25 years and believe me, a little empathy can go a long way. Having once experienced their nightmare, I was able to relate. Glad you were too.

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Response to Rowdyboy (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:58 PM

29. Empathy and the knowledge that...

...you"re not alone!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:51 PM

27. Oh boy! What a wonderful story!

And I can identify, too. I'm also in AA and last week I introduced myself to someone new, gave her a meeting list. Not only has she come back twice more, but she's planning on coming to the women's meeting that I go to tomorrow. There are so many you never see again, but this one keeps coming back and I feel good about that...

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:57 PM

28. Thank You!

I hope that this young woman makes it and KEEPS COMING BACK because it works when you work it!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:07 AM

33. And you made a difference today! Kudos!

You can only keep if if you give it away... Thank you for sharing that, made me smile. Assuming I make it until April, I'll have four years, One Day at a Time.

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:02 AM

32. 18 years here..

thanks for sharing, MarianJack. We travel different roads to get to recovery, and if we're lucky, we get to point the way a little bit to those coming along behind.

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Response to Permanut (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:24 PM

43. Beautifully put, Permanut!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:38 AM

34. There are no coincidences. You were there because she needed you at that time. Cool.

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:03 AM

35. 4 years this month...

Long way to go still but wouldn't trade this life for the old one even though I no longer have my old friend Alcohol (with friends like this, who needs enemies?) to help me through it.

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #35)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:46 PM

40. ...

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #35)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:28 PM

44. Good for you, Flying Squirrel!

Until I met my wonderful wife, the FEAR of going back to that lifestyle was a BIG determining factor that kept me sober!

Hang in there.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:02 AM

36. MY brother begged for someone to help him

He was uninsured. They said "too bad" He's dead now.

I wish he had had a place to go for help.

Congrats to you for getting yourself straight and for helping others do the same. You should be very proud of yourself. I mean that even though my post seems crappy. It just reminds me of when he begged for help and was denied.

I guess in this two class society, some of us of this lower class just won't survive.

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:17 AM

37. It sounds like YOU are the good thing that happened today. Thank you.

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:51 AM

38. You did a good and right thing!

We are all connected, we are all in this together. Once we begin to see that, the miracles DO happen and they happen without strings or any expectations. Very often there is a reluctance to ask for help of any sort--or even to admit that there is any weakness. Sometimes it is ego, sometimes it is "training", sometimes it is just plain fear of the unknown. Whatever the root cause, you reached out to somebody in need, and that is exactly what our world needs to see more often.

You gave her the gift of your time and your caring. I celebrate you for that (and many other things!) By sharing your story here, you may inspire another person to go out there and do something equally wonderful. That is a second gift. Bless you!



Laura

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:45 PM

39. nice 12 step work Jack

carry the message where ever you are to who ever needs it.

hopefully you'll see her again 'in the rooms'

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:28 PM

41. K&R

Recommended for the many beautiful humans I know who are recovering and for the many tortured souls who I know who are not there yet.

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:29 PM

42. awesome story

Thank you.

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