All We Can Do Is Our Best


One thing that has dogged me since getting clean and embracing a program of recovery that involves every facet of life. That has been me never having been visited by the recovery faery who seems to have visited every speaker giving a lead for both the AA and NA fellowships. Sadly, I have never even heard the distant tinkle of her wings.  I didn’t “save the job, get the girl back” or the many other blessings mentioned so often that they are almost catch-phrases in at least one of the 2 big fellowships. But that’s OK and the message I share with sponsees, or when I give a lead, or with you.

We have spent years, some of us decades, chemically digging a hole to jump in. Why was I so surprised at all the effort required to climb out? The worst past of a post active addiction life is having a record. Even a dozen years later it still rears its ugly head. The rule of thumb used to be back 7 years for most gigs and a decade if kids or $ was involved. Sometimes that is still the case, but often they will go back to the Bronze Age if so inclined, figuring no one will take it to court. As much heat as Obama has caught, getting rid of the question on Federal job apps will be an awesome legacy. Too bad he wasn’t Prez when I worked for the biggest money-hole and hypocritical government agency there is, the VA. That’s a windmill to tilt a different day. The point is earning a living will most likely be the recovering addict’s biggest obstacle at reclaiming a life worth living.

The biggest challenges seems to be to those of us who got clean early, relapsed after accomplishing most normal goals, and had to start from scratch. Sometimes scratch meant the smell of mothballs in our clothes as we left prison to start anew. Willing to swallow pride and take any job, the true paradox of our position becomes apparent. None of the crappy jobs seemingly reserved for ex-cons will touch someone with a degree and any gig requiring a degree will absolutely freak if you have a record regardless of how much time has passed. Some, without a degree, have told me to “just don’t put it down”. Guess what? hat’s lying on an application. Wreckage of the past, indeed.

I went to the Thursday NA meeting in Greenfield (a neighbourhood on Pittsburgh’s East End) tonight with my long-time friend and fellow vet Jeremy B. It’s a “chair’s choice” meeting. It was Lee, an awesome lady with mucho clean time and an awesome boyfriend (Jeff, also mucho clean time) and she chose todays “Just For Today” reading. It was about the 9th step and most  shared on the wreckage hardest to clear. As always, it was a meeting that was right on time. In many ways, a 12 step meeting is like sex. Even when it ain’t so hot, it is still pretty good! Have a GREAT day!


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