Okay, I'm no kid. I was 58 at my last birthday, and I'm old enough to have learned a thing or two, or so I like to think.
But. And there's always a but.
We don't always know as much as e think we do, do we?
I got hit with a bronchial infection last week, actually probably before lastt week, but finally went to tthe doctor after a couple of days of my dear wife's gentle prodding.
She got tired of my constant hacking and spewing, and, how can I say it, she made me go to the doctor. And of course, once the Doc took a look at me, things got serious--at least more serious than I wanted to admit. You know all those cute little excuses and manipulations that we addicts like to engage in. People think we're deceptive, and we are--self-deceptive.
Anyway, I was sick. I needed X-rays, antibiotics, steroids, and inhaler, etc. I heard about the importance of the flu shots I didn't get. An appointment was made for the following week. Everyone was nice to me, except my wife. She smacked me in the arm and said I didn't listen to her.
We have a plate that hangs in the kitchen. It says, "Don't think of me as your wife. Think of me as your friend who's always right."
So, I went home with the intention of taking some antibiotics and going back to work. Wrong. I woke up the next morning feeling like a truck hit me. The next morning, too. The one after that was a little better, then a little worse. I began to fear that there was some other condition, deadly and undiagnosed lurking behind the symptoms of Bronchitis. I was right, there was.
The scourge of our time, the illness for which there is no cure.
The disease no one wants to be cured of.
The reason most people were so nice to me!
I was the sick old guy.
Now, I may be a little dense (may, my wife would say, skeptically) but I never realized that all of those little spots on tv where they said to check on your older relatives winter and summer, or to make sure they got their flu shots, they were talking about me!
I felt like I did when I found out who my sponsor meant when he would say that some were sicker than others.
And worse, all that "you're only as old as you feel" stuff? I hope not, I felt about 92. I was going to say 80, but remember how spry my mother-in-law was at that age, and I was no where near that good. 92, maybe older.
And, I didn't bounce back. I was always proud of my ability to be back on the job in a couple of days, but this time, I'd wake up each morning, think, "today." And ten minutes later, "not today."
So what does all this have to do with recovery?
I was 25 years old when I walked through the door. My early recovery was the recovery of a young man, with all of the arrogant, egocentric and horny reckless trimmings. My middle recovery was the recovery of a middle-aged man; an expert, a builder of programs, a doer, mover, shaker. Iconoclastic.
And now, another change. My recovery becomes the recovery of an old man.
What's that mean? I don't know yet. So far, at every milestone, my Higher Power has given me just what I needed. I don't often recognize it, frequently forget it, and need to be hit over the head with it, in my Higher Power's rather persuasive way. But I get it.
This time, I really don't know what it is, but I know that I will get it. Excuse me, it will be given to me. Hopefully I will get it. It's time for a change. The change needs to encompass me body and soul and mind, I will need to give myself to it. It will involve change for my family, especially for my wife and me, as we go forward together into some terra incognita. Unknown turf, as we say. We need to learn how to nurture. We need to learn how to practice recovery in ways new and ways familiar.
That's the beauty of Recovery.
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