Speaking of Endurance

His-and-hers perspectives on chronic relapse. Strong stuff. She:

I met my husband, Jimmy, at my very first AA meeting. I stumbled into the 14th Street Workshop, bloated and reeking of booze from the night before, in my pajamas. I hadn’t showered in days, and I was wary of the people in the room. I didn’t trust anyone.

Jimmy recognized that I was new (it wasn’t hard to spot), and he put out his hand to shake mine, welcoming me and giving me a meeting list. I don’t remember much about that first meeting, but Jimmy’s kindness stayed with me.

A few days later, I was walking down 14th Street with a beer in a brown bag when I saw Jimmy in front of the Workshop. I tried to hide the beer, thinking he would be angry or disappointed with me. Instead, he told me not to be embarrassed, and welcomed me to come back to the meetings anytime I wanted.

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He:

Right now I have 10 days—I started this piece when I had one day back—and I’m feeling more hope than I have in a long time. I’m doing everything it’s been suggested to do. And so far today, it has worked; I’m sober. I have to put all the uncomfortable feelings of being a chronic relapser in God’s hands. So instead of feeling lousy about being in and out so much, I’m trying to look at it from the point of view, of how lucky I am to make it back and have another chance.

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About Eve Tushnet

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