A couple nights ago I was curled up on the couch, watching an old episode of Battlestar Galactica. I’ve been renting the DVD’s from the beginning and it’s a nice treat to watch another well constructed, well written, well acted, television drama with futuristic and sometimes thought-provoking story lines. There was about ten minutes left of the forth episode on the disk, the last one, so I was eager to finish, slip it in the red envelope, send it back and wait a couple days for the next disc when the phone rang. I hesitated, but opted to pick it up. Who in their right mind would call after 9:30pm? I placed the DVD on pause.
I didn’t recognize the number, but answered anyway. At first I didn’t recognize the voice either and played the guessing game in my head as he and I spoke. Then suddenly, like the bright dawn of morning, it came to me. This was Shawn, someone I knew from drug treatment many years ago. We’d stayed in touch on and off until about five years ago when he moved to Seattle. It was a wonderful surprise, but my radar detector went up as I wondered if he needed some type of drug treatment help.
After a few minutes, and his acknowledgement that his sobriety was still firmly in check, he began to tell me about a bud of his, Ken, down here in Southern California. Ken’s been struggling for a long time and on a recent vacation to the Bahamas he had an ‘incident,’ that resulted in the end of his fourteen year relationship with his significant other. Shawn didn’t want to get into and of the details and I surely respect Ken’s privacy on that
“Must have been some bender,” I silently said to myself.
Shawn asked if it was cool to give my number to him, and of course, I said yes. What better to give back then to turn it around and help a fellow addict? So, after a few assurances to stay in touch we hung up and I got back to my show.
As I went to the post box to mail the red package, I wondered if Ken would call. Would he need assistance for a drug treatment program, would he need an inpatient or outpatient program designed to fit his drug and/or alcohol usage?
Although I’ve been around the AA program for many years, and worked in the business of treatment for years, I still am excited about newcomers to the program. With my sober history, I am comfortable to be a good role model and ‘tour guide’ of sorts, but more importantly, and I enthusiastically admit this, newcomers to the program have so much more to teach me.