We finished D's probation last week and had a fabulous weekend that involved doing several of the things we haven't done for the past year--including a night out at our favorite restaurant with friends and a glass of wine. It was lovely and just what I needed to get my mind off of all of the funeral-related festivities of the previous few days. Today was our first Thursday that we didn't have to worry about leaving work/school early, driving to PO appointments or class, etc. It feels normal, which is nice.
I was reminded that good things do come out of even the worst of situations--while the reasons were unpleasant, it was wonderful to have my entire extended family all in one place last weekend. We really are a wonderful, fun, loving group, and the love and support we hold for each other is obvious and real, for which I am incredibly grateful.
Finally, I was privileged enough to attend a community meeting at a local clinic/shelter for the homeless, alcoholics, addicts, etc. The organization was linked up with my school as a volunteer opportunity, and for our first visit we were given a tour of the facility (which includes a detox center, homeless shelter, soup kitchen, and long-term housing for addicts in the process of recovery) and a chance to sit in on a community AA meeting. I was nervous at first, since the place was in a not-so-fabulous area of town, but the men in the meeting were incredible--welcoming, open, humble, grateful for their chance at recovery. The peer mentor who showed us around was an incredible person who shared his story of being addicted to almost every drug possible from the age of 15, entered the center at 18 and spent 10 months going through the rigorous life and demands placed on those who would commit to complete recovery through this center--the men and women who choose to stay are given free food and basic housing for the entirety of their stay--as long as it takes to work through the 12 steps. Most have a wait of 2-3 months before they can even begin step work, not only because of the motivational track they are first put through to ensure their commitment to sobriety but because there are so many people involved. He was so grateful for his newfound life that he chose to stay and work, helping others through the program while he returned to school to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. It was a beautiful reminder of just how awesome recovery is, and of just how similar seemingly completely different people can be. At the end of the community meeting, we were invited to stand with the group as they said the serenity prayer, and it was truly a humbling and happy experience to join in.