I recently had to chance to visit the great state of Minnesota, or as folks in recovery call it Minne-sober.
What a treat to be there and see “some of the old faces “ I knew back when.
You see after being in treatment in Long Island NY back in 1988, caring folks sent me off to Minnesota for further treatment. What was supposed to be six more weeks of treatment and a chance to “get out of dodge” turned into a stay of close to eleven months.
During that time I was placed in the path of some of the most wonderful folks in recovery and surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery a kid from Brooklyn NY ever saw.
Recovery folks took care of me. Not only in the meetings, but outside the meetings as well. They cared more about me then I did for myself. This includes the clinicians in the treatment center and half-way house and eventually the sober living home I took residency in.
I attended a meeting called the Three Legacies group and it scared me to death but I kept going back because of what they offered and how healthy they all looked. God they even smiled! I was not used to being around people who smiled!
On one particular evening I remember driving down highway 61 with a couple of senior residents from the sober house, the sun setting (looking like a big orange beach ball) and a song by Guns and Roses “Sweet Child of Mine” blasted over the radio, we were off to a meeting and a feeling came over me that maybe this time it’s going to be alright. Maybe this time I can get sober and stay sober. That was 25 years ago!
I learned about integrity and walking with dignity in and out of a meeting. I learned about caring for others who struggled to care for themselves. I learned about God the 12 steps and the sacredness of a fellowship called Alcoholics Anonymous.
These were folks that God sent to help save my life.
I am blessed to have been back there many times to give back and it is always and honor and a privilege to do so. Thank you Minnesota! Thank you God!
Chop wood, carry water