Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Amazing people

I continue to be amazed by the people at Zac's.

I was collecting birthday dates from all the regulars last night and April, whom I mentioned a few weeks ago when her son was missing in action in Afghanistan, told me that her birthday was April 23rd. 'St George's Day,' I commented.
'I don't know what day I was born on,' she said, 'but that was the date they found me on the doorstep of the children's home. And that's why they called me April.'

She's currently waiting for the final blood test to check that she is clear of hepatitis C. She caught it not from sharing needles but from the bowl the heroin was heated in. 'I was just unlucky,' she said.

The thing about April is that she always has a smile for everyone. If the things that have happened to her had happened to me I'd be a miserable so'n'so, blaming everyone and God, feeling hard-done-by and making sure everyone knew that. But not April. She's just a little dwt of a women but she shines like a 1000 watt bulb.

Sean started the study last night by asking if what had happened to Ruth, Naomi and Boaz was pure luck or whether it had been the result of the people they were and the choices they made. He suggested that Naomi, in spite of the tragedies that happened to her, loved God and he quoted the words of Jesus who, when asked what were the most important commandments, said, 'Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.'

Right at the very end of the study a man came in. I'd not seen him before but I believe he goes along to the Thursday night coffee bar. He listened a little to what was being said and then chimed up, 'See, I think if you love God and treat others well, you'll be all right,' unknowingly echoing the words of Christ from the start.

I say unknowingly but he told me later he'd attended a Catholic school. He also said he was a recovering alcoholic - although I suspect recovering alcoholics aren't supposed to drink and he was off to buy four cans to have at bedtime. (Although he might have meant cans of coke ...)

But if I'd judged on first impression, which I am wont to do, I'd have watched him stumbling in and struggling to focus properly, and I'd have shrugged and written him off as just another drunk. Instead of an intelligent man with a story to tell of his belief in God. I don't know his other story, the one about how he came to be an alcoholic, but there'll be reasons; there always are.

Oh, and I've finally posted the monologues from the story of Ruth over on my other blog.


Furtheron said...

"how he came to be an alcoholic, but there'll be reasons; there always are." Are there? Well yes there are but for me it was simple, I am an alcoholic. I had a great upbringing by lovely parents who cared for me and did their very best for me, my schooling was on the whole good, I went to college and into a good job within a growing industry - within 3 or 4 years of leaving college I was married, buying a house earning twice what I'd been straight after college and looking forward to a very successful life. However already by then I was an alcoholic out of control. Why? Simple - didn't matter my life was going well (in fact that was a contributing factor) simply I couldn't cope with life. Really I couldn't cope with emotions - I never learnt that grief is different to sadness, that happiness can be tinged with regret, that love and lust are different but not entirely mutually exclusive on either side either and all those other nuances. I was trying to live in a digital world where there was an on-off relationship in my head of my emotions.

Now it is nobody's fault but mine (Led Zep memory...) since I never asked anyone. I don't doubt my mother would have tried to help explain but I didn't get it. I knew you all had a manual or part of the manual of life I didn't but I simply didn't know how to ask the question. So happy or sad I drank to suppress those feelings.

In the end it got so bad I couldn't function with or without a drink.

Today I function well without a drink - I stumble through still learning about feelings and emotions since I'm not wired up to do them. I have to stop pause and get myself adjust to them regularly - I have to remind myself regularly (more than once a day) that the universe is neither there solely to p*** me off neither is it there solely for me to be the be all and end all of all things. See the digital flip flop in my head - ENORMOUS EGO and the crashingly the next fraction of a second the massive disbelief in any shred of feeling of self-worth...

Sorry - a ramble but the one thing I can do now is tell my story as maybe someone will read it and take an action themselves or for someone else and get them out of the living hell I was in at the end of my addiction.

Neil said...

Thank you, furtheron.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Amazing indeed. Here a lot of people have the surname of a Sicilian town and that means that an ancestor was found in that town as an abandoned baby.

katney said...

Well, stated, Furtheron. I know you weren't trying to be eloquent, but you succeeded.

Liz, there are stages in recovery. We know that no booze is the goal, but maybe he is reaching--and is at the point where he thinks he can control. And maybe he was buying four cans of soft drink as you say.

I wish we had been in Wales on a Tuesday.