Strange Things Can Happen in Recovery
I was asked to put this story down for the blog for ARCNH. As I thought about it I was trying to figure how to put it down and the way I talk instead of the way I write so I’m dictating. This is part of my recovery story early on in recovery and one of the events that happened that was really unique.
Before I went into detox, I was told by the people I was living with at the time that, “If I was using, they didn’t want me around because I was so out of control”. At about three months clean, those same people told me they didn’t want me around because they couldn’t handle me clean now. I was in a worse state mentally and emotionally than I had been at the end of my using. I had been to the detox just to drop in for a coffee. Nobody was there so I left. I called from a payphone in the lobby of the hospital and got an answering machine. I just said, “I’m here you’re not there I’m out of here”. I was headed out taking every back alley on my way to my old stomping ground to go on one last run. Halfway there a car pulled up beside me, two guys jumped out and threw me in the backseat. It’s dark, there’s no lights. I’m kind of thinking my past has caught up to me. I realize who they are as we head out of town, and I have no idea where they’re taking me. I don’t have a clue how they found me or even how they knew to come looking for me.
We get to this guy’s house that I’ve never met before, and they keep me up all night drinking Pepsi. About 6:00am the next morning they start talking about going to church and I’m like why would I want to go to church? That’s the last place I’d want to be. Anyway the conversation went on and someone said, “We’ll go there just to see how quickly they reject us for being who we are”. So I said, “Sure why not”.
I’m wearing a pair of old a worn-out jeans with holes in them, a red bandana around my ankle with a pair of old cowboy boots, and an old T-shirt with some kind of saying probably Harley related. My buddies got on a pair of old jeans and old T-shirt with a blue Jean vest with patches all over it and bright red bandana around his head. The third guy looks like this homeless guy that hasn’t been in a house or had a shower for months. We get to the church late, listen to the sermon and so on. We’re sitting in the back and we’re ready to go out early when the service is over. We get up and get ready to go and everybody rushes to the back to shake our hands on the way out and they’re all asking us where our Harleys are, and can they see our bikes which we don’t have. We got there in an old beat-up Chevy Malibu. The one person we didn’t meet was the piano player as she was still out there playing piano. This is where it starts getting interesting.
Three years later I’m in New York City at a place called the New York school of urban ministry. There’s this lady there that keeps staring at me for the first three days of the week that we’re there and it’s kind of making me uncomfortable. On the 4th day, just before supper, she comes up to me and asks, “are you from Canada?”. I replied “yes”. She said, “You wouldn’t happen to be from Nova Scotia by chance?”. I said “yes”. Now I’m kind of really starting to get a little bit more uncomfortable, like how does she know all this and then she asked me if I’m from a little town called Yarmouth and now, I’m really wondering what’s going on. She asked me “Do you remember going to a little church out in the back woods on a dirt road in Yarmouth about three years ago?”. I said, “yes how would you know that?”.
She looked back at me and said “I was the piano player at the church that day and I never got a chance to meet you. It’s really good to see you here.” We talked a little bit more and talked a little bit about that church and the pastor. I’m still friends with him today. This is just one of those strange, crazy, almost unexplainable events that has happened in my recovery journey. There’s been a number of “unusual” events that have “happened” to me through recovery journey.
Not all of them pleasant or humorous. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe there is a reason and a purpose behind everything that happens that makes us who we are and leads us to where we are supposed to be.
Thirty-Three and 1/2 years later, I still think about those events from back then and they make me smile they have all been part of what has led me to where I’m at today and what I do today. Who I am today has been molded by those events. I’ve rediscovered a faith in my higher power that I choose to call God.
That faith has seen me through a lot of different struggles and hardships, and it’s all been worth it. I am blessed and grateful for the life I have today and the gifts that I’ve been given through recovery and faith in my higher power.
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