Monday, July 21, 2008

An axe to grind.

I've been away the last few days, camping in a place called Tofino. My spouse, her sister, and the in-laws. Lots of time body boarding in the surf. Sunshine, sand, and camp fires.

By the third day, I was getting a little antsy. The father-in-law always has lots of ideas on how I should be doing things different or what I should be doing. Usually, I just let them roll, and was doing so, but found myself pulling back from our little group, crawling back into my shell, getting quiet. Angry at myself because I don't know how to say "no, I don't want to do that." I had injured myself a few weeks ago trying to catch a Frisbee, pulling something in my shoulder. My father-in-law was upset that a bundle of firewood would cost $5.00 and was on the scrounge for free wood. He had spied a round of wood lying off to the side, stuck in the skunk cabbage, and wanted to split it up. When I protested that I didn't want to handle the axe, he came up with a story of how difficult it was for people in Holland during world war two, trying to find any type of fuel to warm their homes and what they would do for wood. My father-in-law is in his mid seventies, and more than willing to do the work. So, instead of being smart, I joined him, wresting the wood onto the road, driving the axe into the wood, splitting pieces off of it, jarring my shoulder with each blow. We succeeded in getting about $10.00 of wood off the round when I broke the axe handle (it was already cracked before we started) trying to pull it out after it got stuck. He was very proud of what we had done and the money we had saved. I had a poor sleep, the pain in my shoulder and back keeping me awake. (We did have a great camp fire!)

I am thankful for meetings that happen all over the world. I was fortunate to be able to attend one in the town we were staying at on Saturday night. A small meeting. One of the topics for that meeting was "re-joining society". As I listened to the members share on how difficult it was to re-join society, I didn't feel so isolated, so strange. I was home, having the same struggles as those around me. I felt myself relax, open up, accepting that I am the way I am. The meeting out in the church parking lot was also good. Lots of openness and honesty. I felt refreshed, ready to go. All this from an hour or so of listening and sharing. And I never lost my temper, never became angry at a family member, didn't own an amend. A wonderful gift.

In the old days, I would have drank those feelings away. I am so very thankful it doesn't have to be that way today. That the fellowship I have found in the rooms of AA keep me sober, one day at a time. That working the steps provides insight into self, and leads to reliance upon a Higher Power.

Thanks for letting me share.


Anonymous said...

Good job!

recoveryroad said...

Camp fires rock. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

By the way, no dogs in the pool!

Sophie in the Moonlight said...

Dude, you rock! It's so hard to get out of the desire to retreat, and you did it. Bonus feature: you took the time to find a meeting near you. Tres magnifique!!!