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Wed Mar 8, 2017, 01:21 PM

 

"This is not a one person job."

When I first got sober I had a sponsor who emphasized the aspect of sobriety which consists of removing myself from the center of my universe; directing my attention toward a power greater than myself and toward others; focusing on being part of something larger than I am. It was good advice and has been a significant part of my application of the disciplines embodied in the steps of recovery.

I had been sober about ten years when I first met my wife. (Good thing, since she would not have had anything to do with me much earlier than that.) As we considered marriage I realized that it could risk my sobriety, or could enhance it if I exercised the same disciplines in the relationship. I resolved that I would regard the marriage as an opportunity to be part of something larger than myself, and would focus on what I was giving to the marriage and not on what I was getting from it.

To be honest, that was hard at first and I really didnít do it very well. But I worked at it and got better at it over time. The better I got at it the better things became. My wife was happier, I was happier, the marriage was stronger... When things work they become easier to do, and after twenty five years that framework has become structural for me. It still requires conscious thought, but I no longer really have to work at it; itís pretty much who I am.

And then a few months ago my wife got cancer. Itís stage one, so the outlook is not awful, but itís a rare type which is very aggressive and has a high rate of recurrence. She had surgery, which was more radical than usual because of the type of cancer, and is now having chemotherapy which will be followed by radiation. Tough time for her.

Less tough for me than it would be if I had not had 25 years of practice in not being focused on myself. A nurse took me aside during a chemo session and told me of support groups for caregivers, asked my how I was doing. It was nice of her, but I told her I was fine because this is not about me; this is about getting my wife through a tough time. Iím not sure she got it, butÖ

The other day my wife was thanking me for something Iíd helped her with and said, in part, ďThis is not a one person job.Ē It was just a passing remark, not a big deal, but it was a nice moment.

It occurred to me the other day that this is what the whole thirty-five year journey has been about; to be in this place at this time to help this person when she needs it. Sort of humbling, in the comforting sense, but it makes the journey worth every step. I am who I am and am able to do what Iím doing because of a direction that a kind man pointed me in 35 years ago.

You think you know why youíre doing something, but you donít, really. You donít determine the reason, it may not be what you think it is, and you may not know the reason for many years, if at all. You just do what needs to be done because it needs to be done, and it will all work out.

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Reply "This is not a one person job." (Original post)
JayhawkSD Mar 2017 OP
caroldansen Mar 2017 #1
JayhawkSD Mar 2017 #3
HopeAgain Mar 2017 #2
Stuart G Mar 2017 #4
irisblue Mar 2017 #5
JayhawkSD Mar 2017 #6

Response to JayhawkSD (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 01:27 PM

1. We do know why we are doing it. In order to help others and protect those from those

Who would do evil and try to hurt them as the bible says. We do it for everyone and even the republicans get the benefit from our win. We help people, we help country, we help earth!

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Response to caroldansen (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 01:33 PM

3. Please, this was not about politics. nt

 

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Response to JayhawkSD (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 01:30 PM

2. My Prayers

For you and your wife during this hard time.

I'm new to this thread, but not to recovery, and want to thank you for the reminder that the attitude of service is not to be limited to the rooms, but especially given towards those we love. When things are going easy, we often forget.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 05:31 PM

4. My prayers for you and your wife..

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Response to JayhawkSD (Original post)

Thu Mar 23, 2017, 11:02 PM

5. Thinking of you and your wife.

How are you both doing?

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Response to irisblue (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 24, 2017, 01:03 AM

6. Doing well, thanks

 

Wife saw the oncologist today who said she is tolerating the chemo well and cleared her for the next round. The hair loss started to become obvious when she showered this morning, but she took it well; smiled about it in fact. Bought two nice wigs last week. No serious side effects, just feels a little "off" for a few days.

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