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Hope in Little Rock by Mark M.

Hope in Little Rock by Mark M.

It’s good to know that after 20 plus years clean, I can still be surprised by the power of recovery. Every time I feel like I’m alone and unique; recovery always (in ALL ways) reminds that I am none of those things. It sounds like a slogan doesn’t it? But it’s true! Here’s a perfect example…

Nobody likes going through a divorce, even after the fighting stops, even when the resentment and anger has been processed, shared about and re-shared about, feelings linger. “Am I unlovable?” “Am I good enough?” “Will I be alone forever?” It’s not just addict specific; it’s the human condition, especially after a big life change. Even though we know in our heart of hearts that these voices speak to us from our disease we still allow our mind to believe them.

“So what is the best way to feel a part of?” “How can I reconnect and NOT feel so alone?” Well, I decided to do what any logical person would do when feeling alone and disconnected….I will go on vacation ALL BY MYSELF! (of course all of this wonderful logic hit me  in a deserted hotel room, in Little Rock, AR).  I figured this would be the best thing for me to do because I always know what is best for me (lol).

I did meet some wonderful people on my vacation from the airport to the hotel; it was easy to talk to people and get to know a little but about them. Heck, that’s what I do for a living! I am a marketer by trade so making conversation with people is easy for me. However, there is a broad difference between making a “conversation” and making a “connection.” By day 2 I was feeling disconnected again, even though I had spent the whole day talking and talking and making conversation with wonderful people, I continued to feel more and more alone.

“What should I do?” “Should I go to a meeting?” I DID have the time and I had always wanted to Uber to meeting (that just sounds so Yuppie-Recovery) so I looked up a meeting on the NA app (check it out!) ordered an Uber and BAM, I was at a meeting full of new and weird faces. I was a stranger, I was alone sitting in the back (yikes) and then I heard the opening Serenity Prayer and BOOM, like a ton of bricks, it all hit me all at once. All the pain, all the loneliness, all the feelings and I started crying like it was my first meeting! I was resolved to stay in the room and it saved my life and my soul. I sat and listened to (what I am sure was) the same old stories and slogans but it felt like it was all new, like it was the first time. The serenity prayer was suddenly new. The steps were somehow rewritten, the readings that use to drive me crazy were also new, but of course they weren’t. I was the one that was new, I was new again and newly reborn right there in Little Rock!

I could go on about how I connected with people after the meeting, pretended I was a smoker just to ask for a light (Don’t ya hate those people) just so I could strike-up a conversation. I could mention how I gathered phone numbers and still keep in touch, I could do all that and it would be true. It is the same old recovery /miracle story that we have heard time and time again but all of those stories and all of those feelings (including mine) aren’t new for recovery. THEY are the constant and recovery is grace and compassion and it is everywhere, be it Little Rock, Arkansas or Tampa, Florida! Old-Timers or Newcomers, recovery works in spite of us and alongside of us and for that I am eternally grateful and blessed!

WHY did I pick Little Rock for a vacation spot? Well, THAT’s another story!


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