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Old 04-26-2012, 02:23 AM   #1
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Eyes And Ears

Eyes and Ears
We are each others
A story tells of two addicts walking through the desert. During the journey they had an argument, and one slapped the other in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: "Today someone slapped me in the face."
They kept walking until they found an oasis, and decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the other saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: "Today someone saved my life."
The one who had slapped and saved the other asked, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?" The other replied: "When someone hurts us we should write it in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it. But, when someone does good for us, we must engrave it in stone where it will remain."
In recovery, we learn to write our hurts in the sand and carve our blessings in stone.
Maybe you remember the name of that one addict who used to come to meetings awhile back? You remember, the one who used to share so honestly and with such passion. They used to talk about their love for Narcotics Anonymous and recovery. Seemed to have a good grasp of the Twelve Steps. They welcomed newcomers, always offered to help. Don't you remember their name? They used to attend a lot of meetings - regularly. Always opened their home group meeting. They were a trusted servant for a long time. A lot of good things started to happen in their lives.
What was that addicts' name? I heard it from someone, or read it in the paper. But, I forget where I read it, just as I forgot their name until I read it. Now I remember who that addict was and why I remember them. It was how the disease of addiction took over their life clean. I remember what happened. They shared in meetings how they were at odds with fellow NA members who continued to live in old behaviors, how newcomers weren't staying, and that they often felt isolated and alone themselves. I remember a few addicts reaching out to them. They said "Oh, I know. If it gets bad I'll come back."
But words fell to the wayside. The disease of addiction was too powerful. Ego, pain and pride too strong. They slowly, over time, drifted away from NA meetings and from service to others, the things that had meant so much to them. I remember now, I caught a glimpse of their name in the obituary section. Cause of death listed as a sudden illness. But we know, it was actually a prolonged, incurable and fatal illness. Death from our disease, suddenly brought on by the horrors of active addiction.
Since coming to NA I've learned many lessons that I can never afford to forget. One of the hardest is not only am I an addict, so are my friends, and none of us are beyond relapse! Still when an addict begins to show signs of using, we often begin to justify and rationalize, making excuses for them. Although we sense they may be heading out the door, we don't want to face it. Part of accepting others for who they are, is expecting them to behave as they do. If we're surprised by these behaviors we're living in denial and fear. Fear of losing their friendship, of them telling us to mind our own **** business, of hurting them. So we don't say or do anything.
Look at relationships as they really are, not as you would have them be. Because you're not who I want you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are. Doing nothing and silence sends a message. But it may not be the message we mean to send. Telling a friend, we fear they're in trouble, requires courage and love. Anyone can say they love us, but someone who truly loves us, is there when we need them and even when we think we don't. What we say, can be heartening or hurtful. If we share our concerns with them, without blaming, we might make a difference. At least we know we tried. God help us if we watch a relapse in progress and never say a word. What principles are we applying there? Will we always wonder, what if? In the end friendship, freedom, and lives are lost to the disease of addiction.
Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great valley from end to end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before we know it, much time is gone.
We seldom see our old friends' face,
For life is a swift and tiring race,
They know we like them just as much,
As in the days when we stayed in touch.
"Tomorrow" we say, I'll call on them"
"Just to show them I'm thinking of my friends."
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
Distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner! - yet miles away,
Too many friends vanish these days,
When we love someone we need to tell them so,
For tomorrow may come, but they may go.
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