Monday, January 22, 2007

one day at a time, AA, 12 step recovery programs, Alcoholics Anonymous

Patricia Gallagher, 215-272-1933, www.teamofangels.com, yngsparro@aol.com

“Hello, Mrs. Gallagher, my name is Mike and I received one of your Team of Angels pins when I came out of prison. I felt like it was a sign from my Higher Power. I am just calling to let you know what I did with the angel pin, because I know the message says to pass it along.”
Throughout life, he had been caught up in a lot of family problems and alcohol had been his means of coping. He had an impressive six years sober but the demands of taking care of a mother with dementia had drawn him back to his unhealthy old habits.
“After mom’s passing, I was devastated. I lost my sobriety and was arrested for a DUI. It wasn’t the first, I am ashamed to say, and my lawyer and family couldn’t cover for any more of my bad decisions. I had to go to jail.”
The message was on my answering machine. I wondered what the conversation would be about. Mike was in a Twelve Step recovery group and attended daily Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. He had seen a young woman, very distraught, walking to her car after the meeting. He went up to see if he could help. As she choked through her words, she explained she had terror-filled nights and painful bouts of depression, no medical insurance and couldn’t afford the right medicine – she had to depend on doctor’s samples, which were not dependable. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she couldn’t sleep because of her anxiety over the misery of a failed marriage. He gave her the Team of Angels pin for taking One Day at a Time. The following morning, she walked into the AA meeting room looking as proud as a peacock. She gave him a big smile and hug.
“Guess what, Mike”, she said happily, “I slept twelve hours last night after getting the pin.”
She was wearing the pin on a flamboyant green blouse with pink petunias.
“Joe, please don’t tell anyone but I am not going to pass this pin along…not until I am on the other side of this horrible disease.”
“Don’t worry, “ Joe told her, “ with that team of angels, you are well on your way to recovery. They worked for me and I know they will work for you too.”
Tears came to my eyes. What a blessing this little pin was for a struggling young woman! Thank you, God for giving this woman the gift of sleep, and for Mike passing along the Team of Angels!

5 comments:

Patrick said...

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You
Patrick

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