In my unyielding desire to absorb as much of god’s amazing world as I can - those breathtaking things that are both beautiful & horrific – I asked to join Scott at the weekly NA meeting where he stands as secretary. I wanted to understand more of addiction, a plague that I believe is entirely within our control to be abolished, but also recognize, not until we understand the in’s & out’s of it’s creation.
My “get-down,” is sugar - different from the people I joined, yes, but I knew I could learn plenty nonetheless. There was no speaker for the night, so it became a verbal group check-in by way of “tag-you’re’-it” which rotated boy, girl, boy, girl…
In every person who spoke, I heard, saw & felt the qualms of my own life reflected back to me. As different as they appeared from me when they first walked up to the church & hugged me, kindly introducing themselves: their desperate reaches for attention that came in the color of their hair, their inability to maintain focus for longer than a few minutes before talking to their neighbor, the details of their scenarios, or the iguana on one girl’s head… All disappeared when I met their eyes as I heard their stories. The questions they asked, the hurts they felt & the everyday hiccups they spoke of were many of the same struggles across my own life.
After leaving, I quizzed the boys over a 2nd dinner searching for clues & patterns to build my constant case of overcoming our debilitating coping mechanisms of this life – of how to create lifestyles built on quality, not quantity, & mainly through each person’s particular met needs. I begged Scott to write a book…
“I need you to write [your stories] down for me - to get those rotting, festering poisons out of you & into the world where they can inspire others to do the same, just like that meeting tonight. What a beautiful fucking inspiration it was - to feel that much truth come out & swirl into that room. That much empathy & safety & all those second chances…”
“Yeah, it’s pretty special, isn’t it,” he said, which I found to be such a typical boy’s understatement.
“I know everything is one step at a time, but don’t forget ‘your body is a temple’, ‘we must be the change we wish to see in the world’ & all that jazz… For now, it’s fine. But once you’re deeper into this program - & have torn more spoiled layers off this onion – I’m going to start pushing you to ditch other unhealthy habits.
And your inability to be alone & fulfilled at the same time.
Because I know you have it in you to drop them.”
No response came for the rest of my drive home, so before bed I sent 1 last text: “But rest assured, not tonight. Goodnight my dear friend.”