In Which I Make an Ass of Myself.
Yesterday’s meeting was powerful. The man who spoke had, in a fit of alcoholic rage, tried to kill his whole family and himself by swerving their car off a bridge. I’ve heard a lot of stories like that in the rooms. I’ve made friends with thieves and murderers. The man who did that is now about two years sober, and reunited with the family he tried to kill. When we invest in our own recovery, when we surrender to our disease and emerge into sobriety, incredible healing is possible for us, and for those around us.
I, however, made an ass of myself at the meeting. Someone who works with me goes to that same meeting, and when I described my new position, I said that I would be moving from “a mediocre hospital to one of the finest institutions in the world.” She was angry at me. She had every right to be. She’s a good, hard-working nurse and administrator who has made important contributions to our patient’s lives. But she took the time to teach me a lesson too. “You don’t want to be starting a new job and slamming your old one. That won’t reflect well on you.”
That’s what long-term sobriety looks like. I made an ass of myself, and she admonished me while offering me free, sincere, and important advice about how to be a better person. I apologized immediately. But I need to make amends, and thank her. She has been very valuable to me in sobriety, having a person right there at work who is well beyond me in the program, wise and steady. It was wrong of me to insult her work, especially because she’s right.
I owe a great deal to my current work-place. I was unemployed and they hired me, converted me to a PI after 18 months, and set me on a path to where I am a productive member of society. I need to honor that, not criticize it because they’re less than perfect. I owe them more than that.