Where did I park My Life…

 

 

Where did I park My Life

 

 

Why does it always seem like when I have it all ironed out in my life,

something always comes along to remind me that the only certain in life is change?

I mean really,

just what more does my higher power have in store for me in this life?

My sponsor would probably say anything and everything – he’s like that,

very vague – when I’m looking for a direct answer in my life.

Now don’t get me wrong – in the beginning there was a lot that I needed help with.      Help with the simple fact that I couldn’t drink in safety any longer,

help with not knowing where to turn,

help with the fact that – at the time it felt like my life was over.

In the beginning it seemed that drinking wasn’t the problem.

It was my parents, my bosses, or whomever I was with at the time.

As simple as that.

But what I didn’t know at the time was that I had given alcohol free reign of my life.

It told me that I knew more than my parents at the ripe old age of 14.

Wherever I worked my bosses would tell me,

“This is how it’s done”.

I would say,

“But I know a better way”.

The same with any relationships that I was in –

“Do what I say, not what I do”.

Ya, like that worked.

But alcohol told me that I was right, and they were wrong.

Did you ever wonder why WAR was sometimes spelled in capital letters?

I think for me it stands for We Are Right,

So does that mean You Are Wrong?

Mr. Webster’s definition of YAW is a verb – to deviate from the intended course.

To move unsteadily.

Could the problem really be me?

Alcohol said it was ok.

But it was anything but ok.

All this time fighting the WAR on others,

when the truth of the matter was the YAW, right in my face.

Looking right back at me with blood shot eyes,

unbrushed teeth and no clean socks.

How unsteadily I moved through life.

How deviated from my intended course did I go.

And still, alcohol said it was ok.

I don’t think that there was ever a time in my life that I said,

“Gee, I think I’d like to be an alcoholic

and that I would like my life to be unmanageable”.

It just happened.

That’s the truth of the matter.

Neither right nor wrong, but the truth.

There’s still a lot of work ahead for me.

But with the help of my sponsor,

meetings and a higher power to help me on this intended course of sobriety.

To move somewhat steadily through this life,

to know that today, that the only certainty is change

and to stop living in the past where I would wonder,

“Where did I park My Life?”….

 

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Orange Roof

 

 

 

 Under the Orange Roof

 

 

 

It’s funny how they said my life would change so much.

I didn’t think I would be back here, where I used to drink, that’s for sure

and where I drank would still be in my life.

It started years ago come to think of it.

Like all stories, this has a beginning.

It starts really with my father.

My father was a cook. Had been a cook even before I was born.

He’s been cooking for so long that there’s not a time when I can’t remember when he wasn’t.

To me it seemed when I was little that my father cooked everywhere.

At work, at home, even the church when they needed someone.

My father was always there.

But one of the places stands out most in my mind, one of my favorite places my father took me to when I was young.

When we first pulled up I could see the blue sides of the building and get this – it had an orange roof.

To me it looked so funny like it should have clowns or something living inside of it.

I remember there was this sign over the top of the roof of this man reaching down to a small child.

It made me think of my father and me.

When we were inside my father and I walked through this dark and smoky room with people sitting and laughing.

“Dad?” I asked.

“Are these the clowns that live here?”

He looked down at me with a smile.

“No son.” He said.

He went on saying, “They aren’t clowns,

but I think some of them do live here most of the time.” And laughed!

He then brought me in the back where he cooked,

sat me up on this long bench, told me to stay right there and to be good.

“I’ll be right back.” He said.

He then gave me this chocolate lollipop.

It had the same man and child on it that I seen on the rooftop outside.

I was no different than most kids – once done with my treat,

my mind started to wander and the body wasn’t too far behind.

I went through the kitchen,

on by the ice cream and soda fountain,

to the room that was dark and to me full of clowns.

It was still dark inside.

Maybe they were sleeping I thought?

But how could that be.

It was sunny and warm outside.

Sometimes I could hear the clowns talking and laughing.

I was still standing there in the smoke – filled doorway when my father found me. Needless to say, he never brought me back there.

He said things to me like, “Not staying put.” “Could’ve of got lost.” or “Had I gone outside I’ve might have been hit by a car.”

But that made no sense to me.

All I wanted was to see the clowns again.

Little did I know that years later I’d be one of those clowns?

It seems to me that when I started drinking,

I drank everywhere I could.

But the one place that I seemed to make my home was the same place my father had brought me years ago.

I had found a place where people knew me and I them.

We told stories, laughed at bad jokes.

I even had a couple of beers with my father while my mother was at church.

My father would tell me about when he worked here and how much it had changed since then.

To me, it was just a place that I could go to, have a few drinks in peace.

Talk to some people, laugh when they laughed, and were sad when they were sad.

By then I couldn’t feel anything and I didn’t know why.

So I would order another drink.

Gone were the memories of my childhood.

It seemed there were times when I would not smile or laugh for days.

When I did, it was hollow and dry.

If I didn’t laugh, I’ve break down and cry.

I was so empty inside and I didn’t know why.

So I would order another drink.

It wasn’t long after that, that I would find recovery.

I didn’t know what else to do by then, but I knew in my heart,

that I’d had enough of living the way I was.

I started to go to meetings.

Even picked up my first 24-hour chip at this place, which is now my home group.

I made coffee and later handed out the same chips that I had picked up years before.

They said things like,

“Keep coming back.” And “Don’t drink, no matter what.”

But the things that I remember the most was,

“Change your playground.” And “Clean your house.” And “The person who walks in this door has to change.”

Well I have changed my playground.

My friends – which weren’t many by the end of my drinking and cleaned my house.

I found out that a meeting could start before a meeting and go on well after it in parking lots.

In friends cars going to and from a meeting.

Even at places where they serve coffee late at night.

It wasn’t long after I met my sponsor that he asked me out for coffee.

I said, “Sure, where?”

“Get in the car.” He said.

“We’ll go over there.

There will be other people from the meeting there too.”

As we pulled into the parking lot I started to laugh.

My sponsor looked at me and asked, “What’s so funny?”

“Here?” I asked.

“This is the place where we’re having coffee?”

“Sure is.” He said.

“Don’t tell me you’ve never been here before?”

“Oh no.” I said.

“I’ve been here many times, come to think of it.” And laughed again.

So here I sit with my new friends.

Not in the dark room of my childhood filled with smoke and clowns.

But near the soda fountains of my youth.

Telling stories of how it used to be.

How my life has changed so much.

And we laugh.

Here – Under the Orange Roof….