Life on Life’s Terms
On my 60th day sober I awoke completely paralyzed on the left side of my body. And I mean completely. I had no idea what had happened but my first thought was ; “Now what?” I could not wiggle a toe or finger. My left side was dead. Know what I did. I took forever to get dressed with one hand, but did it. I’ve heard it said over the years that; “even if your ass falls off, pick it up and bringing it to the meeting”. Well I took my right hand and was able to push my left hand into the pants pocket, and off I went to get my 60 day chip.
When the leader called for 60 days I got up, walking like “the Mummy”, dragging my left foot along the ground, my left hand stuffed in my hip pocket so it wouldn’t hang down. There was a murmur in the group as I moved up to the front of the room and took my chip. I was close to catatonic, so I wasn’t too excited about this situation. In fact I thought to myself, maybe this happens to people when they get sober. I asked one guy next to me at the meeting about that and he got up and moved to another seat. I was told when I took my 9 month chip that I was beginning to talk in complete sentences and thought “cool, I’m getting better”. This one old timer came up to me, put his arm around me and said; ” We don’t see them come in like you much anymore kid”. In the early days of AA many were “badly mangled” as the book says.
Still at 9 months sober I was still paralyzed, but they had this new thing back in 86′ that was not being used in the medical field yet and they used this new scanning device to discover what had happened to me. This device would be known as an MRI, when it went into service. Now I had some answers to this extremely unusual thing that happened to me. The bad news is , I was told ,it is permanent. No healing, no cure.
So I have accepted this condition and the challenges that come with it a day at a time. Why bring this all up at all. Well the point is “Sobriety is about living life on life’s terms, for better or worse”. Life is so much bigger than us. Staying clean and sober is my number one goal in life and I have been able to participate in my sobriety and recovery for 31 years so far.
An awful lot has happened in that 31 years. Still have the spinal cord injury. I may be slower than most, but I am active and the newcomers that come into my life for help makes my life work. The newcomer is the reward for taking all of the steps. The reward of being uniquely useful in the 12th step.
I have been graced with the most wonderful women I’ve ever met that is my wife. We have 4 grandchildren and a wacky family just like many of you. But it is all filled with love. Life on life’s terms is a very large statement. But one to live by. One day at a time.