Life on Life's Terms
September 11th is a day I will always remember. It was the day my good friend Reuben died from a rock climbing fall. My climbing club and I were rock climbing in South Wales having fun and climbing new routes, when it happened. It was a long and sobering day watching Reuben part from this world. I was somewhat in shock and was closing down and trying my best to cope with what was unfolding in front of me.
It was Wednesday around 4.30ish the day of my AA home group meeting, I remember thinking to myself, “well this is a great reason not to go to the meeting.” I was in shock and tired. The truth was, I was sinking in to a mourning self-pity state and starting to partly enjoy these feelings and emotions. I phoned my sponsor and told him about the incident. He was very saddened to hear the news as he knows of Reuben. I informed my sponsor that I will not be attending my home group this evening due to being in shock and tired. He calmly said I need you to trust me and come along to the meeting. I screamed out in my head, “NO WAY you don’t understand,” but I said “OK I will come along, but you must recognize I can’t share this evening, I’m worried about what I will say. I may breakdown, get upset and carry a poor and negative message. "
My sponsor replied,”trust me on this one and try to carry a message in the spirit of Tradition Five, work your suggestions and keep phoning me.” Yet again I screamed out in my head, “You’re joking!” But I said, “OK I will try.”
On arrival at my home group I was greeted by several fellow home group members who gave there condolences and kind words, The meeting started in a similar way. The top table shared for 20mins and it was time for people to share back from the floor. I remember thinking that I really wanted to share this emotional feeling and I felt that they all needed to know what had happened to me, even though most of the home group members knew about the unpleasant incident. I raised my hand and was shortly picked to share; I shared in the spirit of Tradition Five, helping carry the message of what the 12 Steps of AA and the importance of a home group and a good sponsor are.
My spirit was lifted for 3/5mins. My thoughts were on nothing but carrying a strong message to the new comer, carrying the good news that life is possible to enjoy without the use of alcohol. Days passed and I tried my best to support Reuben’s family. I was, to my surprise acting like an adult and being supportive to others. Don’t get me wrong I was feeling upset and saddened and was talking to my family and friends about how I was feeling and how I was dealing with this great loss. I was trying my best to cope with what life had thrown at me, and it was working, I continued to carry a positive message in meetings that life without alcohol and coping with life on life's terms is possible whatever life throws at you.
Peter S., 2009