Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Tribe

     In one of my earliest schoolgirl memories (perhaps I was 10 years old at the time), I remember walking down the street to my grammar school.  What always come back to haunt me about that reverie is that I was all alone on my side of the street.  Head bowed, I could hear the other students' boisterous laughs and looking up, shyly, catch their horseplay.  That striving became a metaphor for my life.  HOW, I wondered, could I get to the other side of the street?  HOW could I make friends and have fun?  That deep desire to be part of a kinship, to belong, haunted me throughout my adolescence, and followed me into adulthood.  At 45 years old, after not drinking for 10 years, I was ready to throw away my sobriety in exchange for the fellowship of a neighboring couple who drank heavily, and found me and my non-drinking spouse completely unsuitable for their lifestyle.  It took me 8 long years to find my way back to a life of recovery, and to discover that my tribe, my true friends, had been waiting patiently for me all along. Today, I am a friend. Today, I have dozens (maybe even hundreds!) of friends.  Gratefully, I live, work, and play smack dab in the middle of that pack, and it is where I experience conviviality, camaraderie, understanding, and love.  As a fellow sojourner, Bill W. wrote many years ago, "....join us.  We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny."  Today, I can walk into a room full of strangers, smile, shake hands, sit down, and know that I am in the company of men and women whose deepest desire has been to belong.  We will not remain strangers for long.

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