A woman new to town came to our Al-Anon meeting…

one cloudy night, looking like a marble statue, grim and frozen. We knew the look; we’d worn it. She didn’t speak but looked intently at each one as we shared.

      I took to her, felt her pain. “Welcome, Darcy. Glad you came. C’mon back, girl. You help us with your presence maybe more than you can know now.” She looked baffled but nodded shakily.

      “I will.”

      Next week she was back, again saying nothing, looking hungrily around at the faces as each one shared.

      Third week. She approached me as I put away the literature. “Do you ever sponsor people?” she asked diffidently.

      “I’ve been known to,” I said slyly, doing a check-in with my gut. Yes? No? Yes was my clear inner response. We are taught to say yes when asked to serve in 12-step programs, if it’s clearly ours to do.

      “Would you consider sponsoring me?” she asked silently with her eyes.

      “Give me a sec while I put this stuff in the closet,” gaining a little think time. I returned with “Yes, I’d be honored to, Darcy. When can we start?”

      “Tomorrow?” She was so ready. Pain is an efficient motivator.

      “How about three at my place? Here’s the address for your GPS.”

                                                                    ~ ~ ~

      I began by asking her, “So what’s in this for me?” thinking we’d best be on equal footing from the outset so she’d realize she had something to give and to receive.

      “Well, let’s see. You’re a writer. Need any tech support? I’m pretty good with computers.”

      “Wow yes, spot on.” Soon we traded my kayaks for her used MacBook and her swift expertise in computers for my long years in Al-Anon, a sweet arrangement for both of us. We worked mutually on the Reaching for Personal Freedom workbook, sharing our findings on each of the twelve steps, traditions, and concepts. We were both getting a lot, doing good honest work, developing trust and genuine liking for one another, including Hank, her alcoholic partner who worked with his sponsor.

      Hank went back to the bottle for additional “research.”  Darcy used her new Al-Anon tools to detach with clarity. Hank got back on track quickly, perhaps in response to her newfound clarity and boundaries.

It’s enlightening to see the program work to save lives for those who want it. We are truly a worldwide village of hope and strength. You show up, you listen and receive, and God starts strutting Her stuff in all manner of resources you could never dream up on your own. It’s magic. Layer by slowly you peel down to your sweet strong original core. Life starts being worthwhile, even fun again.

Leave a Reply