One Day at a Time...by Brian McDermott on 06/30/11
Got a long-distance call from an old friend, checking in to wish me a Happy St. Patrick's Day and to let me know he'd been clean for a year. No drugs. No alcohol. No more dealing cocaine from the trashed out apartment where I last saw him.
He had been on the brink. His personal story includes having made a ton of money and losing it. Having a family and losing it. Having a bullet rip into his life and almost losing it.
I don't think it's a coincidence he called, even though it's a rare event when we talk. I bought a book the other day that I had intended to have already mailed to him. The title is, Broken -- My Story of Addiction and Redemption, by William Cope Moyers.
In the epigraph, Moyers quotes Parker Palmer from The Politics of the Brokenhearted: "A disciple asks the [rabbi], 'Why does the Torah tell us to place these words upon your hearts? Why does it not tell us to place these holy words in our hearts? The rebbe answers, "It is because as we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the holy words in our hearts. So we place them on top of our hearts. And there they stay until, one day, the heart breaks and the words fall in."
I heard Moyers speak at a professional association meeting -- these words and others from his personal journey through addiction -- and I knew within minutes I'd be buying several copies of the book to share with people I care about, people I fear are trying to fight this tough disease on their own... people I'm hoping could hear something in this story that might land in their hearts.
The news in the long-distance was about a job, a reconnection with a son, and a resolve to stay a day at a time on this better course. Thanks for the hopeful call, old friend.
Make a difference,