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Beating addiction can be the biggest miracle.
September 23, 2016

When Miracles Begin

“You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle.”
– Shannon L. Alder

Beating addiction can be the biggest miracle. At the end of my last story, I was camping out. Life was much more than misery. It had become impossible. There was a heat index of 100° every day, no running water, no more work and no more income. My doggies and I could not go on. I knew my mom was on my side but there was nothing more she could do. Then one day she gave me a message from an old friend.

That’s when miracle #1 came into my life. My friend, who I hadn’t seen or talked to in years, called my mom to say hi. He had just bought a winter home here in Florida. When he heard I was living in a tent he offered me and my dogs his home to stay in until I got turned around and on my feet again. It wasn’t a comfortable situation, but I knew I couldn’t make it any longer in the tent. It was a true gift from heaven.

My friend and I knew each other for more than 20 years, but he never knew me as a drinker.

A look of horror covered his face when he first saw me. He tried to downplay it, but I’d seen it and I was mortified with humiliation.

I hadn’t showered in nearly a week. I knew how I looked with an extra 50 pounds and glass in hand. He chuckled when he realized it was vodka. He said, “since when did you start drinking vodka, let alone at 10:00 am”? I know he didn’t realize what he was getting himself into then.

A week later, I walked into my first AA meeting. A kind and compassionate woman came to talk to me afterward. That was miracle #2, although I didn’t know it at the time. We sat about a half hour and I was sobbing, telling her I’m homeless, might have a drinking problem and didn’t know what to do. Can you imagine that?… I think I might have a drinking problem?! She asked me some questions and told me that the way I drank [an everyday, continuous drinker], I would need to go to detox for about a week. I asked her what was detox?

Then came miracle #3. My dearest friend from Europe made everything else possible. She immediately sent money and two days later I went to a treatment center that saved my life. Without all three of these miracles working together, all at the right time, I simply would not have made it.

To sum it up:

Miracle #1. I needed a place to exist. My doggies and I could not continue in that tent.

Miracle #2. I needed non-judgmental compassion, the right information and hope.

Miracle #3. I needed medical assistance and support to physically detox.

Now, I’d like to mention another miracle. I call it my hidden miracle.

It happened when I was walking my dogs near the park at my friend’s home (miracle #1). I overheard a woman speaking to someone about Alcoholics Anonymous. This planted the seed in my mind, which sprouted a week later, pointing me to miracle #2 when I attended my first AA meeting. I’ll never be able to find that woman to thank her and she will never know the pivotal part she played in saving my life. I think everyone has many hidden miracles they don’t initially recognize. With increasing awareness in sobriety, I discovered that spontaneous miracles occur quite regularly.

I also want to talk a little about the timing of these miracles. It is only because I hit my rock bottom that I was able to acknowledge and accept the truth about myself – that my drinking and drugging was the cause of my problems. I can see how these miracles could not have come into my life any sooner.

First, I had to be ready with the gift of desperation.

Some of you may think this kind of desperation is an awful thing. But that’s why we call it “the gift”. Because that is what leads us to the willingness to let go of the booze and drugs. Whether you are a high bottom or a low bottom addict like me, every one of us has to reach this turning point of surrender to achieve freedom in sobriety.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
– Lao Tzu

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