Abstinence. Personal Empowerment. Support. Inclusiveness. www.freestylerecovery.org.
Pressure builds. Uh-oh, now what. "Um, well, he's really busy"
No mercy. "Oh, I'm sure he could find time to come into class and talk about it, can you ask him??"
Pressure builds to the breaking point, caught in a web.... "Um, well, he's not really a scoutmaster, I just made it up"
I just wanted to crawl into a dark hole at that point and hide, but what she did stuck with me - she gave me a big hug, thanked me for being honest, and put me on her lap.
It was a powerful lesson of forgiveness and redemption, one that made the lies and secretiveness of my drinking days all the more painful for me - they went against deep lessons I learned long ago, yet I felt helpless to stop myself from spinning the web.
I had a great experience that I thought I'd share, that reminded me of Mrs. Blum's class. I was at a face to face meeting today, and when the focus of floor time circled around to her, one of the regulars who has been attending for a long time and had been claiming some years of sobriety admitted that she hadn't been to the meeting for a while because she had checked herself into an outpatient treatment place, and had been lying to everyone about her accumulated sober time. She was visibly shaking and twitching when she said this, and I'm sure it took enormous courage to say what she said to a room full of people, some of whom had been hanging out with her nearly every week for years. But she said it.
My immediate reaction was a huge smile and huge respect. Wow, that took courage. I'm sure she was scared to death before admitting that to the group, visions of shame and fear, but I'm also sure that she needed to do that before she would be able to let it go. And ya know what, no one started hating or judging her, and in fact I shook her hand after the meeting. :-)
Copyright, 2012 JeffK
One of my most vivid memories of Mrs. Blum's 1st grade class is the time I got caught lying. The teacher was asking us kids what our fathers do for a living, and at some point she asked if any of our dads are scoutmasters in Boy Scouts. For some reason, my 6 year old brain said, "Yes, mine is!". Perhaps I wished he was, perhaps I wished he paid more attention to me, perhaps I wanted the attention in class, who knows, but that's what I said. What I didn't know is that Mrs. Blum knew my parents from parent/teacher conferences, and she knew that I was lying as soon as I said it.
"Oh really Jeff, that's wonderful!!! Do you think he might be willing to come into class and talk to us about it?"