**reposted from an earlier incarnation of my writings**

I was given the opportunity to talk to a class of high school kids about alcoholism when I was just over a year sober. I remember how terrifying it was to walk back into my old high school and walk into a room full of little teenagers who were all waiting to hear my story. As I listened to the teacher introduce me, all I remember was just holding my one year chip in my hand and trying as hard as I could to remember that I was in the hands of my Higher Power and let that serenity shine through. The story I told was mostly nothing more than the basics, what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now, with a little added bit of support for those students who have friends siblings or parents struggling with alcohol. We shared a few laughs, had a couple of serious moments and then our time was through, I handed out some AA cards and went on to the next class I had that day. I was asked back the next term, and the next, speaking to more and more kids in more and more schools, right up to this very day. And every time I walk into those classes I still stand nervously in the corner while I am being introduced, clutching my chip and trying to trust in my Higher Power

It’s been 7 years since I first spoke in those high schools. Those first classes have grown up and graduated, moved on to bigger and better things. And I still talk to some of them, and the classes that I met the year after and the year after that, and I will be going in again in November to talk to a new bunch, and I’m sure that while the staff member is droning on in their introduction I will be clutching my worn little chip and muttering the serenity prayer under my breath. 7 times now I have stood in an audience of proud parents, tears streaming down my face, watching the young folks I have walked beside through their high school journey walk up to collect their diplomas and turn smiling to face the crowd, and all seven times I have thanked my Higher Power for giving me a way to be able to see the awesome beauty of a simple smile.

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