Thursday, December 17, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

Life sure does throw us curveballs, doesn’t it? The unexpected gift from a friend. The kind word from the checkout clerk. The last minute touchdown by your favorite team. That song on the radio you haven’t heard in years that bring tears to your eyes. Your child crawling into your lap and snuggling up against your side for a long winters nap. All great things to celebrate. These types of curveballs are like wiffle balls…lightweight, easy to hit right out of the park.

Other times, though, life throws us bowling balls that crack our bat and break our wrists…the unexpected auto accident, that health crisis you didn’t expect, a death in the family, a storm that damages your house, that relapse you promised yourself and others would never happen again. These bowling balls often blow away our conception of a calm, peaceful world where all is right and good and true. We don’t expect it and often we don’t accept it.

It’s early December as I write this column. There is a palpable sense of expectation in the air. The seasonal lights are littering the landscape reminding me that this is a special time of year. Radio stations are playing Christmas music over and over and over again…and over again some more! Children are about to pass out with anticipation of what they will get on the big day in about two weeks from the bearded one from the north.

As I think back over 2009, it’s been a good year here at the Coleman Institute. We have been privileged to assist so many addicts struggling to reclaim their lives from the ravages of opiate, alcohol, and benzodiazepine dependence. We’ve walked with our patients as they experienced great victories and even bitter defeat. We’ve celebrated with support people once the light bulb goes on and the addict starts doing all the right things.

Furthermore, in the midst of the struggle, we have come to expect the unexpected. We’ve come to see that the human spirit is tough to crush. We’ve understood the power of compassion and affirmation to a hurting addict with nowhere to turn. We’ve felt frustration and grief over an addict who went back “out there” one more time and never returned. Conversely, we’ve become aware of the joy of success when a patient chooses to live sober one 24 hours at a time. And we’ve learned the power of hope when an addict breathes a sigh of relief and realizes that TCI is there home away for home for the few days they spend with us.

In this season of the unexpected (see Christmas morning and the gifts you didn’t expect to actually get), I invite you to expect the unexpected. Expect to be sober. Expect to be clean. Expect that sobriety is well worth the struggle. Expect the Promises to come true in your life. Expect to be amazed. Expect to be transformed. Expect to receive joy. Expect to receive love and friendship. Expect to experience the unexpected. And remember that to “get clean and stay clean” is the most unexpected gift of them all. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Hanukah. Seasons Greetings. Expect the unexpected!

Until next year,

Chris Newcomb - Aftercare Coach / Coordinator

1 comment:

  1. I just wrote a response directly to the e-mail address, and I don't know who, if anyone, reads it, so I thought I would comment here.
    Everyone at the institute was amazing, and I hadn't dreamed that I would feel this good. I wish to God (or Santa or whatever higher power you believe in), that I had known about you guys in August. I could have saved myself 12 days of misery trying to detox by myself.
    Thanks for everything. You guys rock.