Change of plans

I was going to blog about how fall classes started and how I've been spending time with my fiancée looking at wedding venues. As I was opening this program to write this blog a friend called. Before I tell you what he called to say, let me give you a quick glimpse into his situation. He's very early in his recovery and often struggles with anger, and when not controlled it leads him back to the bottle. He's a retired Marine who has a ton of pride, a huge ego, and isn't used to failure. He has a few weeks clean and had a hard time telling me about his latest relapse. My original plan was to introduce him to people at local NA/AA meetings so that he'd be comfortable enough to go on his own and meet people there he'd look forward to speaking with. Damn Covid-19 put an end to that plan, plus I moved to Traverse City and don't travel to Petoskey as much as I'd like. He's told me he feels alone and I always tell him he can call me. So, back to my phone ringing. I answer and to be honest I probably sounded annoyed. "Hey man, what's up?" He replied "Hey brother, I had a good day... They got me on some new medication that helps with depression and another one that helps with anger." I asked him what happens when he feels the rage building inside, like what does he do mentally when he feels the sensation tingling through his body. He told me he calls his girlfriend and she tells him not to lose his head. That poor woman! I can only imagine her face or what she thinks when her called ID says his name. It's great to reach out to people for help, but at some point (which is different for everyone) we need to take control and be responsible for our own feelings and actions. For me, I had to acknowledge how co-dependent I had become and set boundaries in many facets of my life so I could learn how to process these feelings on my own. This was the only way I could deal with situations I wasn't comfortable with. So, as I mentioned, in our conversation he told me he had his first "good" day in about a month and his girlfriend recognized this as well. After he hung up with his girlfriend he pulled up his mother in his contacts, he wanted her to know about his day. He was about to hit send and then realized what he was doing. It's normal to want to talk to family, especially if you're close, to tell them you've had a good day. But, in my friend's case it was out of instinct that he pulled MOM up on his phone. Instead of pressing the call button, he paused, reflected on what he was doing, and called me instead. When he told me this it brought me back to a time in my life when I had no one. No one to talk to, no one to check in with, and I felt totally alone. You see, no one liked the drunk Corey and if I wasn't working, I was drinking. So when he told me this story of almost calling his mother, the feeling of sadness and loneliness came rushing back to me. I felt them the same as I did five years ago, it felt like it was just yesterday. I have empathy for what he was going through at the moment, but I couldn't relate totally because my mother is still alive. When the phone rings it may be inconvenient for the plans you have at that very moment, but it could be someone who just needs a little comforting and not coaching or advice.

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