When a friend is in need. . .

At the present time I have a very good friend and sponsee from the north visiting.  She is dear to my heart and has been for all 25 years of her recovery.  I met her at her first AA meeting, in fact, so have been able to observe her throughout her long sobriety.  The past four or five years of her recovery have been tough ones, unfortunately.  The thought of drinking hasn’t been the problem, but obsessive anxiety has her by the tail.  It has taken the joyful person I had known for twenty of these 25 years away.  And I know she isn’t the only person who suffers like this.

I, too, at about fifteen years into my recovery, fell into a hole that I feared I’d never emerge from.  I was so anxious that I couldn’t comfortably leave my house.  I longed to feel like those around me.  I read every thing I could about how to find joy or meaning and none of it even registered.  Frankly, I couldn’t focus long enough for any of the thoughts to get through.  I have suggested a few books to my friend also and I see her reading a bit of one and then another, seeking the same answers I sought.  Why is it so hard sometimes.  She has been diligent about attendance at meetings.  But the dark cloud descended, regardless.

I shared with her this morning a story I heard about Mother Teresa a few years ago.  She too fell into a deep depression.  It lasted over a span of years and she felt forsaken by God.  Her focus, she said, was simply to keep feeding and caring for the poor and let her depression die its own death.  At what point it left, I don’t know, but she did the work she felt God had sent her to do.  There is a message here for all of us, I think.  Just do the next right thing that stands before us, trusting that we ARE AND ALWAYS WILL BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME!!!  God is never more than a thought away.  Never.

If you have an extra moment in your day today, look closely at each person you see and offer up a silent prayer for them.  He or she just may be suffering like my friend.  And even if they aren’t, your prayer will wend its way back to my friend in time because that’s exactly how life works in a spiritual universe.  Thank you for being part of my life.



  1. Christi Bertram says:

    I was twenty years sober when I fell into the dark hole. I’ve heard it called the “Dark Night of the Soul” and that is a wonderful description of what I experienced.
    My understanding, relationship, concept of God felt gone. I had felt tucked under God’s arm for my entire recovery and all of a sudden that was stripped away. My prayers felt dead; yet I couldn’t not pray. It’s the worst experience of my sobriety, much more than hitting bottom and going to AA!
    It took about five years to slowly come out of it and for me to feel connected to God, people and myself again.
    Today, my relationship to God is changed; more mature, more open, more real. Perhaps it took that awful dark time to “let go absolutely” of my then relationship so that it could evolve into something more.
    Just hope I don’t need to go through it again!

    • Hi Christi,
      I do understand “the dark night of the soul.” I have been there too. A woman named Pat appeared at my door with a message of hope. I didn’t know her and didn’t know why she came but everything changed. Now I know, for certain, that she was part of my divine destiny. As I am part of yours through this blog. There are no accidents. For that I am grateful.

      Blessings to you,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *