I'm a bit chagrined that it's taken me so long to recognize that Alcohol Services would not have existed, let alone last for 30 years, without the help and support of others. This anniversary has given me a chance to remember the people who went out of their way to make this venture possible.
One man loaned us a typewriter (remember them?) and a woman let us forward phone calls to her house when we were seeing someone or not in the office. Another scavenged used desks and file cabinets to put in our office until we got on our feet. Many others freely gave of their expertise and insight.
The biggest change is thirty years ago I thought I had the answers and if people would only listen things would get better. It's bad enough to think that way but re visiting things that I've written with such assurance almost makes me wish they weren't preserved on paper. One of the benefits of a long period of time going by is the realization that the best we do is witness a person's journey, be kindly honest and care for them. It's more that we offer seeds rather than plant them.
In the book Alcoholics Anonymous it's suggested that one of the keys to recovery is a "deflation of ego in depth". In a too infrequent moment of humility I can be grateful for the last 30 years rather than take credit for them. It's all a gift. Dr Bob, one of the co founders of AA, said it very well in his farewell address:
"None of us would be here today if somebody hadn't taken time to explain things to us, to give us a little pat on the back, to take us to a meeting or two, to do numerous little kind and thoughtful acts in our behalf."
Dag Hammarskjold's prayer says it best:
"For everything that has happened; 'Thanks'. For everything that's to come; 'Yes'."