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Ot: # 3,000

Old 03-01-2016, 08:18 PM
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Ot: # 3,000

Lots of personal stuff to share on what is my 3,000th post here at SR...

*****

Three weeks ago, my boss and I sat down for my annual review and to discuss my merit increase. He had intimated that I'd be very happy a couple of weeks before this.

Which, frankly, I found a bit odd. 2015, from my perspective, was not a great year for me professionally. I spent four of its first six months in a considerable amount of pain before finally going in for surgery on June 26. Two days after that, my mother passed away. When I returned to work in August, I was distracted and about to begin a very prolonged period of grieving and reflection. By the time autumn hit, I was in a bit of a depression.

I had shared with my boss that I didn't think I had a good year. The first thing he did when we sat down was tell me, point by point, why I was wrong. He listed all my accomplishments, and pointed out how difficult it was to fill my shoes when I was on MLOA. At the end of this, he gave me a sheet that informed me I was getting a merit increase of 8.1%.

Yes. 8.1%.

I was, frankly, stunned, but incredibly grateful. It seems even when I'm not at my best, I still have some technical game...

*****

The next morning, I got up and checked my work email, and I got an email from an employee in our mailroom telling me I had a letter waiting for me. I wrote back asking if it was personal. He replied it was, and gave me the name and town on the return address.

My heart skipped a beat. It was from my first love...from high school.

I had written her in during a period of reflection during the fall...trying to absorb the lessons that loss teaches us. I won't get into the details, because it's deeply personal and intimate, but when I wrote her, I had no real expectations of hearing back from her. And yet a letter from her was waiting for me in the mailroom at my plant.

She, of course, is married and has two teenaged children. She had tried finding me before I reached out to her, but had no success (my social media footprint is small, save for LinkedIn). She would have written sooner, but had to have surgery soon after she received my letter. I won't share everything she wrote, but after telling me she would love to see me, she thanked me for making her smile.

I don't know when we're going to see each other. But that doesn't really concern me. She was my first love, but we never dated. There were a lot of good reasons for that. Her parents had split up shortly before I met her. Her mother was deeply affected by the split. And she started doing things with boys that she shouldn't have been doing. Long story short, I made a decision that I wasn't going to compound that problem. I decided I would never take advantage of her, or compromise her. So I did what most boys in their late teens and early twenties do: have fun with lots of other girls. The one constant until I was 23 or 24 was her. I'm glad we never dated, because we would have messed it up, but man, I did love her. Time will tell how our friendship evolves as we're now in our forties...

*****

The following evening was dinner at Morton's in Boston with my girlfriend. The look of disbelief and joy on her face as she took my arm to walk into the restaurant is something that's etched in my memory forever.

And none of the above would have been possible if my AXGF hadn't given me the gift of my freedom in January 2012. But like most addicts not in recovery, I'm most certain what she was trying to do was break me. I meaning, breaking up with me via text message while I'm at work...sending me a picture of her and her boyfriend from The Fellowship (Thirteenth Step, anyone?)...her gleeful confession of multiple infidelities...her claim of having grace and dignity, things she never had with me.

Self awareness is not her strong suit.

And yet, four years later, she was trying to connect with me on Google+.

Grace and dignity, huh?

I've learned a bunch of things from that experience. In no particular order:

* if an addict's lips are moving, they're lying
* once someone's crackers -- i.e. nuts -- they stay crispy
* pay attention to your gut
* there are few things in life that are as precious as children
* when someone through their behavior shows you what they're all about, believe them
* if you see an escape hatch and it's in your best interests to take it, do so
* emotional pain sucks, but there are worse things in this life
* just because you love someone doesn't mean you should be with them
* a healthier life is truly your choice
* there is no growth without pain
* if you're not honest with yourself, you're going to pay for it
* no one does things to us unless we allow them to
* we don't need permission to do what's best for us
* with respect to love after a flameout with an addict...wood that has been burned once is easier to set aflame
* being a responsible adult is a lot of work

For our new members who are going through a hard time with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, read that list as often as you can stomach it and know that I speak the truth.

For members who've been with us for a while and are still struggling, read it and see what resonates and is applicable to your situation.

And with that, know that I'm in your corner. Always.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:04 PM
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What a great post. I'm glad things are going well for you. That crackers crispy comment made me laugh. I haven't heard that before. So true.
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:43 AM
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Zoso. I am newly back to Sr. But each time i stray and come back I look so forward to your posts. Yes you do speak the truth. When I first posted and saw your response I thought you were just being harsh. Now I understand the reality of life with an addict is harsh and you speak from a place of wisdom not malice. You speak truth and sometimes the truth hurts. But as I have grown I would rather be hurt by truth than comforted by a lie. (this is a quote I saw on FB and resonated with me.....don't know the author but its not me...it simply applies )

This list is going in my wallet today. Thank you for being the vessel to deliver to me exactly what i needed. You are truly a blessing and I look forward to another 3,000 posts from you.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:22 AM
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Zoso, I always look forward to your wisdom. I'm so glad life, despite its challenges, still gleams for you.

This sentence struck me as hilarious.

And yet, four years later, she was trying to connect with me on Google+.
Her selected medium for reconnection says it all.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:25 AM
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Zoso, your post shares your learning and growth, through life as well as through the crisis that brought you here and your light shines brightly for all who know you.

Thank you for all you do, for all the members here, newcomer and old timer alike. We all walk together and it's been a pleasure walking with you on this path of enlightenment called recovery.

Big Hugs of gratitude.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:36 AM
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Congratulations and thanks for your service Zoso

D
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:09 AM
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You're great zoso--glad you heard back from your old flame.
Those feelings we can feel young are pure and sweet in intensity, aren't they?
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye13 View Post
You're great zoso--glad you heard back from your old flame.
Those feelings we can feel young are pure and sweet in intensity, aren't they?
Pure being the operative word, Hawkeye. We never went through the trials and tribulations of adult life together. So whatever it is we had when we were kids is like it's preserved in aspic. We never had an opportunity to mess things up. And for that, I'm grateful, because I would have and I'm pretty sure at that stage in her life, she would have as well.

So we'll see what happens now that she's just turned 47 and I'm following suit this summer...
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:55 AM
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Congrats on the merit increase, the 3,000 post & all the other wonderful growth you have accomplished ~

Thank you for sharing your e, s, & h with us!

wishing you an even better 2016!!!
pink hugs!
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:20 AM
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ZOZO FOREVER!

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Old 03-02-2016, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for the care and time you take with your threads and responses, Zoso.

Congrats on the raise! Some of our harder years wind up being the ones with the most growth.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:19 PM
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i just love you, dude!
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:09 PM
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Thank you for your wisdom, and most importantly thank you for supporting each and every one of us who have yet to awaken. I always look forward to your responses.
Wish I could (hug you!)
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:12 AM
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Thanks zoso ! Your words stick with so many who come to FFSA/SR. It is in times of despair and hopelessness, those words replay in our minds.

It is a great thing to take what we have learned and share it with someone new as others have shared with us.

Blessings to you in everything my friend.
Hugs
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:35 PM
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Thanks for listening and giving me wonderful advise Zoso! Congrats of #3000!
Looking forward to the next 3000, supportive posts!
TF
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