“free counseling”: a new step forward

I have hesitated to write specifically about my “free counseling” ministry. It’s not that I’ve wanted to keep anything under wraps, but it hasn’t seemed “big enough” to say much until just a few weeks ago. Of course, I also want to be sensitive to the privacy and confidence of those I help.

That said, I’ve created a page (here) and my dad put together a website (here) to provide more detail about my proposal and give access to referral forms. I’m looking forward to seeing how all this will unfold. My hope is that this project inspires others as well. That each one of us may use the gifts God has planted inside and experience real freedom in giving without pay.

Wisdom From the 12 Steps: “things I do not miss”

twenty four hours a dayJune 1–A.A. Thought for the Day

Some things I do not miss since becoming dry: that overall awful feeling physically, including the shakes, a splitting headache, pains in my arms and legs, bleary eyes, fluttering stomach, droopy shoulders, weak knees, a three-day beard, and a flushed complexion. Also, facing my loved one at breakfast. Also, composing the alibi and sticking to it. Also, trying to shave or put on make-up with a shaky hand. Also, opening up my wallet to find it empty. I don’t miss these things, do I?

My grandpa Walsh gave me this little AA book back in 1998 when I had my own problem with drugs and alcohol. Recently, I realized that the things a recovering alcoholic (or drug addict) does not miss about getting high can easily be translated into the things I do not miss about seeking privilege. In an effort to draw out these connections and strengthen my resolve, I constructed my own list of things I do not miss:

  • I do not miss measuring myself with neighbors, friends, co-workers–all in secret–about who has the best possessions, job, social standing, etc.
  • I do not miss moving at the speed of machines and feeling dizzy with my anxiety, always trying to keep up.
  • I do not miss working harder and harder to plan for benefits, respect, and money.
  • I do not miss living in denial about all this and justifying myself with soft lies.
  • I do not miss churches and sermons that could only apply to people like me with way too much privilege.
  • I do not miss feeling disgusted with my options (yet responsible for my choices) and apparently powerless to make a change.
  • I do not miss taking advantage of people in poverty for their willingness to go above and beyond.
  • I do not miss grabbing more than my fair share.
  • And I do not miss feeling sorry for myself.

No, I do not miss these things!