Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Daily Miracles

I'm thinking about daily miracles.

When I was drinking, I mostly had daily frustrations. Occasionally, something nice would happen, but it always seemed by accident.

Today, miracles happen constantly, it seems. Things I never even imagined would come true have.

I've written here before about the little things. Those "little things" are daily miracles to me.

And then there are big things. My relationship, which I was on the verge of ending for no good reason other than the insanity of my own drinking, is better than it's ever been. It's also a big thing that I don't have any more secrets to protect. I tell Chelle and my sponsor everything. It is a profound relief to reveal your innermost self, warts and all, and be loved to pieces anyway.

My personality changes strike me as a miracle. Case in point: my Facebook friends know that I play Castle Age daily. It's just a fun distraction. I get a kick out of battling orcs and hydras and building up an army of other players and getting together to battle armies of other players. Well, my Castle Age name is Xena, Warrior Princess. How perfect is that? I used to watch that show with David. He even had a plastic Xena sword. You haven't laughed until you've seen a three year-old twirl around with a sword bigger than he is and go, "Ai, yi, yi!"

Well, yesterday I ran into another player in the game with the exact same name. Our avatar photos were even identical. I was amused but thought nothing of it, and then I got a message from her asking me if I would mind changing my avatar photo "to prevent confusion in the game."

My knee-jerk reaction was "F*ck you! Who do you think you are?"

And had I still been in the throes of my alcohol addiction, I would've answered back, "No way, get over it," been bothered for days over the fact that somebody had tried to exert control over me, and then gone on to cause a rift among the gamers who happen to be friends with us both.

But I'm sober now. Instead, I told myself: "You have two options here. You can be nice about it, or you can be a jerk about it." And it's true that I have no real attachment to an avatar. They're easily changed. And it is just a game, after all.

So, I changed my avatar. No problem. And then I took it a step further. Since our names were virtually identical, I changed mine to include my game affilations. Now, even though we're both Xena, we're not both Xena, Warrior Princess. I'm Xena {CAD} ^..^ . Clarity prevails.

I was content with that, and let her know I'd made the changes. I wasn't expecting a response.

Surprise! This morning I woke up to a very moving email in which she revealed her reasons for choosing Xena, Warrior Princess as her name. I don't want to blurt her reasons all over the Internet, but trust me when I say there's a good reason she's attached to the name and it involves someone she loves. She didn't have to tell me that. But I'm glad she did, and now she's a human being to me, not just some anonymous person in the game. In fact, now we've joined each other's armies.

See, a miracle.

Oh sure, it's a teeny thing. But the result is that I'm happy about it, when my first reaction was anything but. Instead, there is peace and I feel good about the fact that this person got to keep something all for herself, something that is important to her.

When you translate little examples like this into the bigger things in life, you can begin to imagine the beams of light that are streaming into my life nowadays.

The Promises tell us that when you give up addiction, "We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness....We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace....That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows....Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change."

I can say with utter conviction that Bill W. called them "The Promises" because he knew damn well what he was talking about.


Julie B said...

Joyce, this reminded me of something that happened several years ago. I was part of an online community at the time that made and traded ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). One day I stumbled across a pack of tarot cards called Good Witch/Bad Witch and offered to share them with people on this group. Anyone interested could email me their name and I would divvy up the cards amongst the responders on a certain day. I put some thought into how I allocated the cards but, not knowing anyone personally, didn't pick cards for anyone particular. After mailing out the cards I received a note from one woman telling me how she had received the Halloween Witch (her name is Wanda!) and that her mother had died on Halloween a few years earlier and the day had bittersweet memories for her. Each card came with a little narrative about the witch and when I went back and read the one for Halloween I realized that this card was meant for her. Call it divine intervention or whatever you want but it fits the idea of one of your little miracles.

My first reaction to your friend's request for you to change your picture was "why doesn't she change her own picture?" You were kind and did the right thing despite not knowing the whole story. Choosing the high road often has its rewards.

Joyce said...

I love this story! I am really starting to believe that there ARE no coincidences ... things happen for a reason.