I’ve talked on GPYP for almost 3 years now about the gift of desperation that just drives you to chase recovery.

When I was feeling desperate 22 years ago I chased it and chased it and chased it. Because I was desperate to get well, to get better, to get over it, to get on with my life. Great things happened from that great desperation.

And tonight I was feeling the same….desperate.

Alone again tonight.

Just really missing Michael.

Couple of hysterical crying jags today. Very deep sobbing…feelings of “Oh my G-d, I am never getting over this.” Which is a feeling that comes and goes.

Other times, when I’m feeling stronger, I think yes, I will come out stronger, better, happier.

And some days, like today, I think I am going to feel like this forever. And I know it’s a cycle.

But when you’re there, it’s just so hard to imagine the better times you know will be there.

Grief is somewhat predictable but when you’re in one part you almost can’t imagine that there is any other part.

So after sitting there for what seemed hours, and not feeling able to get my act together enough to get off the couch let alone get out of the house, I decide to find a 12-step meeting. Pick one. Any one. The first one I can find in any program that’s within a half hour driving time and about to start in the next hour. Something that ends in Anonymous. I don’t care if it’s Pistachio Nut Eaters Anonymous, I’m going. Somewhere. Anywhere.

So I find one that’s starting within the hour.

It’s a bit of a hike, but I can’t sit here alone tonight.

But it’s pouring rain and I figure with the World Series and Halloween and Saturday night probably not a big turnout at the meeting. I like big meetings when I’m going for the first time. Not many notice you when you get there, which is fine by me because I just wanted to dip in and dip out.

So I drive over there and I pull in and there are like 5 cars in the parking lot. I sit and look for a minute and think I’m going home, this is not a big group at all. I am not going to be able to just fade into the woodwork. Do I stay or do I go?

But at 7:55 (the meeting started at 8), I need to decide…so I figure oh what the hell….I can’t go home and just cry. Probably no one will say anything remotely close to what I’m feeling but just being there will be okay.

I tell myself, just get up and go in. So I do.

I climb up the long steps and by instinct sorta know where the meeting is…and I go in and sit down hoping that no one notices me (in a room of 10 people).

The chair person immediately greets me, asks me a few questions, knowing I’ve never been there before. Trying to be friendly. I’m just hoping I don’t burst into tears.

And a woman gets up to speak. She talks about her horrendous relationships and then getting better and meeting her husband and motorcycling all over the country.

She talks about what a terrific guy he was and how much he loved her and the joy of their relationship and those wonderful adventures on the motorcycle and of course and I’m thinking of Michael and I biking all over and I am THERE with her when she’s talking and just thinking about it…all those trips…that she is describing…that we took.

I’m thinking of the idyllic times we had, the fun times, the incredible times on those bikes going everywhere and doing everything and loving every single moment together. I’m there with her as she’s talking about it. I’m reliving it in my head. It is popping all over for me…it is so vivid and so real…and I’m being carried along by her story…reliving the most wonderful times I’ve ever known.

And I’m enjoying the ride in my head…even smiling…

and then…

she says…

she says…

she says…

they were at Laconia New Hampshire….a place I know well and Michael raced motorcycles there for many years….and on the way home….her husband’s bike was hit by a drunk driver and he was killed.

And she described holding his hand as he was dying and how the last voice he heard was hers and how she said I love you to him as life was leaving him….

….and the tears are just streaming down my face.

She talks about the horrendous grieving process afterwards…of just sitting places and crying.

And I’m nodding.

And crying.

And she wraps up with how to go on when you don’t want to…and how to take the good from the most horrific experience of your life…and then she quietly sits down.

The next man who speaks talks about taking care of his wife for two years after being diagnosed with Alzheimers. And he talks about changing her and feeding her and how hard it was. And I’m nodding. Yes, that was hard. I know. He said he didn’t know how he did it.

But he did it.

And I’m nodding and crying.

I did it too and I don’t know how. And he says, “You just do.” and I thought, “Yes, I just did.”

He said he was grateful that he could do the right thing…and be responsible…but it was hard…yes, it was.

Nod. Cry. Nod. Cry.

This wasn’t a grief group but for me it could have been.

And I was glad I had come. And this is how I got through many years ago. I would sit in therapy, meetings, support groups, on retreat, in conferences, in seminars, and nod and cry.

This is how I got better. This is how I mended the broken places.

The gift of desperation drove me then. And drove me tonight. To a place I needed to be. To hear what I needed to hear. And I talked to the woman after the meeting for a long time and as I spoke she got teary eyed and as she spoke I got teary eyed. And she gave me her number.

And I will call her. Because I know that is what you do. To get better.

And when I was leaving the man who chaired stopped me and said, “Why don’t you come to these meetings tomorrow night?” and I smiled and said, “Okay. I will.”

Going out to the parking lot I hit every button on the stupid rental car remote (my car is in the shop) and the trunk opens. I’ve never seen a car do that before.

And two guys walking to their car start laughing. And I say, “It’s a rental. I hit buttons and new things happen every time.”

And they’re laughing.

And I’m laughing.

Been here. Done this. It works.

And by doing the thing that I tell everyone else to do (CHASE IT, find new people, go to places, get OUT there), tonight I’m just a little less alone.

And a little less hurt.

And I have a number to call of someone who has been through it.

And some places to go tomorrow night.

And this is all a good thing.

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