It was one of the worst days of my life. I had relapsed. I had been fired. I had spent several days out of town detailing all of my failures to my wife. And now, I had to go back to my AA homegroup and tell them I had been lying to them and had been drinking for several months.
But first, I was going to have to tell my sponsor.
So I arrived at the church basement. Church basements are popular with AA groups. As I entered the basement, I walked right up to the door to the meeting room. But I could not walk in. Too much shame. Too much guilt. Too much failure.
So I went to the kitchen and hid. But my sponsor still saw me. He walked up to me. He knew. I didn’t know how, but he knew. He asked me what was wrong.
In a weak, quivering voice I told him. I was so ashamed. But he responded as if it was not a surprise that a recovering alcoholic in early recovery would actually relapse. Go figure.
And then he did two things that I will never forget. He told me I needed to go into the meeting and open up about my relapse. And the second thing he did was one of the greatest gifts anyone ever gave: he grabbed my hand and walked me into the meeting room.
It was one of the hardest things I ever did. And I may not have done it if I had been alone.
To wrap us this week, I want to say that we need to learn how to ask for help.
There are a number of things we all must do in this life. Most of them require the assistance of another human being. Whether you want to admit it or not, you need help.
We don’t like needing help. We want to be strong. We want to be self-sufficient. We want to be in control. We want to prove to ourselves and others that we are capable of doing all that we need to do.
And, forgive the bluntness, but that is often a complete and utter crock.
I can absolutely, positively say I would not be sober today if it was not for the help of countless people.
I can absolutely, positively say I would not have a relationship with God and Jesus today if it was not for the counsel, teaching of support of countless people.
I can absolutely, positively say I would not still be married to my wife today if it was not for the help, encouragement, and swift kicks in the pants offered by countless people.
I can absolutely, positively say I would not be doing well at my job if not for the generosity, partnership, and expertise of countless people.
I hope you are picking up on the theme.
Twelve years ago, I was ready to check out of life. Ten and half years ago, I was ready to check out again. And I would have.
But I did something that went against every fiber of my being: I asked for help.
And the rest is history.