I know I may catch some grief for sharing about other members in my 12 step programs since anonymity is one of our practices. But last night, as I was going through prayer before going to bed, I began to go down my mental list of people and broke down in tears as I thought about a certain person. And began to remember his share and just cried. I can't even begin to explain to everyone the courage this individual shows every week trying to express himself. He's in his 40's and is at my CoDa group every Tuesday night. But you see, this person has difficulty expressing himself because he has cerebral palsy. What has made it more difficult for him is the fact that he lived in China for most of his life and had to learn English as his second language according to one of his shares. I had a friend 21 years ago, who had an older brother afflicted by this disease that has no cure. He would always have to bring him along everywhere as kids and sometimes got some odds looks from people and questions like "Whats wrong with your brother?" That just used to piss me off would have me yelling at people to leave him alone. When you're 12 years old, kids can be cruel when they didn't understand things. So I read a lot into it as I got older since their was also a man in the city who sold peanuts in a wheelchair up until a few years ago who I used to follow home whenever I would see him riding down the street as late as 11:00 pm after leaving from Target (Where he used to sell his peanuts). He died recently, but everyone knew who he was and loved him for working everyday never blamed CP for anything. Just something that has always stuck with me. And I give this person in CoDa all the credit in the world for showing the courage to show up every week and to listen and share. Over 70% of people afflicted by Cerebral Palsy developed it during pregnancy. And the rest usually develop it by the age of 3. So he's had to live with this his whole life. And I think it made me cry because we supposedly have diseases we are trying to overcome. But at least there is a cure. For others there is not. And I don't dare show pity for him at the groups, but there are many of us who have to hold in the tears when he shares because of his experiences and pain. We don't show pity, but we do show compassion. And I think to myself, What the hell is so painful that does not have an answer to it in our own lives? And I don't mean to sound harsh, some people have had some serious emotional and violent pasts that need all the help they can get to get to a better place. But there is a choice and a cure if sought out for others. This person has a choice for one disease, but no choice in the other. Visine has been my best friend today. I woke up with swollen eyes and then teared up thinking about him this morning on the treadmill. I guess it's made me grateful to be able to overcome these so called diseases of mine one day at a time. The courage and strength this person shows and gives every week makes me realize that we ALL have a choice. It's just a matter of practicing it and being ok with ourselves.
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