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Voices for Recovery


Allen Conley (03/04/2011)

The Door Opens

I learned early on in AA, although at the time I didn’t believe a word of it, that when the Man upstairs closes one door He will open another.  In my case the door that opened, back in 1999, took me to Michigan on a Greyhound bus. The only thing I was aware of was that I was unemployed, pretty much broke and barely in my recovery.  So with my last few dollars I left Texas in search of greener pastures.  Yeah Right!  However, after mailing out a whole lot of resumes and a couple of dead end interviews I had made up my mind to return home to Texas.  But that return trip never came to pass.  A woman I had met, who later became my wife, was looking at the want ads when she blurted out, “This job is you. Ya gotta check this one out.” So with my bad attitude and self loathing I went.  Now if you will picture my appearance, Wrangler jeans, western shirt, boots and a straw Stetson hat. Yep I’m dressed for success alright.  The woman I interviewed with, who is deceased now and deeply missed, and her office was located in a dingy smoke filled place called the SHARE Center. It’s a drop-in center for the homeless and down and out people.  So I’m figuring the pay will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 or $6 an hour but no it turned out to be $27,500.00 to start and she wanted a bachelors degree.  So now I’m thinking, why in the H did I even come here? My wife was waiting in her car and as I approached she said, “Well how did it go?” I remember saying something like, “It was a waste of time, let’s get out of here.” Why I stuck around for another week and a half I really don’t know.  But the reason came in the mail. With depressed and shaky hands I opened it and then froze not even breathing.  My wife said, “Well whats it say?” I just handed it to her and said read it yourself.  “She’s offering you the job and from what she has written you must have really impressed her.” The only thing I was thinking was that she made a mistake and mailed it to the wrong person.  “You’re gonna take it aren’t you?” At that moment I didn’t have an answer because I was dumbfounded and confused.  For those of you who were a homeless, knee-knocking, snot-slinging, commode-hugging drunk like me who believed that nothing good would ever come to him again will understand what I meant.  The job turned out to be what I was wishfully thinking of back in Texas, helping the homeless.  Not just homeless but also mentally ill with a substance abuse problem.  Well you were right, this job was me, ya think.  These two women played a very important part in my life and I owe them a debt that I can never live long enough to repay.  All that and more took place twelve years ago and come May 31, 2011 this door will close.  Do I believe He will open another? Yes absolutely.  I just have to be willing to walk through it.  Stay tuned as this may not be the end.



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