Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to my Grateful Heart Monday series, where a slice of gratitude kicks every week off in my blogging, which for today is for Ameer and Tyrone, two individuals I’ve known for a number of months now at the correctional facility my sponsee Michael and I conduct a weekly addiction recovery meeting at.

For over a year now, Michael and I have been holding an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the Toledo jail on Monday evenings for an hour. One thing we’ve noticed is how there’s always a new set of inmates at each of our meetings there, as the men’s floor we conduct them on isn’t normally a long-term holding unit. While many of the men there have shown interest in the path we’ve presented for recovery for their addictions, most have been honest in saying they weren’t ready to fully give their addictions up and only a few out of the hundreds we’ve met have actually contacted us after their release. Thankfully though, there has also been a handful of individuals who have been around for a while in this unit, who have continued to show up each and every week we’re there. Two such men are Ameer and Tyrone, both having attended our meetings since late October/early November of last year.

The enthusiasm these two have shown in our meetings has been overly exceptional. While many have struggled to pay attention or been outwardly negative about the 12 Step program, Ameer and Tyrone have not only practiced Step One diligently, but have also brought the three things needed to have a healthy recovery every week, that being honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. They have consistently been excited for us to show up each week, shared from their hearts, and even helped others on the floor by starting a small recovery group themselves, essentially practicing Step Twelve in the process.

Sometimes those of us in recovery often wonder how much those we pass our experience, strength, and hope onto will actually get it and seek the recovery path themselves. With Ameer and Tyrone, I have no doubt they’ve gotten it and can only pray that they’ll continue doing the incredible job they’ve been doing with their sobriety from jail once they get released.

Something that should also be mentioned as well that’s brought me much gratitude with these two men is the blessing they gave Michael and I recently. They told us that our dedication to being there each week meant a lot to them, that we’ve made a very safe place for everyone to open up and talk about whatever they’ve needed to, including any addiction they’ve suffered from, and how thankful they’ve been for our compassion and unconditional love, as all of it had inspired them to become the recovering individuals they were rapidly becoming.

Honestly, it’s priceless gifts like this that keep me giving back to the 12 Step recovery world and why I love doing all the recovery work I do. I’m also thankful to God when I get strong reminders like this of the importance of this work in this world. Truly, I’d like to think that God orchestrated all this and is the very reason why Ameer and Tyrone have been in the unit we hold our meetings at for as long as they have. Because maybe God knew they not only were going to finally grasp a sober path in life through the work Michael and I were going to do with them, but also was going be precisely what led them onto the path of giving back themselves.

I pray I get to help more individuals like Ameer and Tyrone, two people who I’m definitely blessed to know, who most deservedly are worthy of today’s Grateful Heart Monday.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson