No amount of Razor Wire
December 2022 | Remote Communities & Sober Holidays | Special Section

No amount of Razor Wire

Two members shared how their mothers were now asking their sober incarcerated sons for advice. I could not keep my self-constructed dam in place any longer.

I often witness members at AA meetings express their emotions with tears; usually over recognition of the harms done to themselves or others, as well as over a newfound awareness of God in their lives. Yet I’ve never been able to feel and share my emotions at that most visible level. As I listen to others share such deep feelings, I sometimes question myself over the quality of my own spiritual awakening.

This brings me to my regular Saturday meeting last week in a maximum-security prison. Once a month a member inside is asked to offer up a topic for open discussion. Since it was the holiday season, someone offered up the topic of gratitude. Before it was my turn, two members shared how significant it was that their mothers were now asking their sober incarcerated sons for advice during increasingly frequent phone calls, advice on how to deal with life’s issues. I could not keep my self-constructed dam in place any longer. My mother died young while her son was still on a path of physical and emotional self-destruction. I tearfully acknowledged this and openly asked: Would I trade places with either of them, if I could, and somehow reset that relationship?

The power of God runs deep as this sort of gut-level sharing by all took place in this maximum-security prison, where a whole additional set of behavioral norms usually prevail. Yet, no amount of razor wire could restrain it as effectively as my own self-constructed barricades had. During the ride home, I felt such a sense of peace. I’ve felt such calm at other times in recovery after I’ve loosened my grip, even a little, in order to let God in. I pray that I will let him reach still deeper yet.

 

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