A few days ago my cup ran dry. This does not happen very often because I have always been and still am, a girl who is always saying “fill-her-up!” When I was drinking I had no idea how much I drank because my cup was never empty. I am the same way with coffee or water bottles or coconut water these days. Still, on Monday, I awakened with an empty cup.
I didn’t know at first that that was the case. I just knew I was grumpy, short-fused, and irritated by the antics of my husband, who I frequently, if not usually find amusing. Not so on Monday. I did not want to go to my usual ten o’clock meeting. The very thought of seeing my friends made me roll my eyes, and yet, where else would I be on Monday morning at ten o’clock? I got in the car and drove down the hill.
My mood continued well into the hour. Everyone bugged me. That was the clue. At about quarter to eleven the light went on and I realized I was bone dry! I had given away every drop of love, compassion, empathy, emotional support, spiritual wisdom and meatloaf. There was nothing left to give. I was in the right place.
The previous week had been a gut-kicker! On Friday afternoon, I had received a call just before dinnertime, informing me that a close friend and the husband of a very close friend had just passed away. His death was sudden and completely unexpected. The caller simply said, “Please come right away. We need you.” I was out the door and in my car within five minutes.
It is curious to me how God prepares us for times like this. It has happened to me before when death came out of the blue. I used to wonder, (when I would realize I’d been to more than my share of meetings in one week, or taken extra naps or been off sugar for a while,) what was coming. Now I don’t ask, but something always comes. It was under just such conditions that I found myself when the call came on Friday.
I had been to seven meetings that week, a couple more than usual. I had been eating a clean, sugar-free diet for two weeks and I was well rested. I was ready to be there for my dear friend for as long as was needed.
The next day my daughter and son-in-law left town and left two of my grand children to my over-seeing. Believe me, that was a pure joy! My duties to them were merely to feed and entertain. Something I can do while sleepwalking, so we were all good in that department. My friend needed far more that feeding.
Thank God for the fellowship in my life! Shortly after I arrived at her home I called another friend for back up. He was there in a flash. And that is the way it goes. For the next several days, it seemed that our whole community rallied around our friend. People showed up to be ushers and readers. Caterers and florists were arranged, my compatriot and I gave eulogies and we all cried together.
Now the crisis has passed. Things will return to normal for some of us and things will never be the same again for my friend and her children. Still, I must refill my cup. There will be other occasions where all will be required. Far more that I/we think we have to give. And yet, we WILL give. We will give it all away and borrow some from the angels or whoever dishes out strength, wisdom and courage. My responsibility is to keep myself ready to be of maximum service.
I remember when I was newly sober, somewhere around two years. I was having some sort of crisis/meltdown and I called a friend to get some help. “You’ll have to call somebody else today, honey. My cup is empty.” I remember feeling stunned at hearing her words. Her cup was empty? But it happens. It happens to all of us at some time.
After I shared about my empty cup on Monday, I began to feel filled up again. I shopped for groceries, had lunch and took a long nap. I read some of my favorite poetry and one of my favorite meditation books. On Tuesday I was feeling much better. Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who lifts me up, I took another nap then saw a fabulous movie (The Intouchables,) and dinner with another dear friend. Today I feel good. Later today the family will come for a barbeque.
I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful to be a friend. I am grateful to be someone who has tools for living that work. I am grateful to be sober. I am especially grateful to know that I am not perfect, not without flaws and not without limitations. Lucky for me, I know where to go to get what I need and I have never been denied a refill.
My life is so glamorous! It’s just not fair, lucky for me!!