Lessons Learned

I’ve been on hiatus for a few months and it’s been just what was needed to regain my passion. The summer brought several changes, not only to me personally, but also to the PAIN organization. Through the ups and downs, the turmoil and the joy. I learned one thing, sobriety is still the most important thing in my life. Without it and no matter the circumstance, good or bad, not having sobriety could have been disastrous. Even after 17 years of being clean and sober, there are still situations I need to be aware of, particularly those situations that I’m not thrilled about or that I have no control over. I learned there are people who are out to get you, no matter how pure your motives are. I also learned there are people who are good and true and will stand by you in any situation. That is where I had to put my focus, that is what sobriety has taught me and sobriety got me through. In July, I had to have total hip replacement and after eight months of constant pain in my hip, legs and feet, it was decided this was the time to have the surgery. The two months of recovery from the surgery was uncomfortable to say the least, but guess what? Sobriety got me through.

Looking back on the last four months and reflecting on the outcome of several situations, I’ve realized that, in life, things go wrong and not everything is going to go my way, but sometimes battles arise and at times need to be fought. People will disappoint as well as amaze. People will make mistakes and I will learn to forgive as I hope others would forgive me for my mistakes. The lesson learned more than anything is this. Situations you think are disastrous at the time usually work themselves out. If you are true to your beliefs, your goals and your mission in life, there is no one or anything that can take that away from you.

On another note, PAIN just had our 8th annual “Oh So Thankful” awareness dinner on November 2nd and it was an amazing evening! After a long spring and summer, it was time to celebrate what we at PAIN had accomplished over the year. It was a reminder that what we are doing is just and right. It was a reminder that we are helping to save lives. It was evident by the number of people in attendance and it was evident in the support that all those guests provided to us. In eight years of holding this event, it was the largest crowd to date and it was the largest amount of funding raised in all those years. It was a shining reminder that no matter what happens, it is the end result that matters.

As one chapter closes, another one opens. I’m excited and looking forward to the holidays and what the new year will bring. The people I work with are amazing and I couldn’t be more pleased with our new Executive Director and our office staff.. My focus continues to be on the positive results PAIN is providing to those individuals and families struggling with addiction, and as the 12 steps have taught me, not to focus on people, places and things that I have no control over and really don’t matter anyway.

That is what sobriety has taught me!

Flindt Andersen