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Step one

Step one. “Admitted we powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable”.

These words occur to me today; not about alcohol, but about the many curve balls life has hurled my way since I last blogged.

Like many Americans, I honestly believed the dream of prosperity would never end. But 2008, 2009, and 2010 have come and gone; leaving a wake of devastated collective despair.

Every day, in my advanced practice psychiatric nursing practice, I watch as the poor get poorer. I behold, stunned and mute, as welfare checks, medical and social security benefits are ripped from the wounded like feted bandages; leaving my patients raw and bewildered.

And leaving me powerless to comfort them in the hour of need.

Powerless to hang on to all I once held dear; home and hearth, forsaken to the insatiable greed and avarice of multinational banks.

What do we really need in the end? Comfort, clean sheets, and a hot shower?

I ponder this, as I consider downsizing to my Hilo Bay front office. Twenty years of blood, sweat and tears in psychiatric and addictions nursing and it has come to this?

Yet, I summon gratitude, as each of my severely mentally ill charges passes through that office.

There, but for the Lord’s sweet grace, go I. A matter of luck, some education and a few neurotransmitters separate my fate from those for whom I care.

Just for today, I have meaningful work; just for today, my foreclosed roof still keeps the rains at bay; just for today, I still have a shred of dignity decorating my near empty bank accounts.

God grant me the serenity to Accept the things I cannot change; the courage to Change the things I can; and the wisdom to Know the difference.

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