Stepping Outside Myself
Hey, it’s Mick. My soft landing at the Boston Rescue Mission felt like a miracle. I was amazed at the warmth, the humanity, and the spiritual energy that looms large here. Spending time here allows me to step outside of myself; to look outwards at others during my recovery. Learning unselfishness and gratefulness are the right things to do for me today. Not like the self-centeredness of the old me.
My foster parents helped me with school and to cultivate a passion for music. In the ‘60s, I experimented with psychedelics and pot, but drinking alcohol was my mainstay while I played in bands for more than 25 years. I thought it was under control, but after 35, alcohol became a problem. My addiction took me from a house down to an apartment, to a studio, to a room, and spiraled downward from there. After a hernia and ear and back problems, I discovered prescription painkillers. Pain meds mixed with alcohol is a dangerous cocktail, especially when consumed daily.
Late last year, I had had enough. I put on a backpack and walked from Somerville to Boston, praying all the way for God to give me some help. Help came from a detox, and a counselor there who was a graduate of the Boston Rescue Mission. He said “I have the perfect place for you.”
And it is! To me, the most striking feature of the Mission is the level of respect shown to the guests. The respect we get here is foreign to people living on the street. When homeless people come to the Mission, most are pretty respectful in return. I’ve gotten to know many of the Safe & Healthy guys, and I’m starting to care about them. That’s unusual for someone who has been so self-centered for so long.
Thanks to the Mission, it’s easier to give part of myself to ease a little bit of pain for someone else. As I stay on the sober path, I’ll keep augmenting it with spirituality to raise myself higher each day.
- Mary Ellen