Adele’s “Hello” hit the air a couple months back and by now it’s starting to get on everyone’s nerves because it is played so much you almost want to say “goodbye” and not listen to the song. This song hit me hard when it first came out. I remember the day it hit the air, I had to pull over because the words immediately catapulted me back to my first year in recovery…amends. Such a painstaking phase of my first year in recovery, don’t get me wrong I grew but it was painful growth.
Adele goes on in her song to say “she’s called a thousand times and hello from the outside”…I could relate… I had gotten out of treatment, I was outside of bondage of my disease and I had a clear head to start calling and make the amends that were much needed to those I had wronged. Although I thought I was reading to do all my amends my sponsor had me do them in the order she thought was pertinent, and so I did.
I made those and amends and thought I had let go but Adele broke me all over again head, heart and soul…she brought back every emotion that I felt that year in a three minute song. At the first part of the song she talks about healing and how time was supposed to heal wounds but she hadn’t done much healing. I felt that pain, getting out of treatment and anxiously waiting for the healing that was supposed to happen. I knew that I would need to do my amends to start my healing process, I had wronged so many people and I needed to clean my side of the street.
Five years ago I picked up a phone and called a friend to make an amend that I knew would not go well at all. I was nervous, hands shaking, my heart was about to pound out of my chest and she answered…I didn’t want to make this amend but my sponsor had told me I was emotionally ready. I wasn’t feeling very emotionally ready as soon as I heard her voice come over the phone. The first thing out of her mouth was, nothing changes if nothing changes…so, have you changed? I didn’t expect her to say anything like this so I was taken back, I swallowed hard and fought through my crackled voice and said Hello. I went on to tell her I was sorry and I had gotten out of treatment and I was working on my first year in recovery and she remained silent. I kept talking and telling her how I’m working a really good program with a really good sponsor…she was still silent. I finally said her name and looked at the phone, she had hung up. That was a hard amend, I tried my best, I did what I was supposed to do. Did she hear everything? Did she know I truly meant what I was saying? I don’t know the answer to those questions and I never will and that isn’t my responsibility and that wasn’t my side of the street, I cleaned up mine and I made that call. Adele’s song tugged at my heart…I wanted to tell her I was sorry for breaking her heart but I never got that out. I guess I will never get to tell her myself but maybe Adele can do that for me.
Here I am almost six years later and the world “Hello” from one song took me back to that heart pounding, voice crackling moment. I have to thank Adele for letting me feel my past in a very soft gentle way. Amends can be difficult but the growth that comes from amends is so precious. Short term loss can be long term gain…so I took the short term loss of a friendship but through AA and myrecovery.com and I have gained so many more relationships.
Adele’s last words in her song “At least I can say I tried, But it don’t matter it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore”…I could add and say it doesn’t tear me apart anymore either because I have grown and let everything go, these are the great gifts given to us by our program of recovery! Stay strong everyone!