I work for my friend, a guy that I admire because he is completely transparent. He has no tact, and is an idealist. He is currently working in a situation that he abhors.
Last night a party turned into a drunk fest and got loud and rowdy at the place where we work. I got a call to support him at 11:26pm. When I got there, the crowd was pressing around the manager, but backed off when I drove up. The manager was stating his side of the issue with a drunk contentious man who was arguing their side of the issue. There were two drunk men fighting with each other and at least 50 others who were angry and gathering around the manager and his wife, as they kept belligerently stating their rights as caretakers of the park.
I went to the first man and directed his anger towards me to free up my friend to attend to his upset and angry wife. I told the guy that he needed to hear what the manager was telling him, and then to do what he was told. He did, after getting in my face about how the party goers were doing nothing wrong, while trying to placate the management. I finally kept repeating that he needed to back up. The manager, myself and his wife had been backed up to a wall and the group was pressing in.
The crowd kept swearing and inciting the manager and his wife. His wife went off like a shot towards the crowd, angry and yelling responses to those in the crowd. I actually grabbed the back of the shirt of the manager to prevent him from advancing on the crowd as we worked to get his wife back with us. I told them not to respond to the snide remarks, that my focus was to diffuse the crowd, let them return to what was left of their party for the remainder of their time and let everyone calm down.
Finally the police came. The officers talked to the crowd and to the manager. The crowd was allowed to disperse with no arrest or citations. I sat with the manager until 1:30am, until only about five or six people cleaning up were left.
I walked a couple back to where they were staying who were angry with the manager. I told them their health and well being were important to me and that if they had any additional concerns to contact the business and fill out a report. We talked for awhile, until they were calm.
I felt thick, like I was a log. The adrenaline coursed through me, my legs and lower back were spasming. My lips trembled. I found it very difficult to speak clearly, and it was difficult to focus. I was terrified, yet I did not feel afraid. I was dissociated from my feelings, but showing determination, resolute to diffuse the situation without further damage and especially without escalation. I did not idealistically defend my friend, but I did not give into the crowd. I gave no thought to my own safety.
In recovery I learned to be self aware and that served to create awareness for me to warn me of upsetting conditions. This untenable situation could have easily overwhelmed me, but with the recovery, I could not only control myself, but I could direct those around me to calm down. This is not "me", I am not some prophet or leader, just a man who was severely damaged now able to positively affect a situation as overwhelming as this. I could act with the recovery lessons in a way that provided a resolution where in my past, I would have reacted emotionally.
I understand this to be the quintessential peak of my recovery path thus far. While I wish never to be tested in this manner again, I am confident that when I need to act, I can resolve complicated, highly charged negative emotional situations.
I am going to go throw up now...
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