A Native American woman tells us about her recovery from alcoholism


Long road winding began in the stars,
spilled onto the mountain tops,
was carried in the snow to the streams,
to the rivers, to the ocean…
It covers Canada, Alaska, America,
Mexico to Guatemala, and all the world,
and keeps winding around the indigenous.
The Red Road is a circle of people
standing hand in hand,
people in this world, people between
people in the Spirit world.
Star people, animal people, stone people, river people, tree people…
The Sacred Hoop.
To walk the Red Road
is to know sacrifice, suffering.
It is to understand humility.
It is the ability to stand naked before God in all things for your wrong doings,
for your lack of strength,
for your discompasionate way,
for your arrogance - because to walk
the Red Road, you always know
you can do better. And you know,
when you do good things,
it is through the Creator, and you are grateful.
To walk the Red Road
is to know you stand on equal ground
with all living things.
It is to know that because you were born human,
it gives you superiority over nothing.
It is to know that every creation carries a Spirit,
and the river knows more than you do,
the mountains know more than you do,
the stone people know more than you do,
the trees know more than you do,
the wind is wiser than you are,
and animal people carry wisdom.
You can learn from every one of them,
because they have something you don't:
They are void of evil thoughts.
They wish vengeance on no one, they seek Justice.
To Walk the Red Road,
you have God given rights,
you have the right to pray,
you have the right to dance,
you have the right to think,
you have the right to protect,
you have the right to know Mother,
you have the right to dream,
you have the right to vision,
you have the right to teach,
you have the right to learn,
you have a right to grieve,
you have a right to happiness,
you have the right to fix the wrongs,
you have the right to truth,
you have a right to the Spirit World.
To Walk the Red Road
is to know your Ancestors,
to call to them for assistance…
It is to know that there is good medicine,
and there is bad medicine…
It is to know that Evil exists,
but is cowardly as it is often in disguise.
It is to know there are evil spirits
who are in constant watch
for a way to gain strength for
themselves at the expense of you.
To Walk the Red Road,
you have less fear of being wrong,
because you know that life is a journey,
a continuous circle, a sacred hoop.
Mistakes will be made,
and mistakes can be corrected -
if you will be humble,
for if you cannot be humble,
you will never know
when you have made a mistake.
If you walk the Red Road,
you know that every sorrow
leads to a better understanding,
every horror cannot be explained,
but can offer growth.
To Walk the Red Road
is to look for beauty in all things.
To Walk the Red Road
is to know you will one day
cross to the Spirit World,
and you will not be afraid…
Traci, Blood Poet
That is what I am talking about missing so much. We were granted permission to have a meeting on the Rez in the long house. It started with two and when I left it was three hundred strong. We had our meeting and then we would clear the benches. We would have a circle with the big drum in the center. After the drumming and singing Johnny Bear would make a statement of wisdom through story telling. Then he would go around the circle and smudge everyone. Then we would send up our worries, concerns and sicknesses for ourselves and our loved ones to the Elders and the Creator. Each praying to the God of their own understanding. Thank you for sharing, I felt like I was home.


Yes, you reminded me, that I am not where I came from, and I am not where I am going to be yet, but I sure do enjoy today. They say if you dont remember your last drunk, then you havent had it yet. I still remember mine. It didnt take me to many years to hit my bottom. I ended up in a nut house for a week. scary that was! I was raised in a pretty puritan home where church was my life.

 My husband left me and married a girl he worked with, the day our divorce was final. My girlfriend thought I should take up drinking to get involved with the social world. I still remember the bars on the window and the guy who seemed to play the piano 24 hours a day. I still remember the ones yelling at themselves. And the nurse that kept rubbing my arm. I did at that time the only thing I knew to do and that was to get on my knees and pray to God that I would be taken off the earth or find me something better. I was afraid to be alone. I went to my brothers when I got out and his wife was my drinking partner. After dinner she got up and said she had to go someplace. So I asked if I could go along. It ended up being AA. LOL I have been here ever since. You reminded me of another group that I was friends with. A man I met at work belonged to his own drumming circle with 6 other friends. I got to go along with him and I loved it. He also played a didjeridoo. So I do have one of my own. We put all the instruments in the middle of the room and just played whatever we wanted to from the
beat of our own hearts. I was single seventeen years than I was one of those they talk about where boy meets girl on the campus of AA. We were living the good life (still on the honeymoon), then he had a stroke while driving to a Dr appointment. He made it to the Dr office but they sent him to the hospital by ambulance and that day I found out he had terminal cancer in the brain. I took care of him at home for six months, using the principles of AA as I did not know what I was doing. In that 12 month period, Both my parents died and ten other people, who were relatives or very close friends. What was amazing to me was that I was given the intuition to do what I needed to do, when I needed to do it, and it always arrived just in time. A nurse came out to the house to see how often I would need a nurse to be there. She reported back to her home base that I did not need any help that I lived by a good program of life. Wow, I never saw anyone again. My husband could not speak and could not walk. I did everything for him. If I called the Dr he would just send what ever I asked for. I still remember that time, my husband could not talk and
yet he had this laughter from his belly that brightened up the whole world. He was so greatfull for his sobriety.
In 1999, I had moved to Missouri to work at a casino. My plan was that after six months I would transfer to Australia. That was how I was going to see the world. LOL. As it was, five months after I started, I keeled over and died, right there in the middle of the floor of a Jazz Festival. They brought me back and took me to the hospital and a pacemaker was put in. I didnt make it to Australia yet. But while there I was on a very big pitty pot and alone and scared. The people in the AA meeting there were a great
support group for me. But I was still lonely. I was sitting in my Dr office and decided to look at some pamplets and when I opened it up there was a picture of my daughter. God works in mysterious ways. My granddaughter called me from college last week because she had to write a paper on our family for her religion class. I laughed. She said she knew we all believed in God, but when did we stop going to church every sunday. I told her it was my generation, that I found that the best place for me to get an understanding of spirituality was in AA. It just seems the most like what Jesus taught.........unconditional love of self and others.

I just went through another nine months where 6 people I love died, starting with my nephew. I also believe in the Ancestors and the spirit world. I no longer believe we
die. We just change demensions (eternal beings). So this time wasnt so hard. This has nothing to do with AA, but I was living on a farm helping an old friend build a petting
farm and I experienced seeing the people that lived on the land before (a hundered years before). It was a whole tribe that had been massacurde. We had put up 3, 20 foot tipi's and the tribe was living in them. I strongly believe in the Grandmothers and Grandfathers since then. Funny Chief he was, I learned a lot about his tribe that is no longer existent and not really in any history books. But thats another story and I dont want to say anything but always in all ways my needs have been met by living the
simple program of AA. I am ever so grateful that I was blessed to be a alcoholic.