Have you ever heard of the Alcoholic Anonymous joke that a pickle can never return to being a cucumber?
In my mind I compare we alcoholics and addicts to cute, walking-around, spring-green gecko lizards.
I happen to adore gecko lizards! I especially love the one, who talks on car insurance commercials. When I call to check about something concerning my insurance, the customer service agent ends by asking if he or she can do anything more for me. I add: “Only if you can send me one of those precious talking geckos to keep in my pocket and be my friend.”
When I lived in Mexico we had those critters in our homes whether ‘home’ be a hut on a sandy road or a mansion in a rich city colony. They came out in the evenings and walked upside down on the ceilings. The males seem to always be in a romantic mood. And as they court, they raise up their long necks and repeatedly ‘cluck’. A pouch grows out of their necks and appears very red through their transparent skin. The females are always pregnant because of responding to all those mating calls. They walk around with fat bellies. Through their transparent skin it is yucky to witness the baby lizard forming inside them. Due to the mating calls we call them ‘cluck-clucks’. My first reaction when my baby and I moved to that non-touristic tropical city, was to grab the broom and kill every lizard that I spotted in the house!
Pablo was the guard that kept me from leaving the house. (I was cut off from any communication, locked in and isolated at home a couple years. And then little by little I gained trust and was given privileges to leave for motherly, housewife duties. That is another story.) I know God put Pablo to protect me more than imprison me. He taught me how to be a good Mexican wife so I would have less beatings. And he taught me to adjust to the culture shock. He was a great help even though we did not speak the same language. Pablo also showed me never to kill the geckos, as they hunt down the spiders, scorpions, 6”x1”” centipedes, giant blue wing horse flies, etc. So they also call those lizards ‘guard the houses’.
I like to compare active alcoholics and addicts to those geckos. We in the big Mexican city knew the gecko to be a benefit. Those in the villages and on the primitive farms were terrified of the cluck-clucks! As we in addiction have a tendency to do, so geckos do by hanging around and then suddenly dropping into a place where they have no business to be.
And consequently they cause grave problems and chaos. The little lizards like to walk on ceilings where hot food is steaming and they drop letting themselves literally fall into the beans, soup or boiling fresh cow milk.
Usually we do not put the beans or soup in the refrigerator after lunch, because it is to be eaten at dinner time or there just is no refrigerator in the hut. So we just re-boil the leftover food with caution not to stir so as to prevent air bubbles in it. The secret is to cover the pot with a clean cloth to keep the cluck-clucks out. It is rumoured that many innocent children have died due to a lizard hanging around and then dropping into the soup. The body of the lizard creates toxic when in hot liquid. We even keep nets over our lemonade pitcher. I still do that out of habit.
Legends are passed on that cluck-clucks have been known to crawl into the warmth of a sleeping infant’s mouth and more harm results from these lizards not being where they are supposed to be.
So that is why I compare addict users and chemical abusers to cluck-clucks. They are in the wrong ‘people, places, thing’ territory and causing toxic suffocating repercussion to the family.
I am going to talk about untreated alcoholics and addicts as lizards for a few minutes. I was once one, too. Have you ever heard: “It takes one to know one?”
As lizards we once had pretty lime green tales that matched the rest of us. And then our tail hung around the wrong ‘people, places and things’. As chameleons do without control, we begin to change colors! We can poetically sum it up that the progressive degrees of our fears, doubts, and insecurities begin to mix up the moody tones of our tail. Then our tails begin to tell the outside world of our inside mess. I, too, am a gecko, but I now wear a new tail that tells a new tale!
In 2003, when my desperately toxic tale hit bottom, I could pull, tug and carry it no more! I got myself into a 12 step program through a Big Book sent down to me in Mexico all the way from an AA Brooklyn group! I dove into MP3 recordings from XA-Speakers.org! And good ole Joe and Charlie walked me through the 12 Steps! My toxic tail rotted off and as any lizard, a new healthy tail began to form and grow! I had a renewing of my mind, a Spiritual awakening, and the development of a conscious contact with God of my understanding.
If you, too, are walking a new clean and sober life in recovery, I wonder: “What does your tale tell?” Please read the next episode of this Lizard series and we will take a fun look at the exciting phases of working our miraculous 12 Steps. I may just assist you to better understand those new, middle and older ones in the program. You might learn to discern the color code of 12 Step tails in the rooms. See ya next time.
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Hi! I am Cindy Lizard. My Lizard Tales are stories of recovery & restoration. Why not join the Lizard Gang by submitting your story? Cindy will write it and get the artwork. She would love to hear from you! Enjoy the reads & please share our tales on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.