December 7, 2022

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Julie Lambert Reports: Sober in Ukraine

4 min read

Julie Lambert: Thank you for joining us. This is Julie Lambert with KEPW 97.3 FM, Eugene’s Resistance Radio.

[00:00:09] Today. I thought I would switch it up and talk about something that we all know about. I’m an alcoholic. If you’re listening to this program, you know an alcoholic, either at work or in your family or a friend. It touches across all races, creeds, colors. We’re everywhere.

[00:00:29] I have lately been going to meetings across the world to get others’ perspectives and make new friends. And what I came away with was that pretty much, we’re all people, we all have similar concerns. We all have constructive and destructive ways to deal with things. And at the end of the day, we all just want a better life and we’re seeking to improve ourselves and for our friends and for our families and for ourselves,

[00:01:04] I had lately been in touch with the group of people in Kiev who are in recovery, and it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. As in every recovery meeting people come to the group with normal mundane concerns, such as work-related issues, childcare, etc. But these people are doing it under carpet bombing, yet they’re still coming to meetings and they’re still trying to stay sober.

[00:01:40] As far as childcare goes, they may not even know where their child is. And maybe their daycare center has already been blown up. If they’re fortunate, their child is in another country and is safe.

[00:01:55] I heard stories about people who just went down to the fish market and never came back. Or if they did, they were on the street and unrecognizable.

[00:02:08] But did these people still come to a meeting and still do the very best they can to cope? Absolutely.

[00:02:17] I’m sure that our listeners have heard of Maslow’s hierarchy, wherein the bottom of the pyramid, which you are trying to ascend to, consists of things that you need in order to just be stable so that you can start ascending the pyramid.

[00:02:38] And these folks have had that pyramid just blown to pieces. They cannot possibly worry about anything other than getting to the next day, yet they do, even though at this point, Maslow’s hierarchy is just a concept to them.

[00:02:57] This weekend was very difficult because the meetings have been necessarily put behind a firewall. I do understand the need, why the community felt the need to lock down.

[00:03:16] However, I’ve lost connection. I knew that it could go away at any time and I treasured the meetings that I had with them. They gave me hope and they gave me inspiration. If you can stay sober when bombs are falling on your head, you’re probably going to be okay.

[00:03:39] So this isn’t the report that I was going to file. We’re all fighting battles and what we see on TV and what we battle with in person, we’re all human beings. And at the end of the day, we just want to feel safe, not really sure about the future, but that’s a whole ‘nother new segment.

[00:04:03] I know that the folks that are spread around Lane County in their makeshift shelters are not a whole lot different than people in Kiev and us, same thing: Warm place, safe place to put your head down at night.

[00:04:26] And while we are not a war zone, for these folks, it is a war zone, because they have to do the very same things that you would do if you were at war. You have to be hypervigilant. You have to constantly monitor your situation. You have to look both ways and then look again. You have to make sure that nobody’s coming after you.

[00:04:51] You question everyone that talks to you: What’s their motivation? What do they want from you? Are they going to steal from you or they’re going to give you a ticket? It’s a very similar situation, except for, in the United States, they probably won’t get dead. Oh, unless they’re black or brown, the odds shoot up immensely.

[00:05:14] We’re all extraordinary people. We are all doing extraordinary things. We are all overcoming circumstances that perhaps we didn’t feel that we could. The people on the street that make it from day to day: Extraordinary. The people in Kiev who get up in the morning, not knowing literally what the hell is going to happen: Extraordinary.

[00:05:40] The people that are listening, that just lost a loved one and are trying to figure out how to cope with 36 years of losing the person that they had loved. The people who got in the car this morning and had an accident but managed to get their kid to daycare: Extraordinary.

[00:06:01] We’re all ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And I am very happy to be part of a community where I see this on a daily basis. While I am very sad, maybe it comes through my voice, I’m very sad that I, that I’ve lost my connection with people in Kiev and something I look forward to, I’m working in the background, trying to reset the connections.

[00:06:34] I think I’ll be successful, and then I can do a proper report. But in the meantime, I’m happy to be living here in Eugene, where we can create a better community for all of us and still care for others who are thousands of miles away. It’s an honor.

[00:06:57] This is Julie Lambert reporting for KEPW.

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