Great Recovery Story from My Friend, Fred Hundt!

Here's his Story:

"Good Morning, Favored Birdbrains. I posted the story of Screwdriver the wild turkey four years ago. I'd like to share it again.

When I left treatment, I lived in a sober house for about half a year. It was recommended by my treatment counselors, but I approached it with fear and trepidation. What would it be like? Would I get along with my housemates? Would I freak out from loneliness? It turned out to be a very important experience for me, and I learned quite a bit. One of my lessons came from an unlikely source.

I went for a walk early the first morning. As I stepped out the door, I was confronted by two wild turkeys, good-sized toms, who followed me for about half a block. I felt unnerved, but just kept walking and talked quietly to them. I learned from a housemate that there were several wild turkeys that lived in the woods behind the house. He fed them corn every day, and they tended to approach anything appearing human in search of food.

After a month or so, I had developed a great relationship with the turkeys. They would follow me down the street, but never more than a block. They’d come out to see me when I was getting in my car or coming home. My friend and I could sit at the dining room table after breakfast and watch the entire turkey family eat and carry on.
One day, we noticed something sticking out of the neck of one of the toms. It was a large screwdriver! Some jerk had stabbed the turkey. We were sure it would be a fatal wound. We tried to get close to the bird to remove it, but he (understandably) was not going to let a human get within reach of him.

Over the succeeding weeks, “Screwdriver” the turkey surprised us. He came and went as usual. He showed up looking for food in the morning. He and his buddy “The Other One” would still walk down the street behind me. He would chase away the younger birds when they got too close to him. Once some people from the business across the street tried to trap him with a blanket to pull the screwdriver out, but he eluded their grasp. Then, one day, the screwdriver was gone. Did it fall out? Did someone pull it out? We never found out.

I began to notice the similarities between Screwdriver and me. Though I was now sober, I still felt I was carrying my addiction like a screwdriver through the neck. It was always there, and others might have thought it would eventually kill me. But Screwdriver the turkey taught me to just go about my life, living it one day at a time. If I focused on accepting life on life’s terms, eventually I could heal around the blade.

Screwdriver didn’t complain about his impediment. He didn’t say “oh, I can’t do this.” He didn’t stop doing the things that a turkey should do. By going on with his life, he eventually healed to the point where the blade could fall out or be removed (maybe by his Higher Power).

The turkey taught me something else. He could have been rid of the screwdriver earlier if he had been willing to trust others to help him. He avoided letting we humans get too close because a human had been the source of his injury. I, too, could heal faster if I trusted the right people and let them get close to me. I started opening up with others I met through AA. I found a good sponsor. I listened to the stories of others and tried to learn from their experiences.

After several months, I realized that I wasn’t carrying my addiction around anymore. My “screwdriver” was gone. I could focus on learning to live this new life before me, and I didn’t need to dwell in addiction thinking. Did my “screwdriver” fall out or was it removed? I’m sure the hand of my Higher Power was involved. I had learned the lesson he sent me via Screwdriver the turkey.

I stop back at the sober house from time to time, to see my friend there. I get updates from him on the turkeys and, I’m pleased to say, Screwdriver is doing fine. And now there are several "mini-drivers" running around the yard."