I sat and spoke with Tilo for what seemed like an eternity waiting for a bus from Chetamal in Mexico to Belize city. We shared stories from our experiences in life but as the conversations and hours went on I came to know him as I've knowen few people. He had a lot on his mind and I was more than willing to lend him an ear and offer some perspective if I had it.
He was on the way home to his parents house after being in rehab for alcohol abuse for the third time in as many years. He was straight with me and spoke of his deep concerns about returning back to his home town where his long time friends would be and also the fact that his return was likely to be a celebration. He said that this is how he had failed on his last two attempts at being sober, he arrives home his friends want to celebrate and as a result have a drink.
Later in the morning just by chance one of his old drinking buddies walks past stone drunk at 9am with a bag full of beer. While his friend staggered to the bathroom I told him what a crazy position he was in, right here right now. Here he is with a bag full of beer in his hand, a friend just a few minutes away and an incredible opportunity to realise his future both the sober and drunk. I told him that this was almost divine and he agreed, it was a real chance to have perspective over his life at the crossroads.
What happened after? well Tilo rightly gave his friend back the bag of beer and sent him on his way and we parted ways after a few more hours on the bus and much more conversation. As the bus pulled up outside his village I bid him a very warm farewell and offered him all the strength and willpower he needed to keep away from the drink.