It is OFFICIAL; I have now been sober longer than I drank. This milestone almost seems surreal and I find myself wondering how I got here today.
I remember those agonizing months, weeks, days and hours before I made THE decision. The decision I was out of control, the decision to live or to die, the decision to walk into a room and tell a bunch of people that I was an alcoholic. I remember those agonizing hours, days, weeks, months after THAT decision when I was sure my life was over, I would never laugh again, I could never watch my beloved football again without alcohol. I was sure I would shrivel up, lose all my friends, start knitting and die alone.
Well, after 23 years I am a little more shriveled than I like, I lost some friends, I started, stopped, started, stopped and now occasionally knit and hey I may die alone but I watch football and laugh my ass off more often than not.
How did I get here? How have a stayed sober this long?
When I first quit drinking I made myself some promises because I could not fathom a life without EVER drinking again. I promised I would drink if I got cancer, I promised if I got married and then got divorced, well THEN I would drink. Well, I got cancer in the first 3 months of sobriety and eventually I got married and I got divorced. I went through those things and many more drunk worthy incidents, events and traumas and not once did I think about drinking. In fact, it was a year after I was divorced that I realized I missed that opportunity and merely laughed at the thought.
How did I get so fortunate? Why did I not relapse as so many do? Why have I been so incredibly blessed in my life? Why did I get SO MANY 2nd chances, why do I continue to?
I don’t have a lot of answers, don’t know that I ever will and honestly don’t think the questions need to be answered anymore. Today I just trust that things are unfolding as they are supposed to. I am in a good space, a space filled with gratitude for my amazing life while being aware that tomorrow may bring previously unknown hardships and pain but that will be ok too. I am living fully today, one day at a time as the program taught me so long ago.
When I look back over my life, one thing is evident, God protects fools and drunks and I have been fortunate enough to be both. When I think of all the things and the people I so desperately wanted, pined over, worked for, manipulated to get and all the ensuing drama a few things become vividly clear:
- Sometimes not getting what you want is the best thing for you – that is you being protected, that is God having your back.
- Trust is the key to letting go and letting go is everything.
- Gratitude is the key to being present, to joy, to happiness, to peace and inner peace is everything.
- The combination of trust and gratitude is pure magic, it is GRACE at its finest and grace is everything.
All those years ago, I worked the steps as if my life depended on it and as a result I had a spiritual awakening. Today, I work on that spiritual connection by asking how I can be of service, how I can make a difference. I don’t have the answer to that but I trust that it will be revealed when I least expect, in the most unusual fashion and not at all what I thought I wanted.
God is funny that way; thank goodness I hung around long enough to find that out because now we laugh a lot, deep belly laughs – mostly at me. Life is Good!