Topic for today:
Greetings! Yesterday, I was sitting with my husband when the thought popped in my head that my last drink was consumed at 430am, 22 years ago, at age 23. I did not wake up on the 18th with the intention to sober up. Sick from the booze, everything tastes like cardboard, and another promise broken (to my boss) that I would show up to work. We closed the office at 2pm. I talked him into to a day drink with the promise that I would not miss work the next day. My first day sober, I went to work and was sent home. My boss was not happy with me again. Annoyed, I went to my mom’s house who was scared for me. She would not stop yelling and lecturing from the other room. Sitting with my 15-year-old sister, I said, “I’m an alcoholic and I need help.” I heard this voice say, “it’s time”. Opened the yellow pages, ripped out a page from the rehab section, and proceeded to look for the treatment center. 22 years later, I have the freedom to wake up sober and lead an A. A. meeting through the internet.
There is a lot of life packed into 22 years of sobriety. Both positive and challenging, painful, and exciting, serene, and stark raving sober. AA members stressed that I could face anything sober so long as the program comes first in my life. The members told me to keep it simple by practicing a sober routine, work the steps with a sponsor, use the telephone, follow direction, and attend meetings. Members taught me through their sober walk how we can face anything life throws at us and stay sober. Their actions convinced me that A. A. works so long as I put this first in my life. What I found difficult was to live one day at a time. Wake up with prayers, to ask Higher Power to remove the obsession from alcohol. Kick off the day with meditation books (e.g. daily reflections, 24 hours day). Use page 86 in my morning prayers. Ending my day with page 86 was key in early recovery. Communicating with my sponsor daily. Attending meetings regularly, super active in the first two years. When I thought about two weeks from “today” or the past, I felt an overwhelming sense of fear and dread. To stay sober for one day was something simple. I could see myself trusting God with my sobriety for today. Surrender did not happen overnight.
I have learned that nothing, but God, this way of life, and time can ease the pain when everything feels like it is falling apart. In the book “Pass It On”, a cofounder shares about his depression. How he would lay in bed for days, feeling the overwhelming sense of despair. He was a World War I veteran who had bouts of depression. When he would rise out of bed, head to the local hospital to 12 step detox patients, Bill Wilson left a new man. This gives me hope. Living this way of life, one day at a time, offers me the chance to keep things simple. Living one day at a time has allowed for days to turn into weeks to turn into months to years. I have not had to pick up any mood-altering substance since the last drunk. I have learned that “tomorrow” does not exist and to place all of it into God’s hands. Trust God, clean house, and help others. This is my formula. One day at a time.
Thank you, ladies, for paying a 12-step call on me. I would love to read about your experience, strength, and hope with living sober 24 hours a day and your daily sober routine. Have a beautiful day!