Last Tuesday I honored the fact that I have not picked up a drink for the past 29 years. I have never been much of a birthday person. I don’t enjoy them and I find them painful. They reminded me of all the bad old memories and feelings, the body memory of why I drank and what the consequences were. I felt obligated to celebrate them but inside, I hated them.
I have known people in AA with a lot of years who have nothing that I want; some newcomers are more sober. I’ve known some old-timers that have a lot that I want. The length of time a person has been sober has little to do with the quality of sobriety that they have, from what I can see.
Relapse is a part of my story. I first came to AA in 1986; I relapsed at 2 1/2 years sober. I only drank for a day. I did it because I was a drug addict and I wanted to be sure I was also an alcoholic. I stepped into the nearest liquor store and bought some beer, with the clever plan to drink two and leave four in the fridge. I proved to myself that day that I cannot drink like a normal person, but oh how I hated to give up my time. It has taken me years to get over the pride of that one! The only reason I share my birthday now is because it might help another woman.
Please share this week on time in the program. What value does sober time have for you? What do you like and dislike about AA birthdays? Are they meaningful to you, and if so, why.