Gifts of Early Sobriety
Aloha, Friends. I am so grateful for my sobriety today – some of you know that last week I celebrated 7 years of continuous sobriety. A miracle. I have been reflecting on my early sobriety as I do around this time of year.
I was a garden variety drunk, an everyday, rain or shine drinker. For years, I did not want to drink anymore but somehow always ended up drunk, passed out, often someplace I didn’t belong. I was totally empty inside, trying so hard but always failing at life but trying to make it look good – I could never figure out why everyone else got the instruction book and I was left out.
AA came to me through a “13th step” – an online flare up with an old acquaintance. He was sober (and also involved with another woman in a face–to–face relationship) and so, in an effort to win his heart, I walked into an AA meeting. I was hoping for the at home study program, but I kept going to meetings because that’s what you told me to do. I did many of the things you told me to do. In that first year of sobriety, I started to understand the language of AA, started to understand myself, started to live a life. I went from wanting to die every day to not entirely wanting to die and later on to wanting to live.
In those early days I received many gifts from people in the rooms of AA that continue to guide me:
- I learned to Mind my own business.
- I learned that not every situation needed urgent action from me.
- I was given the gift of being able to help another alcoholic – no matter what my length of sobriety.
- And perhaps the greatest gift: I was given a defense against the first drink.
As time has gone on, one day at a time, I have received many many more gifts: a loving HP, wonderful sponsors, great sober female friends, restored relationships, a home in AA anywhere in the world. All these things make my life rich and wonderful. It is still life, though. At this point, I don’t even feel like I can take credit for any of my sobriety – all this is a gift from my HP. I just show up and do the work.
I would like to hear from you wonderful sober women, what were the greatest gifts you received in early sobriety?