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M(3), 11/16/15: Gratitude is Contagious

An interesting meeting this morning.  We read from the book Living Sober; I selected the chapter about gratitude.  We’re so close to Thanksgiving, it seems a natural fit!

I shared first, and talked about a specific section of the chapter as it pertains to my journey of recovery:  the idea of opening up to the perspectives of others, and the joy that open-mindedness can bring.  An honest share, if not particularly thrilling.

From there a gentleman shared about his struggles with gratitude.  He recognizes it has been missing in his two and a half years of sobriety.  He wants to cultivate gratitude for his life, but anger and resentments continue to dog him.  In his very share this morning, he spoke of realizing how much he has for which to be grateful compared to the lives of others, and immediately launched into a tale involving the misfortunes of others.  The focus of his share on gratitude turned out to be all the things for which he is not grateful in his life.

From there, a few others spoke of a similarly themed struggle:  fondly remembering the “glory days” of early sobriety gratitude.  For example, waking up without a hangover and feeling exuberant about it.  Being asked a question about the night before, and triumphantly realizing you remember the entire night.

A personal favorite of mine:  a family drama unfolds, and not being at the center of it!

Several of the meeting attendees today wistfully remembered that feeling of gratitude, and long to get it back again.  Gratitude is more of a struggle these days, and sobriety can be taken for granted the longer you stay sober.

Then, about halfway through the meeting, S shared.  S has been a semi-regular, quiet attendee of this meeting.  I wrote about S a few weeks back that after 8 years of sobriety, he relapsed, and has been painfully trying to get his recovery back on track.  As anyone who relapses knows, it does not get easier with prior sober time under your belt.

I actually haven’t seen S since he shared about his relapse.  I held my breath as he started to speak, uncertain if he has remained sober in the weeks since I’ve seen him.

Fortunately he has remained sober, and he spoke of struggling to find gratitude with a relapse so close in his rear view mirror.  He said with all the challenges he currently faces in early sobriety, the thing for which he is most grateful is the opportunity to sit in a room full of recovery-minded people and simply absorb the positive energy.  He doesn’t really have to hear anything special, or something that speaks to him personally.  Just sitting and hearing the positive talk, feeling the empathy, and knowing that he can share what is going on with him and people will listen without judgment… this is all enough to turn his day around.  He came in to the meeting in a negative state of mind, but he is leaving with a positive one.

All this from a guy who almost never raises his hand to share.

From that point forward, every single person who shared had something for which to be profoundly grateful:  the gorgeous weather, the support of family, the health of their loved ones, simply being alive, sober and present this morning.  I will speak for myself and say I felt the atmosphere change.  It’s not that it had been a negative vibe, necessarily, but it lightened considerably from what it was.

I am very sorry to report that the gentleman entrenched in his misery left at the halfway point and did not have the opportunity to feel this shift.

It just made me think:  if S’s simple words transformed an already happy crowd, then what could I do on any given day?  I think I feel a challenge coming on, my kids better watch out this afternoon 🙂

Today’s Miracle:

The reminder of the transformative power of gratitude

Monday Meeting Miracles: 12/30

The last meeting of 2013!  Attendance was lighter than usual (8 people), but I attribute it to holiday commitments (at least, I hope so!).

Today being the 5th Monday of the month, I selected a group of readings from the book As Bill Sees It.  This book is set up topically; today I selected the topic “temptation,” mainly because this time of year presents many temptations for the recovering alcoholic.

The lines that stood out for me in today’s readings were:

…any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes wholly to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but he usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed. Release from alcohol, and not flight from it, is our answer.

~Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 101

It stood out to me because of my recent experiences, which I wrote about here.  As much as I mentally prepared for the holidays, being back with the people, places and things that I associate with my active addiction had an impact on me.  Temptation might be a bit stronger of a word that I would use for my personal circumstances, but it did affect me, and I was grateful to have a new set of skills with which to cope.

So for me, the words above hold true:  I did not, and I do not, need to avoid alcohol, because I have been blessed with release from the obsession.  Of course, that release is wholly dependent upon my maintaining my spiritual fitness, but what a blessing it is to be able to be with family and friends, eat at restaurants, shop in stores, and feel comfortable that I can remain sober!

It is hard to describe what the release feels like.  Possibly the best example I can give is the thought process, so let me set the stage:  a celebration attended by family and friends, all people with whom I once drank.  Most of them are drinking, a few (including myself) are not, but when the thought occurs, I am noticing only the people who are drinking.  So the thoughts would go something like this:

“Isn’t that drink pretty?  I bet it’s delicious.  Remember what that used to taste like?  Remember how it used to feel?  Wouldn’t it be fun to feel that way again?”

…Or something to that effect.  Truthfully, the thoughts are way too fast for me to really record them properly.

In the past, the old me would have done one of three things when these thoughts arose:

  1. Drank, because dammit, I’m an adult and no one is going to tell me what to do
  2. Not drink, but be miserable for the rest of the celebration
  3. Not drink, but let those thoughts linger until a time arose when I could chemically alter myself in private

Here’s how the thought process ends for me now that I have been given a release from the obsession:

“The drink is pretty, but, let’s face it, you never drank for taste.  It may have felt good for an extremely short period, but you ALWAYS drank past that, and the bad feelings were more intense, and lasted way longer, than any good feelings that might or might not have been produced.  Finally, and most importantly, you will give up your sobriety.”

It is the last part of playing the tape through that seems most miraculous to me.  Whereas I once lived by the motto, “tomorrow is a new day,” now the thought of giving up my sober time genuinely twists my stomach.  I believe this shift in perspective is God-given, and I am grateful for it every day.

Another attendee had a spin on the readings that fascinated me, and has me thinking about my own choices.  For her, the temptation is to remain set in restrictions she put upon herself in early sobriety, because it has been effective in keeping her sober.  But she realizes now that in limiting herself, she is denying personal growth, and so she needs to push herself to reach out more to family and friends, so that she can continue her journey of self-development.  It was a perspective on temptation that I never considered… the temptation to grow complacent, and I will be taking some time to consider how I have given in to that temptation.  Probably more to follow on this subject as I ponder!

Everyone else had insightful things to share, from tips on refusing alcohol at parties, to dealing with the stress of family during the holidays.  As always, I leave the meeting a better person than when I walked in!

Today’s Miracle:

The joy I feel in wishing all my friends in the blogosphere a wonderful, miraculous New Year‘s!  I look forward to learning from all of you in 2014!

7 Sober Suggestions This Holiday Season

So here we are, in the final stretch of the holiday season, which brings with it, for most people, additional responsibilities, many opportunities to celebrate, and general chaos to the normal routine.  If you are in recovery, this is, without question, a trying time.  Although I am relatively new to sobriety (less than two years), I have had multiple opportunities to succeed in staying sober in the midst of alcohol-fueled merriment, so I thought I would write about the methods that have worked for me through holidays that not only allowed me to stay sober, but also provided me the means to enjoy the holidays in a way I had not previously done.  So without further ado, here are my top 7 tips for actually enjoying a sober holiday!

1.  Practice Self-Care

If you are like me, you are thinking, “Good idea, I’ll get to that after I bake some cookies, wrap some gifts, go shopping…”  Turn that thought process around!  The kind of self-care of which I am speaking must come before any of the holiday activities, and in practicing self-care all of those activities will become, if not enjoyable, then at the very least less stressful.  I am speaking of starting the day with a few minutes of getting centered.  For me, that means getting out of bed, getting down on my knees, and connecting with my Higher Power.  That’s what works for me, but a few minutes of any centering activity… meditation, simple deep breathing, thoughts of gratitude for all that is good in your life, and a commitment to yourself that you can make it through the day without picking up a drink or a drug, helps get the day off to a calm and peaceful start, and gives courage and confidence that the day can and will go well.  The last part of that process is so important, it becomes the next tip…

2.  Commit To Sobriety For One Day Only

And, of course, that one day must be the one you are in.  Remember, you don’t need to worry about staying sober for the next 30 years, just the current day.  So when your mind starts racing, ask yourself, “Can I stay sober, just for today?”  Chances are, the answer will be yes, so relax, and move on to…

3.  Organization

There are all types of helpful organizational tips for the holiday season, but the type of organization I refer to here is mental:  take some time to figure out all of the upcoming holiday drinking temptations, and then decide what you can and cannot do.  If you are early in sobriety, the less alcohol-filled social events you attend, the better off you are.  There were many events I simply turned down in my earliest days because I chose to put my sobriety first.  On the other hand, I have smaller children, and a large, Irish Catholic family, so there are always certain obligations that I feel I must attend, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling.  So step 2 is all about narrowing down the situations where you will be tempted, and then move on to…

4.  Set Your Parameters Within the Celebration

There is a multitude of ways to do this; the point of step three is to determine which will work best for your particular scenario.  Some examples include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • arriving late
  • leaving early
  • steering clear of the location of the alcohol
  • bringing a delicious virgin cocktail with you so you are enjoying a beverage
  • having a sober companion with you
  • figuring out who at the party will be like-minded in enjoying the party, rather than the beverages consumed at the party
  • keeping your cell phone in your pocket with a list of sober supports to call
  • disclosing to a few or all of the guests your intention to be sober

And I’m sure there are many more options, so take some time before the start of the party to decide which ones will be most effective.  And of all the ideas on that list, one stands out…

5.  Stick With The Winners

This has been a particularly beneficial strategy for me personally.  Again, I come from a large Irish Catholic family (read:  heavy drinkers), so at first I believed I would never again enjoy a family gathering.  As I gained some sober clarity, I realized that while the majority of my family drinks, not everyone does, and of those that do, only a small handful over-indulge.  So I started looking more closely at the non-drinkers, and even the moderate ones, and guess what I realized?  They are having just as much fun, and, I would assume, feel a hell of a lot better in the morning.  Chances are, whatever drinking celebration you are attending, there are many such people… choose to spend time with them.  And, while you’re at it…

6.  Act As If

Find someone who is not drinking and is also having a good time.  What are they doing, and how can you be like them?  For me, I found that they are usually much more interested in conversation and people than they are in the beverage they are consuming, and when I emulated them, not only did it take my mind off alcohol, I was able to actually have fun!  Take a look around, find some sober (and if you really can’t find sober, then at least someone who is a moderate drinker) people, and do what they do.  Last, and most important…

7.  Stay In The Present

This can be the most challenging for me, but has the most benefit when I put it into practice.  Stop thinking about the last holiday when you got trashed and embarrassed yourself, stop worrying about 4 hours from now when everyone is slurring your words and how you are going to handle it, stay in the actual moment:  you are at a party with family and/or friends, celebrating a festive season.  I’m sure that wherever you are is beautifully decorated, there are probably loads of great food choices, and many opportunities for interesting discussion.  Perhaps there are children around, observe the fun and joy they are experiencing, engage with them and see if you their joy isn’t contagious.  Keep coming back to this every time your mind wanders to the bar, and I know it will help you have a joyous holiday.

So those are my “Best of”  for sober holiday success.  What’s on your sober checklist?

Today’s Miracle:

The realization that I have a sober checklist, and the hope that sharing mine helps someone else.


Another Monday, another great Monday meeting!  Ten people today, the largest group in several weeks, and everyone had something wonderful to share.  A meeting does not get better than it did today!

I selected a group of readings from the AA book As Bill Sees It, which all fell under the category of complacency, a topic that is familiar to anyone in attendance at 12-step meetings.  Complacency is a feeling that those of us in recovery must guard against.  It is as cunning, baffling and powerful as addiction itself, because it can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

Which brings me to the title of this post.  At today’s meeting, a long-timer shared his acronym for a slip, which is a term people use to describe picking up a drink after having sober time.  Disclaimer:  I would never use this word, as it seems too mild to describe the action that is relapse, but that’s just my opinion.  Anyway, today I learned that S.L.I.P. means “sobriety loses its priority.”  What a great way to describe it, because inevitably if you are choosing to pick up a drink or drug after sober time, then you have ultimately decided that something or someone is more important than whatever reason you had for choosing sobriety in the first place.

How can that happen?  How could you fight so hard for something, work so long to achieve a goal, and then let it “slip” away?  Quite easily, as anyone who frequents the rooms of AA will tell you.  Right after my meeting, I learned of two different people I know personally who chose to go back to their addiction.  These were both people with a decent amount of sober time, who were very committed as far as I could tell, and spoke eloquently of how much their sobriety meant to them.  I do not know their stories personally, as they have not returned to tell them, but I have heard from many who were fortunate enough to make it back after a relapse to understand the warning signals.

The first warning signal to a slip is feeling like you’ve got the whole recovery game figured out, and that you’ve won the battle against addiction.  I have heard many stories of people with sober time who had a relapse, and without fail every one of them start their story by saying that they felt they no longer needed a 12-step program, that they could maintain sobriety on their own.  As time went by, and left to their own devices, the reasons not to drink diminished, while the desire to drink grew, until eventually it simply made sense to believe that this time the outcome would be a different one.

Complacency is one of those topics with which I struggle, and I’m sure I’m not alone in my way of thinking.  The minute I hear the word, my mind start racing towards all the things I’m not doing, or could be doing better, or used to do but have not of late.  I get myself all worked up, convinced that I am a breath away from a relapse.  Just as quickly, I will get defensive (mind you, this is all in my head, who needs any extra voices when I’ve got so many of my own?), and start arguing all the good I do.  Then I’m tired from all the internal battling, and I wind up right back at square one.  Not very productive, I assure you.

So the trick, for me anyway, is finding balance, and of course that can apply to any area of life, not just recovery.  Balance between keeping recovery as a priority, and doing the things I need to do every day to keep my sobriety, and enjoying the peace and serenity that are the fruits of that labor.  The greatest news about complacency:  once I see I’ve started down that path, it is very easy to turn around and find my way back.  It’s all about awareness… keep checking in, and I will not stray very far.  Recovery, like so many things in life, is a process, not an event!

Today’s Miracle:

For me, the greatest antidote to complacency is gratitude.  When I heard those stories, my first gut reaction was to shoot up a quick prayer for them, and to end with “there but for the grace of God go I.”

All Roads Lead to Limeport

When I was in College, it seemed that no matter where my friends and I were driving, which direction we were heading, nor which road we traveled, we would invariably pass a sign for a small nearby town called Limeport, which “led” us to to the expression I used in the title above.  This is a small and not-really-that-funny joke that we proceeded to beat to death for years.

I found myself thinking of that expression after my Monday meeting this morning.  The topic was Step 5, and since I am writing about the steps each Friday, I will skip the main discussion we had.  Instead, we had some extra time, and a gentleman shared that he had a thought about drinking.  He had a disappointing day, which turned into resentment, and both were feelings over which he used to drink.  The good news is he did not drink, and the better news is that he is sharing about it in a meeting.

Before I left for my meeting I had the opportunity to read the weekly post of one of my favorite bloggers in the world, Sober Identity.  In her blog she spoke eloquently of a current situation with which she is dealing, and how parallel this situation runs to the time she began recovery.  Even though she has been sober for many years now, she can closely identify current life issues to her recovery from alcoholism.

My life has been really and truly blessed, and while I am very grateful, I can take it for granted, which I believe I had been doing for a while now.  Last week, I had an issue come up in my life… nothing that made me want to drink; rather, the issue brought my past mistakes back front and center for a few days.  At the time, I felt like I swallowed a boulder, I could not sleep, and was upset enough that I could not even open up and talk to my husband about it.  This tumultuous period lasted only about two days, but when life has been as good as it has been, two days seems like an eternity.  I finally picked myself up by my bootstraps, did what needed to be done, and slowly but surely life is getting back to normal.  I believe, very deeply, that this too shall pass, and I have enough sobriety to know that there is no way around things, you just have to go through them.  I am almost there, and the light at the end of the tunnel is glimmering even now.

My point in what may seem like a pointless post:  when you are an alcoholic/addict, all things lead back to it.  Seemingly unrelated life circumstances, good feelings or bad, actions and reactions… when you are in recovery, everything intersects.  If we keep this thought at the forefront of our minds, and use the tools we’ve been given, we can get through anything!

Today’s Miracle:

In solidarity with my wonderful friend over at Sober Identity, if she can detox from sugar for the next 28 days, then I will detox from my (current) biggest vice:  salt!

Letting Go of Old Ideas

Monday is here, and the title of my post was the topic of today’s meeting (Chapter 27 in Living Sober if you want to read along!).  The basic premise of the chapter is this:  just because we “put the plug in the jug” doesn’t mean we transform into a whole new person.  Old thought patterns still exist, and will (not may, but will) emerge, over and over, so we need to figure out how to deal with them.  The answer?  We in recovery have a new yardstick by which we measure our lives, our thoughts, and our decisions.  And when we stumble backwards into old patterns of thinking, we can, first, recognize it, then second, use the new yardstick we’ve been given:  “Hey, old thought pattern, do you keep me sober, or do you lead me back towards a drink?  Is this thought pattern consistent with the way I am living life today, or is it more consistent with the way I lived in active addiction?”  When you hold something up against those standards, the answer is usually pretty clear.

I remember a time, years ago, when I was trying to figure out what the heck my problem was (because the one thing I knew it wasn’t:  alcoholism).  Anyway, I was seeing a therapist, and was whining and moaning about how I just wanted to drink “like a normal person” (I swear when I said it, I honestly thought I was the first one to ever have that thought).  The therapist said to me, “You know, for some people, “normal drinking” is not drinking at all, for those people it is entirely normal not to drink.”  Even though this occurred probably close to 10 years ago, I still have perfect recall of the way I rejected the thought completely and utterly out of hand.  I mean, yes, a human being had just uttered those words, but surely she was speaking in some high-level, esoteric way, because I personally knew zero real life examples of this hypothesis.

Having grown up in a large, Irish Catholic, close-knit family, I had never experienced a social situation that did not involve alcohol.  Surely, I exaggerate, right?  Somewhere there must have been a funeral, or a breakfast, some situation that did not involve an alcoholic beverage?  No, and no… funerals were actually a great excuse for drinking (we were a classic Irish wake family), and breakfast would have Bloody Mary’s galore.    It was, simply and plainly, all I knew.

So when it came time to admitting that alcohol was not working in my life, it is not difficult to see why I struggled with understanding the cause and effect relationship.  All around me were people who drank as I did, and no one seemed to be questioning them.  I could tell you tales that would make your hair stand up, some of the escapades in which my relatives have drunkenly found themselves.  So why am I getting hassled?

Until, finally, I let go of the old thought patterns… what is or is not working in the lives of anyone and everyone around me is inconsequential.  When I drink, my life becomes chaotic, when I do not drink, my life is peaceful.  When I drink, I am ashamed.  When I don’t drink, I am proud of myself.  When I drink, I have horrific consequences.  Since I have stopped drinking, I have had nary a consequence with which to deal.

Does it get any simpler than that?

Today’s Miracle:

I am still riding the high of yesterday’s miracle, which was a celebration of the beautiful Moms in my life, and a fantastic time with my husband and children celebrating me.  I hope all the awesome Mothers reading this had a magnificent day yesterday!

Overcoming the Obsession

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; and nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. -Thomas Jefferson

Today is Monday, and hence the Monday morning meeting I started.  We had a newcomer today who shared about his obsession to drink having him “by the throat.”  He is staying sober, but wonders when the obsession will leave.  This kind of raw honesty is the meat and potatoes of a good AA meeting (at least in my opinion), because it allows everyone to share their journey through obsessive thoughts, and what they did to work through them and come out on the other side.

Of course, there is no formula for dispelling the obsession to drink.  Each person’s recovery is unique.  In this morning’s meeting alone, one woman (28 years sober) said she struggled with the obsession to drink for a year and a half, another gentleman, almost 2 years sober, said the obsession to drink left him on the night he surrendered.  But there is one universal truth for everyone in recovery:  do not drink, under any and all conditions.  So when the obsession hits, you have a number of alternatives, but the only must is… don’t drink.  Period.  As long as you follow that one rule, sooner or later, things will become clear, and you will know how to proceed to live life happy, joyous and free.

I can say, with not just a little astonishment, that the obsession to alter myself chemically has been lifted, thank you God.  And what a miracle that is.  What I do struggle with are feelings that come up, unpleasant feelings, when I am faced with memories of the past.  When I drive somewhere I have not been in a while, and it brings up a painful memory of the last time I was there, and I was in active addiction.  Or I put on a piece of clothing I haven’t worn for a while, and I remember the last time I wore it was when I was actively using.  None of this makes me want to pick up a drink or drug, but it can be an almost visceral experience, and leaves me uncomfortable for a while.

The remedy for this ailment is reminding myself that it is just a feeling, that feelings are not facts, and that this too shall pass.  I ask God, in the moment, to remove it as soon as possible.  And, when I have the next possible opportunity, I share it with another person in recovery.  Most important, I have absolute faith that, in time, I will be relieved of these passing thoughts, since I have already been relieved of more overwhelming and destructive ones.

Today’s Miracle:

Leading a meeting where I witness recovery in real-time is a miracle that defies description, and I am humbled and grateful to be a part of the process.

The Power of Choice

The theme of the meeting I attended today was “I only have the power to choose the first drink; after that I have forfeited my ability to choose.”  Three different people in the meeting I attended today alone could attest to this statement.  What they mean is they consciously chose, after a period of sobriety, to believe they could drink moderately.  What they discovered was that once they started drinking, they reverted, in a very short period of time, to their past alcoholic behaviors, and they completely lost control of their ability to drink in a controlled fashion.

I have heard versions of this same story countless times before, but the meaning behind the horror stories of relapse, for whatever reason, was lost on me until today.  I guess sometimes you have to hear something a hundred times before it sinks in.  And what sunk in, today, was really a message of hope.  I have the power to choose the first drink.  Now, at 121 days clean and sober, the choice is really and truly mine, and, as long as I don’t pick up that first one, I am really going to be okay.  And what a miracle it is to have regained this power in such a short period of time… imagine what miracles are yet to come!

Just For Today

Two common struggles I have been hearing in the rooms of AA lately are “why can’t I drink and have fun like normal people?” and “I can’t tolerate staying sober for the rest of my life!”  I would guess with the warm weather upon us and barbecues, graduation parties and the like in abundance, this would be the natural thought progression.

Hearing these struggles is very good for me for two reasons.  First, it makes me grateful that I am personally not struggling with either of them, at least not  for today.  But the second reason it is good for me is that it reminds me of when I did feel that way, and the subsequent actions I took because of those feelings, and the horrific consequences I suffered as a result of my actions. 

It is so important to remember the negative thoughts that can so easily lead an addict down the path away from recovery; remember them, and think those negative thoughts all the way through to their logical conclusion.  Because simply thinking “I wish I could drink like a normal person” can lead to reminiscing about the good times of drinking.  And chances are, if you are an addict, the good times, if there really were any at all, were a very long time ago, and the more recent memories, if you choose to recall them, are anything but good.  Typically the reality is that those memories are ones that you wish you had never experienced in the first place, and hope to God that everyone around you forgets as well.

Finally, remembering those struggles helps me to sharpen one of the most important tools in my recovery toolbox, namely, re-focusing on the present.  If I ever get the blues about never being able to drink again, all I have to do is ask myself this simple question:  am I able to abstain from using any mind altering substancesjust for today?  Invariably, the answer is yes, and there is a profound relief that comes with not worrying about the future.  This skill can be applied to almost any problem in life, with the same results, and the peace it brings is absolutely worth the effort.

The Boredom of Sobriety?

Yesterday a young man shared in the meeting I attended that he is six months sober, and completely bored with his new life.  As he put it, “I just do the same things, day after day, and I am tired of it.  I miss the chaos of my old life.”

That same night I attended a party with many old non-alcoholic friends and family, and most were drinking.  As I watched them, I remembered what the young man had shared, and I could relate, a bit, with what he said.  For me, it is not boredom with my non-drinking routine… on the contrary, I am still profoundly grateful that I have my routine, and I am still amazed every time I accomplish a goal while clean and sober.  But I can relate to watching “normal” people who get to enjoy alcohol and seem to have no consequences from enjoying it… and I get jealous.  Why can’t I do that?  Why did I make the decisions I did to end up at this point in my life?  Why can’t I be normal?

And when I have those thoughts… which are, blessedly, few and far between these days… I have to use the tools I have been given to me by my 12 step program, and play that tape all the way through.  First, I am not living the lives of any of those people, so I have no clue if and what consequences they, or their loved ones, are paying for their drinking. 

Secondly, under no circumstances would I have ever been happy being a “normal” drinker.  I never, in my entire life, wanted just one drink.  On those rare occasions when I was able to drink moderately, I was most likely doing it to please someone in my life, I was certainly not pleasing myself.  To please myself, I would have drunk until all the alcohol was gone… that is the cold, harsh truth.

Finally, and most importantly, what are the drinking people doing that I’m not doing, besides getting drunk?  I am talking to the same people they are, enjoying the same jokes and stories, eating the same foods, and enjoying the same event that they are enjoying.  In fact, I may even have one up on them, because I will remember every detail, and I won’t have a headache in the morning.

So I am praying for that young man in the meeting, I hope he is able to reach the same level of peace that I have in my sobriety…

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The Six Year Hangover


Process Not An Event

Adventures in Addiction Recovery & Cancer Survival

And Everything Afterwards

How I quit alcohol and discovered the beauty of a sober life