My daughter celebrated five years of sobriety yesterday. God is so good!
I am so grateful she is sober. I am grateful for these five years of a new relationship between us. We always have adored one another, but when she was deep in her addiction (from day one and every day for 15 years thereafter), she was distant. It was alcohol and it was meth. One of her boyfriends, who was a policeman, told me once that he thought she would be fine if she just stopped using meth, but after knowing her, he realized that alcohol was a worse problem for her than meth.
When she was sober for about a year, I realized that we were creating a new history. I had a year of memories of life with her, riding the light rail, going to meetings, singing in the car, going out for meals, doing things that “normal” people do. I realized that in that first year of her sobriety, I had more of a history with her than I did in all the years previous. It was wonderful and yet shocking.
The last five years with her have been full of problems, because life tends to have problems. She tends to like men a lot, just like I did – she may have worse taste in men than I did – but I am not sure. I have had to bite my tongue a thousand times. She doesn’t “do” AA the way I did when I was early in sobriety. And yet, she does it a different way. She is much more focused on helping others than the inward focus that I tended to gravitate towards. She is not insulated in AA the way I was, she is out on the streets, talking to people, dragging them to meetings, and spending hours talking to the gritty “still suffering alcoholic” who is still out there. Not the ones who call or show up in meetings like most of us. And there are more than a few people who she 12 stepped into the rooms and into sobriety.
I don’t think I ever dared to think she might get sober. Being in AA for as long as I have, I have seen far more people who don’t get sober than do get sober. I have seen spectacular relapses, and attended too many funerals. I didn’t dream of her coming to AA or NA and getting well over night. She is sober one day at a time, just like I am. She makes plenty of mistakes, just like I did. But she is now real. My real daughter. Thank God.
Here’s what she wrote yesterday:
5 years ago yesterday was the very last time that needle struck my vein and the very last time that nasty ass bottle hit my lips! So Jan 14th, 5 years ago was the very first day this chick started a brand new LIFE w/o that nasty sh#t..! I’m ever so grateful, I’ve not had the need to go back to my old ways of life and managed to stay clean and sober through it ALL. Thank you God!
And I say – Thank you God indeed!