By the Grace of God, it was 34 years ago today that I took my last drink of alcohol.
A couple of non-program people have asked me in the last couple of days “Have you really never ever had a drink since 1984?” And the answer, amazingly enough, is “I truly have not had a single drop of alcohol since July 23, 1984.” I count my sobriety date as July 24 because that is the day I got sober. My last drink was July 23.
This morning I took a hike and for some reason the phrase “a lifetime battle with addiction” came to my mind. I laughed. There is no battle. There is no fight. I surrendered to the fact that I cannot safely drink and placed my trust in God to help me live as a sober woman. This is not a negative. There is not regret that I “can’t” drink. I could I guess. Who would want to? Not me. I didn’t give up a fun activity, I adopted a healthy, meaningful, and enjoyable way of living, only by the Grace of God.
Don’t get me wrong, I did the work. I worked the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous extensively and repeatedly. And then I helped other women to work the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous extensively and repeatedly. I think that was completely necessary, but I don’t think that is what is responsible for my sobriety. I credit a loving God with pulling me from the alcoholic trash heap of life and giving me a new life.
I did not always have good motives for staying sober in the early years. Sometimes I just didn’t want anyone to be able to gloat if I got drunk. Sometimes I thought about all the weight I lost when I quit drinking mass quantities of beer every day, and didn’t want to put it back on. I really enjoyed wearing cute clothes and shoes and the attention I used to get. Every day back then I was eternally grateful to not wake up with a hangover. And every day I was equally grateful for knowing what I had done the night before. I really believe God will work with any kind of motivation we may have, regardless of how inadequate it might be.
Shit got real when I was between 4 and 5 years sober. It was hard. Sobriety took on a different meaning and importance to me. It become so much more serious. I was so fortunate to find good sponsorship at that time and redoubled my efforts at the steps. They’re not kidding when they say more will be revealed. Once again, God had my back.
There are too many years to go through, but oh my God, I am so grateful for them! What a life I have had. It doesn’t even make sense that I could have gotten from there to here.
My 18 year old granddaughter is suddenly back in my life. We have had many long conversations. She is so shocked to get to know me as an adult, not just nana who bakes awesome pies and knits great gifts. She didn’t even know I am an alcoholic! Amazing. And how amazing it is to be a good influence in her life.
Things are good. Not always pleasant, but good.
I am not enjoying working at all. But I am enjoying spending money on ridiculous things like going to Hawaii, which was so very wonderful. I have probably been careless with the money I have made, which is not what the plan was. My temporary assignment will be over by the 2nd week in September. I cannot wait to be retired again. They do want to hire me on a permanent part-time basis, and if I can do that I will.
I miss blogging. I miss the old days of blogging. We had such fun.
I miss the old days of AA. I miss my old friends who are mostly all dead now.
God has been so very good to me.