This month I celebrated 4 years of sobriety. I can remember first walking into the rooms of AA and saying OMG this is going to be a long road, the time seemed to stand still………. I had never been so scared in my life. The steps alone were enough to make me walk away the first time, but things just got worse and I just didn’t have any choices any longer, I either had to keep going into the depths of insanity or take the suggestions that AA was proposing, now remember my mom and my older brother went through the doors of AA and the disease killed them both. I wasn’t a big believer of it working, my husband was also a skeptic and was very upfront when I said I needed to do something, he said you know those things don’t work! a skeptic he is no more! He tells me I am his hero, a very high compliment coming from my husband. So I often wonder what set me apart from the people that are successful with AA and those that aren’t? Just a footnote on being successful, I know that at any given time I am an arms length at taking a drink, no one is immune no matter how long your sober.
When I first got sober I did everything I was told, I got a sponsor, I went to 90 meetings in 90 days, some times 2-3 times a day, I met with my sponsor once a week, I did service work and built a wonderful support group so that when things went bad I would have those people to support me and let me tell you when things go bad, you really see who is working a program and who is there for you. I have a handful of people from the meetings that attended my brothers’ service and his funeral for two days those people just sat there the whole time and never missed a beat! Along with my sponsor who I am also grateful for constantly being at my side. I will always be grateful for those few people that were there for me at that time, just there presence was a blessing.
When I was sober a year a girl told me if I wanted to stay sober I had better get a sponsee of course I was scared to death, a girl had asked me when I was sober around 9 months and I turned her down, I was scared and didn’t think I could offer her anything, what I realized is that sponsoring other women is what does keep you sober you have to give away what so freely is given to you. I went back to that girl and asked her if she still needed a sponsor and thank god she said she did! her and I were put together by our mother’s in heaven, I truly believe this, we have similar backgrounds and upbringing and she is like the little sister I always wanted, just alone the fact that I would never want to disappoint her thinking of her at times has kept me from drinking at moments, today I can play the tape and realize that drinking will never solve any problems! I can remember my mom saying to me, Diane you will never find any answers in a bottle! you know that I know that more than anyone! I can still see her face to this day saying that to me, how right she was about a lot of things……..
So back to my reflections, I am not big on the God thing, call me a stubborn x drunk, I am a logical person and unless I can see something or touch it, it’s too far fetched to really believe but over the years I have seen some real miracles, and the first being my desire to stop drinking. I drank for 30 years and didn’t know how I would ever stop, I call that one of my first spiritual awaking’s, and do I know for sure if there is a god? no I don’t know one way or another. I have seen people in the program face things that I never thought would be possible to face sober. I have not only seen people be diagnosis with cancer and given 6 months to a year to live but actually beat it! and continue on with their life’s. People lose people all the time, their children get hooked on booze or drugs so many bad things happen in life that are unfair, but people stay sober, no matter what they don’t pick up a drink because it’s that first drink that will get you drunk, maybe not that day or month, but inevitably sooner or later it will take you back to right where you left off. Today I am grateful for Alcoholics Anonymous and for the people that have taken me through my journey thus far……
I visited the cemetery yesterday, and while I was looking at the plaques on the wall I realized that my mother died at 61, my oldest brother 46 and my other brother just shy of 52. I wondered how the hell such a promising family could end up like this? and the only answer I could come up with was alcohol! A very sad hard fact to accept some days, and I suppose my strengths have taught me through their weaknesses. Tonight I will receive my 4th year medallion at my home group meeting and I will honor my family. May they all rest in peace, for I know how hard they all struggled.