For a month or so, my son Matt and I have been texting each other everyday with something that we are grateful for. Just short, one sentence statements like, “I am grateful for water.” Some have also been silly, but I really look forward to these little communications. Yesterday I found myself texting, “I am so grateful to be sober.” Matt texted back, “I am so grateful that you stayed sober.”
It wasn’t hard to get sober. It was hard to drink. Right before I got sober, my life felt life a crazy roller coaster ride. My behaviour was unpredictable and erratic. My mind was in constant turmoil. I was arrogant and deeply insecure, and I was, as they say in the Anonymous programs, so very “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
It wasn’t hard to get sober, but it was hard to wake up hung-over and embarrassed about what I partially remembered saying the night before. It was hard to try to censor myself and to not slur my words. It was hard to try to ration my drinks and after 2, forgetting my resolve and finishing the bottle. It was hard to wake up at 2 in the morning, sick and hung over and hating myself.
My sons were 4 and 8 when I stopped drinking. As bizarre as this sounds to me now, I can remember (before I got sober) thinking, “How could I stop drinking?! Life wouldn’t be any fun. And I wouldn’t even be able to join in the champagne toast at my sons weddings!” It was unfathomable that this would be completely irrelevant almost 27 years later.
I thought that life without alcohol would be boring and really dull, but that would be the price I’d have to pay for not being sick anymore. Little did I know that just the opposite would be true.
I can remember the first day that I walked into an AA meeting feeling like I didn’t know anything and for the first time in my life, not trying to hide this fact. I let myself be led. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of life for me.
“In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.” Bill Wilson (Co-founder of AA)