Thursday, November 12, 2009

One day at a time

The backstory is here, if you're unfamiliar with my Other Life. It's been 19 years today since I've had a drink of alcohol or another mind-altering substance. I'm grateful on a daily basis, but I'm especially grateful on anniversaries.

No matter what else happens in my life, getting and staying sober is both my biggest job and greatest reward. Without a clear head, I'm useless to myself or others. I'm certainly not perfect and I don't have all the answers, but at least I have a fighting chance, as long as I don't drink.

In AA we say the farther away we are from our last drink, the closer we are to our next one. I don't want to forget that last drink, ever. In the whole scheme of things, it wasn't particularly exciting. I didn't get arrested or have a wreck or wind up in bed with a stranger. It was just one more foggy night punctuating years of murk and gloom. I'm rather glad I didn't end my drinking with an exclamation point, or I might still be trying to chase the buzz. (There were plenty of exclamation points during my drinking years. Enough, actually.)

I'm especially grateful that my children allow me to be part of their lives. I think that's why my volunteer service taking an AA meeting to a women's prison is so meaningful to me. Those women, most of them mothers, are aching – just as I was – for a way to repair the relationships with their sons and daughters. I'll never be finished making those amends.


D said...

Congratulations. All those "one day at a time" days have turned into 19 years...that is a spectacular accomplishment.

Marla said...

Congratulations chickie! And thanks for linking to that other post, it was good to reread. You're right about there being a link or similarity in overeating and overdrinking (is that a word?) - trying to self-medicate an emotional issue. When I quit smoking my eating increased, when I started dieting my drinking increased... just like some of the original comments I've actually considered starting smoking again! Ha ha, then I could do the whole cycle over again.

Congratulations and thanks for sharing this.