When I was growing up, you had to be 21 to buy liquor. Turning 21 was a Big Deal, although certainly I'd consumed alcohol – beer, wine and the hard stuff – long before I reached the magic age of 21.
You can read my story here.
I learned quickly in Alcoholics Anonymous that to ensure success I needed to find a sponsor, someone to guide me through the 12 steps, to challenge me when I needed to be challenged and to share her experience, strength and hope with me. I had two sponsors very early on before I met Carolyn, who was to be my guide, friend, mentor and sponsor for the next 18 years.
She was sober 35 years when she died almost six months ago. She frequently said she wanted to end her life as a sober woman, and she did that. She also passed from this world leaving a permanent mark of dignity, humor and serenity on those who miss her still, every single day.
I'd like to dedicate my 21st AA birthday to Carolyn.
If you happen to have a problem with alcohol, or even if you just think you might, it's worth your while to visit an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. Visit this web page to find local resources. You'll find understanding, empathy, peace and, most of all, hope in the rooms of AA.
I did. And for that I'm truly grateful.