Thursday, November 12, 2015


Nine thousand one hundred thirty-one days divided by 365 equals
Today is a milestone in my sobriety – I've now been sober for as many years as I drank.

(You can read my story here. I've been marking this occasion on this or my previous blog for nine years now, and it's easier for both of us to just point you to the first time I told it.)

In meetings, when you announce a sobriety "birthday," you're often asked, "How'd you do it?" And my answer always has been, "One day at a time." 

I have to admit that this birthday seems a teensy bit more significant. Evening out the drunk days with the sober ones is something to think about. It's … a moment.

But it's just one moment among many. 

I'm not the same person I was at 14, when I had my first drink, or at 39, when I had my last one. I'm not perfect now, none of us are. I've learned a lot about myself along the way, most importantly this: I can't do life alone. 

Sometimes I need you, and sometimes you need me. Twenty-five years of sobriety has given me the gift of community. I'm no longer on that island of stubborn independence, spiraling downward and afraid to ask for help, although it's still sometimes difficult to request assistance.

Will I ever get over that? I guess the upcoming surgery experience will provide some answers.

What I have overcome – and I can honestly say this – is the feeling that you don't need me. I have gifts to give; we all do. Staying sober has allowed me to be generous with them. 

Thank you for reading. Thank you for being a part of my real or on-line life. Thank you for helping me stay sober for 25 years … one day at a time.


gingerzingi said...

Thanks for publishing this every year, Debbi. Your story has helped me, and I'm sure many others, so I'm glad you share it.

I've often thought the lessons learned in AA, and of achieving sobriety, are useful for everyone. There are many common threads running through different types of dysfunction, sometimes it seems like it's just the outward expression of them that varies...

Debbi said...

Al-Anon, which was my second 12-step program, was even more valuable in some areas of my life than AA was. There's no denying that had I continued to drink I would most certainly not have lived long enough to need a total hip replacement. So AA was vital for my recovery. But Al-Anon … that's where I learned to be responsible for myself. Not just the hard stuff, but the fun stuff. If I was going to have a life full of joy, I had to know that I was worth it. Al-Anon taught me I was. I also learned the three Cs: I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it. I was able to apply those to myself and to others over the years, to great benefit.

Thank YOU, ML, for being here with me every step of the way.

Toledo Lefty said...

Congratulations on your milestone. This is quite an amazing accomplishment.

Debbi said...

Thank you, Jen!