It’s been a while since I’ve written. My sobriety birthday is approaching (that’s what they call it on the West Coast – its anniversary here on the East Coast – I spent the first 17 years of my sobriety in California). This time of year always makes me reflect on what it was like. Also what happened and what it is like now.
It wasn’t pretty. And yet, I wasn’t “bad” – at least in so far as my physical relationship with alcohol was concerned. In fact, my last drink was half a glass of champagne. And that fact haunted me for a long time, my mind holding it up to me as evidence that I didn’t really “earn my seat” – a phrase in recovery that means you belong there. But my life had been a train wreck emotionally and mentally, I had wrecked the relationships around me. I was 29 years old and my second marriage was ending. I had even known for a while that in this relationship he was the “enabler”, which meant, by definition, I was the “addict”. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out to what I was addicted. Denial really is something more than a river in Egypt.
I had begun therapy, probably the summer of 1993. That part is an. But on Tuesday, November 16, 1993, I had what is knows as “white light” experience. In the months up until then, I had become increasingly aware of the unpredictability of my drinking. I could drink plenty one day and be fine. And then on others, drink half as much and end up sick, with bone-crushing hangovers. I was also starting to have the experience that as soon as I drank anything at all, I would say things I didn’t mean. I could see these things coming out of my mouth and was powerless to stop them. I did not connect this in any way, however, to a powerlessness over alcohol.
But that morning, at approximately 11:30am, God, Great Spirit, Beloved, Divine – whatever the power is in the Universe revealed to me my true nature as an alcoholic. Story again for another day, but I had been exposed to AA earlier, and at the moment of my “awakening”, I knew that all the things I had heard about now applied to me. So I did those things. I went to meetings. Everyday, sometimes 2, 3 or 4 times a day. I got a sponsor, a big book, phone numbers – I went everywhere the sober people went and did what they did. Some days it was excruciatingAnd I stayed committed to not drinking, no matter what, one day at a time.
It has been a long road to now, and I will continue to tell you my story.
Thanks being here with me as I tell of what has happened. I hope it helps – even one person.