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My whole life depends on this.

Jan. 6--AA Thought for the day
"Keeping sober is the most important thing in my life. The most important decision I ever made was my decision to give up drinking. I am convinced that my whole life depends on not taking that first drink. Nothing in the world is as important to me as my own sobriety. Everything I have, my whole life, depends on that one thing. Can I afford ever to forget this, even for one minute?"
--Twenty-Four Hours a Day (Copyright 1975, Hazelden Foundation)


This is my favorite reading of the entire year.


This reading is everything to me. If I don't have my sobriety, I have nothing. Not my family. My friends. My self-worth. My life. My health. Nothing.


The minute I put alcohol into my system, it's over. It might not happen immediately because alcoholism is a progressive little bugger of a disease. I might be just fine for a day or a month. Hell, maybe I could even push my luck to drink normally for a year!


But, why would I want to make that gamble?


I have a life right now, beyond anything I ever could have imagined. Why would I want to risk everything (no joke, everything) for alcohol? I don't. That's why I must always be so grateful for my sobriety, so willing to continue to work for it and hold it tighter than anything...ANYTHING...that God has given me. I have been blessed, but I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the minute I lose my sobriety...I lose everything.


This time, I might not be as lucky as the last. My husband stood by me. My relationship with my children has been completely restored. I am blessed to sponsor other women and carry the message of AA. I am filled with gratitude and I've even learned to love myself again.


It begins with one drink. That's all. If you don't believe me, just go to a meeting and listen to the people walking in again for a desire chip. If you don't believe me, just go to one of the hundreds (thousands?) of social media pages related to sobriety and read about the people who are starting over at day 1, over and over and over again. Because they, maybe just for a moment, didn't make their sobriety the top priority.


There's a saying in the rooms that "It takes what it takes". That might even be a relapse in my future. I hope to God, not, but I don't mess around with the fact that it could happen. I'm not naive enough to think that I'm immune to my disease. The absolute worst place for sober me to live is in complacency. Today, I'm not willing to risk losing everything again and having to start over. But, again, I don't know what God has in store for my future.


What I do know is if I ever do relapse, I'll know exactly where to go for help. I'll know exactly what I need to do. AA has taught me how to live. But for now, I feel pretty good about where I am in my own sobriety. I'm right in the middle of the pack...not better/not worse than anyone. I'm just another Bozo on the bus!


At least, if I stay close to my AA family, my sponsor, my program and my higher power, I'll have a fighting chance. So, for today, just for today, I'm going to stay exactly where I am as a grateful member of Alcoholics Anonymous.


The most important decision I ever made.




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