Updated: Jan 2
Happy New Year, Sober Blessing friends!
I couldn’t wait to get to my regular Noon meeting today.
New Year meetings are so great because there is always one person, at least, who is either brand new to the program or someone coming back from a slip. No better day to be sober and admitting that you are an alcoholic and need help then January 1! Great time for a fresh start!
Then, you have all the others: the people with one or more days of sobriety, walking in hangover-free and tremendously grateful. That’s me.
Kind of like starting a brand new book and today is Page one of 365, never yet written pages.
As I sat in the meeting, I was reminded that this 12-step program is so very simple. Not always easy, but simple. All that’s required of me is to admit that I have a problem and honestly ask for help. Every night, I thank God for keeping me sober and every morning, I ask Him to give me the gift again. And, somehow when I am given the gift of sobriety just one day at a time, I find such gratitude. My heart swells with gratitude for everything. The little things. The big things and the more I find that gratitude, the more it multiples! I can’t explain how it works, only God knows, but the idea of being so grateful for my sober life builds upon itself over and over again.
This isn’t to say my life is perfect or easy. It’s not. I’m human and confusing, crazy, scary stuff happens whether I am sober or not. What’s different for me now, almost 6 years into my sobriety, is how I handle the confusing, crazy, scary stuff.
I remember reading Eric Clapton's autobiograpy. He's one of us. He's been sober for decades now...even through the death of his 4-year old son, Conor. There's a part in the book where he describes a woman who approaches him at a meeting and tells him that she wanted to drink. Really, really wanted to drink. Instead, she was reminded of how Eric held on to his sobriety even in his darkest days. She says to him (and I am paraphrasing here) that she was able to not drink because she thought of him. He had managed stay sober through the death of child, so she had no reason to pick up a drink herself. If he could manage that kind of pain, without alcohol, then so could she.
There is nothing that God is going to put in my path that alcohol will fix. Nothing. Not sickness or death or the loss of a job or fear of the unknown or the negative talk that sometimes fills my brain.
There is nothing that will happen in 2020 that will be better, easier or less scary if I drink.
There is nothing that a sober me, working my program with my sponsor and with God, my higher power, can’t handle. I know this…for fact. I know this.
So, when the moment comes this year (and it will for sure) where my head starts thinking, “Hey, you know what would make this situation better/easier/more fun/less painful? Alcohol!”, I’ll be prepared. The idea might linger in my brain for a second or minute or a dream, but I already know the truth.
There is nothing that will happen in the year 2020 that alcohol will make better for me.
God has already proven this to me for almost 6 years now. He has shown me things in my sobriety that would have totally slipped by me had I been drinking. Had I been numbing. Had I been self-medicating. Had I been escaping from my feelings rather than leaning into them.
And, yes, you better believe that when that ugly moment hits me and the puppets in my head start trying to take me off my course, I'll run back to this post and re-read it again and again and again...until the puppets stop.
Dear friends, if you are new to sobriety, you might not believe me right now. But, I absolutely promise that if you just stick closely to your journey, follow a few simple steps, admit that you need help and ask for it, you will be amazed. Simply amazed!
Your heart will be open and, I promise, you will see and experience things that alcohol simply stripped away from your vision.
But, you have to be honest. You have to ask for help. No one else can do it for you.
2020 is waiting for you and might just be the very best year of your life!
Here's to starting at Page one with 364 more to go.
Happy New Year, sweet friends!