Loading... Please wait...

Recovery Thoughts

Posted by

What a journey!

Having just turned 22 years sober, I have been reflecting on how it was 22 years ago and how much I have changed since then. The influences and catalysts for change have been varied and life changing. If I had known then the challenges I was about to face and get through sober, I would not have believed it. I am so grateful for this life today; it really cannot be expressed in words.

Through the challenge of being a bartender and the only sober person in the household, I learned that I really wanted to be sober for me. I learned to rely on my sponsor, new sober friends and the old timers for advice and support.

I had never asked for help before, it was a foreign concept to me. We were brought up to believe in self-reliance. By God, hitch up your britches and strong arm your way through! Asking for help was a sign of weakness in my world. And you couldn’t be weak. So, when I got to the anonymous recovery groups., scared and defeated, it was a battle with my own will to become humble enough to ask for help.

My first mentor in the anonymous recovery group was a 15 yr. recovering woman (Big Book Thumper, as we like t o say)! Thank God for her. When she told her story, I could hear mine! I was amazed as this woman was at least 30 years my senior! To hear my story coming out of her mouth, knowing she had been able to crawl (literally) out of the abyss of alcoholic despair and become the woman she so desperately drank down, was certain inspiration to me. I, for the first time in my life, saw hope for me. I asked for help, crying and unsure it would work for me. I finally asked.

Then, I went to my first anonymous recovery group meeting, a woman’s meeting. I asked for help again. A gentle woman took me by the hand and sat me down next to her. They gave me a half-cup of coffee and a Big Book. I don’t know what was said in that meeting, I was too busy with my tears. I was amazed at the women and how they treated me, accepting and welcoming me. Of all people! I finally felt safe in a place with strangers. And yet, they were not strangers, just fellow family on the same journey. I felt the unconditional love that is talked about in meetings.

That was the beginning of a wonderful journey of sober life, with all its ups and downs, challenges and rewards, for me. I have not looked back. It has not been easy. Life throws some whammies at you and some unspeakable joy that is also hard to deal with when it is first experienced. I have been through divorce, lost loved-ones, had my first grand-baby die in my arms, moved across the country and started a new life in a strange city. Through it all, my anonymous recovery group. has always been there for me. A few years ago, I took the dream vacation of a lifetime, traveling alone on my motorcycle to a wilderness retreat. A journey of a thousand miles or more…

It all started with that first glimmer of hope 22 years ago. I did not know what was going to happen, but, it was certain to me what would happen if I did not take that leap of faith to try. I will never regret it.