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Sobriety is a Promise to No One


November 2014

I’ll be cutting my Thanksgiving weekend short, by a few hours or so, heading back first thing tomorrow morning. If not for my wife and daughters I’d be heading back right now…

A good friend of mine, someone who had, I believe, more than a decade of continuous sobriety, has relapsed. I received a calm, yet defeated text from his wife last night asking if I could help…

Thankfully it was a batch text that also went to one other and he’s taking today so I can take my friend tomorrow.

This is how life rolls sometimes folks, for a sober fella. Somebody did it for me so when another reaches out, I’m not about to say no. On the other hand, it always does me good to see the disease at work, kicking ass. Seeing the destruction reminds me why we choose to remain humble, teachable… and content.

My life is absolutely spectacular right now. Exciting, fun, enjoyable… My wife and I are having more fun together over the last couple of years than we did on our honeymoon… But there it is, alcoholism, lurking in the background. Studying the armor, looking for a chink… Waiting for that perfect moment, that perfect lapse in judgment to swoop in and take over. A complete power grab in an instant. It’s often that fast.

All I have to do is stop working on myself, quit going to meetings, hang out with a bad apple or become cocky… That’s all it takes for me to turn my life to shit in a hurry. That’s all it takes for me to start down that path again, to give up, one precious gift at a time, all that is good in my life again to King Alcohol. Oh, it might not be instant, there’s a chance I could put on a good show for a week or two but the end would be the same. My wife sending a frantic text to my friends, asking them to step in before it’s too late, to salvage what’s left before I hit bottom again, alone and broken.

Wrapping up the vacation a little early is going to be a gift. I’m going to get to help a friend and see the destruction up close, for the cheap price of a few hours.

It is good to be me.


  1. I’m so sorry your friend is struggling. I hope he can pull himself out of the bottle. Best of luck to those of you helping him.

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    Jim I am sorry to hear of your friend’s relapse and so glad for him and his family that you are going to be there for him. You make a great point of the gift of seeing it , a reflection of what life could look like. Best wishes to you as you and your friend.

  3. Mark says:

    Thanks. I needed this reminder. Studying the armor, yup, 24/7. And lifting weights so it can really kick your ass, as a friend used to add. Every day is a gift to ppl like us.

  4. Sandra says:

    You are the definition of a good AAA brother and friend. Always giving and loving, but no fanfare or panic. I hope he gains that from you and can build on his own inner strength while being around that of his friends. Fighting the good battle, moment by moment. :-). You are good people.

  5. Brent says:

    This disease never leaves you alone. Two people in my home group went out in the last week, one just days short of celebrating five years. She had the courage to come back and speak at the celebration meeting. She looked like hell. Made me (who got two years at that meeting) incredibly grateful that I’ve had a reprieve that long.

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