The first years in recovery weren’t easy for me. At first, the excitement of finally breaking King Alcohol’s grip got me through but I soon understood a lot more work lay ahead. There were days I was wracked with fear. How was this going to work out? How could it work out? After everything I did, why did I get to be saved?
I kept coming back, though. No matter what, I didn’t quit quitting. If my ass would have fallen off, I’d have put it in a bag and taken it to a meeting so someone could show me how they put theirs back on. That’s how it works.
Eventually, and commensurate with the amount of work I was willing to put into it, the pink clouds dissipated and the sunshine hit my face. It is glorious, that feeling, and not to be missed.
The best part? I’m remembering all of this through the benefit of hindsight. Back then, I thought I was doing pretty well (with the exception of those fear-filled days and nights. Those pretty much sucked).
Today, life is so good, I’m so filled with gratitude, that all I want is to have another today, just like yesterday. If I’m that fortunate, I’ll consider myself a blessed guy. This is the miracle sobriety brings when a person works for it. I am not special, not even a little bit. This happens every time, without fail. It’s promised to everyone.
I thank God on a daily basis that it came to be for me. This joy and contentment I get to feel isn’t overly exuberant – it’s not a flash in the pan. It’s a calm, relaxed, enthusiastic, fun joy.
In terms of cycling, it isn’t a screaming descent or an arduous climb… it’s a series of rollers where each downhill is just enough to get me to the top of the next peak with a little effort. (If you’ve ridden the Horsey Hundred in Kentucky, you know exactly what I mean)
It’s something all I can hope for is to be able to pass it on to someone else, because this is worth quitting for. I imagine this is exactly what I wanted, only better, when I asked God to help me by relieving me of my desire to drink. I promised I’d give sobriety everything I had if God (as I understood God at the time) would help me.
I lived up to my end of the bargain. God over-performed.
Happy Thanksgiving my friends. I hope you have a lot to be thankful for and you get to enjoy your Holiday. If you’re not quite there yet, keep coming back and working at it. With some work and humility, you’ll get there and you’ll bask in the freedom.
For everyone outside of the USA, if nobody’s wished for something for you to be grateful for today, let me be the first.