On May 3, 1992 I stomped out of a 12 Step meeting angry beyond belief. I had slithered into the meeting, reeking of vodka and shaking for too much cocaine. I had raised my hand when the secretary asked if anyone was in their first 30 days of sobriety, even though I had come to only hours before after a three day binge. I was hardly in my first 30 days of sobriety.
However, telling the truth had not been my strong suit for a long, long time so why would that day be any different? I raised my hand, one more time, and waited for everyone to applaud and tell me how wonderful it was that I had come back - one more time. Before they could do that, a mean, old alcoholic man with about 400 years of sobriety, asked me if I wasn't tired of always raising my hand and saying I was in my first 30 days of sobriety? Because he was tired of watching me do it.
I was shocked.
I was hurt.
I was angry.
Because of that man, the next day I went 24 hours without picking up a drink or a drug. I had done that before, of course - most alcoholics have gone a day or two or seven without drinking - but this time was different. This time, because of that old man, I was so damn mad I stay sober at him for the next six months.
And, because of that old man, if I do not drink between now and midnight?
I will celebrate 22 years of continuous sobriety.
During the past almost - 22 years I have caused myself pain, I have made horrible mistakes with my family and my friends. I have tried to buy a husband, make people love me and returned to The Church. I have titled a dog in Obedience, become a published author, been to the Holy Land and lost 140 pounds. I have had both knees replaced and fought cancer. I have been promoted and I have wished I had never taken the promotion. I have become a certified Catechist and a bit of a Catholic Apologist who know simply pities those people who are anti-Catholic or anti-religion. I have been rejected by people who are supposed to love me and embraced and loved by people who do not have to love me.
All in all, it has been one heckuva ride.
My biggest problem is still being overly sensitive and afraid of people. They scare the heck out of me. They are so unpredictable, so weird, so intense. However, I have learned to live in the world, one day at a time, and not hold the world responsible for making me happy. It wasn't always that way. I could not figure out why the world was such a hostile and odd place to live. Today, I accept that it is hostile and odd and I am absolutely OK with it. Why wouldn't it be? We all have a fallen nature. Struggling with that makes for a hostile and odd place.
I think, and I could be wrong, that living a Sacramental Life in obedience to a power greater than myself has made all the difference in my life. It was not an over night difference, but it has happened…bit by bit.
SO - tomorrow, when I celebrate that milestone it will be a quiet celebration. I will go to Mass and receive the Eucharist. I will go to breakfast. I will watch some good movies and maybe go to dinner.
And I will thank God for my life today, exactly as it is…I wouldn't change a thing, even if I could.