**written last night**
Dear, beautiful, wonderful sobriety, I adore you.
I just came from a local online AA meeting tonight, in which they were celebrating one man’s 36th sober anniversary, or “birthday,” as they called it. I’d had a meditation this morning where I pictured myself having a ridiculously large number of sober years behind me, one fine old grandmotherly day. So being part of this meeting was even more special for me, like a manifestation/confirmation of imagination.
I know the ropes already: it’s one day at a time that works for me. But it doesn’t hurt to have a far-off goal in one’s mind, either… at least I hope it doesn’t. Last time, my far-off goal was just one year, and I continued to 18 months instead. Then I thought (or rather, my husband’s open bottle of wine on the table psychically projected to me, seductively): “Why not just go back to normal?”
“Normal” looks so good in the mind. It looks so glamorous, high-end, classy, stem-ware-y, moderate, and controlled… peppered with lovely occasional glasses full of name-your-nectar-I-mean-poison.
The reality though, is that although while we’re drinking, “normal” feels like it’s the nectar of the gods, makes us feel powerful, alive, brave, beautiful… it actually makes us dull, slow, loud, obnoxious, inarticulate, clumsy or worse.
I don’t know how the future will be for me, but I know how the rest of this day will pan out: without alcohol. And if I start each day deciding not to drink, like the AA’s do—just this one day—but also with a far-off-future sober self in mind, as I’m sure the most successful AA members must do, even if subconsciously—I think the future will be bright indeed.
The man whose sober birthday was celebrated today had a very moving speech. They say that in AA, the newcomer is the most important person in the room. And he was so gracious—it felt was as though he was speaking directly to someone like me, the only newcomer in the bunch, out of 47 attendees, many of them his close longtime friends, including his wife of nearly 30 years, and others come from all over the country, who must have heard his story many times already, during over 36 years of meetings. He told the story of how he first came to AA. And he told it with such humour, lightheartedness, gratitude and humility.
I admired it. I wanted those qualities. That was real grace, real courage, real beauty. That was the real fountain of youth. And that was the normal I wanted for me. Which I am quite sure was the goal of his speech, and the goal of most speeches I’ve heard so far, in the six sobriety meetings I’ve attended over the past 18 days—to bring hope and sober-positive thinking to others; most of all, to the tentative and unsure newcomers. It’s a wonderful kind of selflessness.
Lots of love,
Today is day 19. (For now, or while blogging about it at least, I seem to like counting days. I feel it helps me remain accountable. Muahaha.) Here’s to remaining gratefully sober this day. 🍵✨☕️🙌