Friday, October 9, 2009

Let's Keep Dancing

Goethe said, "Live each day as if your life had just begun."
Some old song started out this way: "Is that all there is, my friend?
Then let's keep dancing
Bring out the booze and have a ball
If that's all
there is."

I took that song to heart from age 14 to age 36, more than 20 years of dancing with the booze and the drugs and the low-down places they took me.

It was a ball. Then it was a need. Then it was a sickness, and finally, a train wreck.
I'm lucky I survived my last suicide attempt in 1990, the one with the Valium and the Bombay gin.

My sobriety started that year with a sense of wonder, some fear, and a lot of hope. Alcoholics Anonymous seemed like a miraculous introduction into a whole new life.

The group I started going to (was it just a coincidence?) gathered me up and set me on a journey: step studies, book studies, tradition studies, participation meetings, speaker meetings, service commitments, not to mention the barbecues, the dances, and parties by the pool.

For years I was a greeter, cup washer, secretary, refreshments bringer, sponsor, speaker-getter, and convention goer. I married a sober alcoholic, and life was a ball.

Then I moved to a small town and everything stopped.
My sponsor died with me at her bedside, right before we moved, and I didn't get a new one.
I got a job in the new place and went to one meeting a week. I didn't have time for newcomers or commitments. I knew the program, so I didn't read the book anymore, and I said my prayers at church on Sundays.

I didn't practice any of the steps.
It's no surprise I started dancing with alcohol and drugs after 15 years of sobriety.
It is a surprise that I didn't die of a drug and alcohol overdose.

God seems to have a plan for me.
After my relapse in 05-06, I've kept coming back to AA in spite of two more relapses on prescription drugs. Thanks to AA and my higher power, plus 100 percent commitment on my part, I have almost 19 months of sobriety now.

Here's what I do to stay sober one day at a time:
I work the 12 steps, go to a lot of meetings, and I pray.
I ask God to help me live each day as if my life has just begun.
Because it has. Each morning my life is a new day on the journey of discovery: who I am and what I want to be, who you are, how we can relate to each other, and what the world holds for us today.
Hail, blessed Friday!


lakeviewer said...

These are the affirmations we all need to go through day by day, step by step, toward a better tomorrow. You are sober and committed; you will remain so and surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging. My hat goes off to you, my dear. You are a hero.

Monkey Man said...

Thanks for sharing that story. There are no guarantees in this program. We have to be diligent and stay in contact with AA. I am sorry you had to have your relapse experience. Congrats on your 19 months.

Karen said...

You have brought tears to my eyes. You are so worthy. xoxoxo

enchantedoak said...

You guys are too cool. You make my day, which has been a LONG one. Still had time to blog and write poetry. Esiy til you see the next one.This keyboard sucks. I gotta go see what you guys are up to.
Love you, bye

enchantedoak said...

That word was "Wait til you see the next one. Typo city here.

Shadow said...

there's always a plan. obscured. overgrown. but a plan nonetheless. and find the way we will!

Syd said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm glad that you are staying sober one day at a time.