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
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!
find your fire
5 days ago