Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another year, one day at a time

It's 3:30 AM. I should be asleep, but a late-arriving cold has devastated my intentions for rest this evening. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat - all kinds of happiness.

But that's OK. It just means I get to start celebrating early.

Seventeen years ago - December 12, 1990 - I walked into the Wednesday Night Men's group of Alcoholics Anonymous in Toledo, Ohio. My life was about as broken as it could be - and I started a new life that night, even though I wouldn't recognize it for quite a while afterwards.

Today, there are still parts of my life that remain broken - my finances aren't what they could be, my health could stand some considerable improvement, and I still cling to a job I'm not excited about while I look for "the next right job." It ain't all peaches and cream, by any standards, folks.

But life today - challenges, snuffles, sneezes, wheezes and all - is vastly better than anything I could have imagined in December of 1990. For that I have to thank a God of infinite love and patience, the worldwide AA fellowship, and a series of sponsors and friends who have kept nipping at my heels to keep me on the right path.

Today is especially gratifying because I learned yesterday that a fellow blogger went to their first AA meeting a few brief days ago. I had the chance to share some of my early recollections with them, and hopefully encourage them to "keep on keepin' on," as so many others have done for me.

I have a weird image that I share with folks about the gift of service in AA. For me, I see my sobriety a lot like chocolate milk. You see, if I just get some chocolate milk, and leave it in my refrigerator, it eventually goes sour - just like my own sobriety will, left to my own devices. But if I take the chocolate milk out of the fridge, pour it out and share it with others, it stays sweet and fresh. And by some AA miracle, the more than I pour out and share, the more I find left in the fridge. I get so much more than I give away, time and time again.

So thank you, God, for the gift of this year of sobriety - with all its challenges and joys. Now if you could just clear up my nose long enough for me to go to sleep, that would be really cool...


Poor Mad Peter said...

Amen on all counts, Steve man.

wilsonian said...

Congratulations, Steve. What a beautiful achievement.

Jane Ellen+ said...

Blessings on your anniversary, and prayers for your ongoing journey. Thank you for sharing it.

BentonQuest said...

Congratulations on another year of days!

Hope said...

Congratulations Steve. Giving you a hug across the miles.

brother said...

Congrats, Steve. From another of "the fellowship"!

Ed G. said...

Steve, I think of all the poor decisions I come to in a matter of minutes... and in this case, you've been able to make good decisions for nearly one million minutes. That's pretty cool... congratulations.

hennhouse said...

What an awesome testimony. Thanks for sharing--"challenges, snuffles, sneezes, wheezes and all." And congratulations.

~m2~ said...

dude!! how did i miss this???

talk about not being around, sheeeesh.

well my brother, i have celebrated my first month of sobriety (jan 3rd) and officially got my chips and hugs all done, sadly. i milked the hugging thing for all it was worth, as you probably already imagined.

i have so many thoughts on these amazing people i sit with for an hour a day. really incredible, this experience. i am unsure why it took me so long to get here, but am i ever glad i am.

(get with me to tell me how *things* are :)

love you, happy belated anniversary!