Tomorrow marks the date that changed the trajectory of my life – the day 29 years ago I decided to get sober.
There was nothing world shaking the day I made that decision.
As big decisions go, it was pretty quiet.
I stared out the window over my kitchen sink on a scorching hot summer afternoon. I could feel discontent tearing up my insides and I decided to try what had been suggested to me as a solution by those who knew a lot more than I did.
Back then we had two little toddlers, a daughter and a son. My husband was home to tuck them into bed. Two hours later, I walked into my first AA meeting in a neighboring town.
Somehow that night it all made sense.
I didn’t have words to explain it, but I left the meeting feeling calm. By God’s grace I have never looked back in regret over that quiet decision in my kitchen 10,592 days ago.
What I could not have foreseen then was the impact that decision would have years and years later when those two toddlers and two more daughters who came after were grown.
I didn’t realize that night how that decision would influence my four grown children and their choices about drinking and substance use. I could never have forseen that my own choice to be a sober woman of faith and dignity would help my son in his own struggle to get sober and stay sober two decades later.
The smallest stone tossed in a pond throws off beautiful concentric circles of ripples that tease a fish’s fins and make water lilies sway on the surface.
So it was that day.
The key here is the word day.
Because the whole journey of sobriety is truly justa day at a time.
I’ve heard it said in church basements that sobriety is a gift given for 24 hours – therefore the person with the most sobriety is the one who got up the earliest that morning.
I like that idea. It keeps me from taking this journey of days for granted. It pushes me not to be complacent or bored or entitled about working every day to stay sober live a sober life.
Knowing the gift is just for a day keeps me being a student of sobriety – for this terminal illness will take me out if I am ever foolish enough to think I am cured.
So tomorrow I will deeply enjoy the gift of Day 10,592. And look forward to working to earn the gift of Day 10,592 Plus 1.
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