avanta7: (12 Steps to Heaven)
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The bravest thing I ever did was quit drinking. I don't intend to need to do that again.


Jul. 26th, 2010 10:14 pm
avanta7: (Default)
On this day, nineteen years ago, I walked into a treatment center, clutching a pillow from home. 30 days later, I walked out, still carrying that pillow, but also carrying 30 consecutive days of sobriety. I've continued to walk that road, one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time, for the last 6,905* days.

No one told me staying sober would be easy. And, at first, it wasn't. I struggled. I didn't drink, but I wanted to. Oh, how I wanted to. Still, slowly, gradually, incrementally, that desire decreased; the thought came less and less often...and for the last several years, when trouble has arisen, getting drunk hasn't crossed my mind. Although that option is always available, I have so many other choices, so many other directions, so many other steps to follow -- drinking is so far down the list it's not even a contender.

The youngest members of my family have never known their Auntie as a drunk. My husband has never known me as a drunk -- in fact, sometimes I think he doesn't quite believe my drinking was ever really that bad. My parents and sister don't watch me out of the corners of their eyes; my brother has no qualms about leaving me in charge of his children. I've had the same employer for 15 years; I have no debt other than the house note; I wake up each day clearheaded, bright-eyed, and ready to face the world.

Best of all, deep in my heart lies the rock-solid certainty that God loves me. He always had, even when I had convinced myself otherwise. That gift alone makes the journey worthwhile. With the gift of sobriety as well, I am truly blessed and eternally grateful.

*Plus a few extra for the leap years.
avanta7: (Head Roll)
One of the things I decided after we moved here to Alabama was to get back into attending AA meetings on a regular basis. So I hunted up the Alabama Central Office website and found the schedule for a couple of groups in my local area.

I've been going to the women's meeting at one group every week for the last couple of months, and gotten to know a few of the women there on a more or less casual basis...as casual as it can be for people who sit around a table and discuss the state of their spirituality and sobriety for an hour each week....Anyway, to get to the point: At this group, the custom is, in the month of one's sobriety birthday, to write one's name on the whiteboard with the sobriety date and how many years. So, two weeks ago I added mine to the list: July 26, Angela V, 19 years.

Apparently, this action created a stir. At last week's meeting one of the other women told me "all these people" -- especially the men -- wanted to know who I was. "We don't know her! How can she have 19 years without us knowing her!" C said she told them I had recently moved to the area, that I had been coming to the women's meeting every week, and Yes, I'd really been sober that long. I guess women with that length of sobriety are rare in these parts...it's kind of odd being an "oldtimer."

I'd been thinking about adding another meeting to my weekly routine, especially since the group recently changed all their evening meetings to start at 6:00 PM. Sounds like showing up in the flesh at some time other than the women's meeting is necessary for allaying skepticism, but I don't like feeling like I've been put on the spot.

But still: "We don't know her! How can she have 19 years without us knowing her!" just cracks me up.
avanta7: (Totally Bad Ass)
Today marks the 18th anniversary of the day I quit drinking. 18 years ago today, I walked into a 30-day lockdown treatment facility, clutching a pillow and the shreds of my dignity. 30 days later, I walked out, a free woman.

Normally I'd write some sort of insightful pithy reflection on sobriety (because I'm all insightful and reflective and pithy like that), but today I'm dealing with multiple ant bites and swollen itchy legs and I just don't feel like it.

Instead, I'll sit over here on the sofa with my legs wrapped in witch hazel soaked towels and be grateful to be alive and sober.
avanta7: (Reject Reality)
Today is the 17th anniversary of the day I stopped drinking.

17 years ago today, I walked...well, was pushed...into rehab, and walked out 30 days later, clearheaded for the first time in about ten years, with the desire not to drink that day. That desire has been maintained, one day at a time, through the all-forgiving grace of God and the help of a 12-step program, for the past 6,205 days.

Well, plus a few extra days for the Leap Years, but who's counting?

Thanks be to God. And thanks be to Bill W. and all the other sober alcoholics who came before me. Couldn't have done it without you.
avanta7: (Respectable)
What?????? )
avanta7: (Sanctuary)
…and I’m an alcoholic.

Click here if you want the rest of the story. )
avanta7: (PinkWall)
Tomorrow is the fifteenth anniversary of the day I got sober.
Fifteen years. That's five years longer than I drank.
The reason I mention it is to give you all a little heads up if you want to release a sobriety-related book to help me celebrate.
That is all.
avanta7: (Default)
I cried as the pastor put ashes on my forehead. Again. Sheesh, Communion Sundays and Ash Wednesday and Christmas and Easter and when singing certain hymns. They're getting used to seeing me bawl by now.

I shouldn't be so flippant about it.

My gratitude is so deep that it expresses itself through tears. I consider my life a gift from God, even on the bad days. Sobriety will do that for you.

August 2013

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