Since I launched my Memoir a couple months ago I’ve become really entrenched into the online marketplace of recovery, addiction and sobriety. I’ve been able to “meet” (via social media) some very cool folks; all in recovery. Some in 12 step recovery, some not. Either way, we are all sober and all want to help spread the message of recovery – in whatever form that may be. I’ve met women and men from all over the globe; US, UK, India, Egypt and Canada. I’ve been interviewed on their sites and we’ve exchanged personal emails. I purchased their books and they’ve purchased mine. It’s a bit of a love fest if you will and I’m glad to be part of it. So on this special day, I just want to say Thank You for accepting me into this very hip and cool community – a community I hope to be part of for many years to come.
If someone were to say to me 11 years ago that I’d have the life I have today, I would have thought pigs were flying and hell was frozen. Seriously, I didn’t walk into my first AA meeting to get sober, I went there to get a court card signed because I had just been served my 2nd DUI. Life just hit a speed bump and I was just going there to appease the courts. Things were going to get back to normal after I fixed this nuisance, paid the lawyer and did my community service. But that’s not what God had in store for me. God was nudging me pretty hard at that first meeting because what I heard in that dingy dark room with the plastic chairs and goofy sayings on the wall was Hope. Hope that maybe I could have a better life. It never occurred to me that to eliminate one of my main sources of happiness (alcohol), would bring me happiness. I never had that fleeting thought. Ever. Alcohol was my solution, not my problem. Alcohol did for me what I couldn’t do for myself. It gave me courage, it gave me confidence and it gave me entitlement to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. It also fed my insecurities, took away my dignity and stripped me of all my self-worth and integrity. Alcohol hollowed me out and bruised my insides to the point where I was comfortable beating myself up on a daily basis. At age 37, I was living my life the same way I did at 18.
Sobriety showed up at my front door step at the best time. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t get sober at my first meeting, I got sober at my 2nd meeting and I’ve been coming back ever since. I’ve been doing what the woman who walked before me told me to do. Plain and Simple. I didn’t question anything and instead of giving up, I gave in. I was robotic those first couple weeks until the fog lifted. I remember my first year of sobriety and I remember what I heard. I heard, “a drink isn’t going to make anything better”, “we just don’t pick up – no matter what”, “play the tape through”. I also heard work with a sponsor and do the steps. I just kept signing along the dotted line. And my life began to change, for the better. So much better. To those who know me and to those who have gotten sober, I don’t need to explain further. You get it. To those that have no clue or think they don’t need any help or think their unmanageable and miserable life is the only one they know – I say, give it a shot. You have nothing to lose. That’s what I said to myself on May 11, 2004 – I may as well give this thing a shot.