Sweet 16

We are not a Glum Lot
April 6, 2020

Today is Mother’s Day, and it’s the first Momma’s Day, since my own passed in 2012, that I’m feeling blessed and grateful and not sad and weepy.  Maybe it needed to take eight years or maybe I’m managing the grief better as they say time heals all.  However, I truly think it’s because I realize each and every day what an amazing Mother I had. I have all the pictures, the memories, the cards, her handwritten recipes, some of her clothes, and just her.  I had her.   Mother’s Day also seems to fall around my Soberversary Birthday.

Normally I celebrate this day with my sober crew – my no matter what club gals.  Brunch or a Dinner and that feeling like we are the gals on Sex and the City not missing a laugh.  My sober day is always a time of reflection for me.  I love that it’s in the Spring, the time for new beginnings and rebirth.  Sometimes I can’t even remember that I was drinking daily, doing blow thrice weekly, and spinning in whatever relationship I found myself in. I remember the ultimate self-loathing that accompanied each morning that I came to.  Trying to remember who I hurt, what I said, and how badly I disrespected myself.  I remember that last chug of wine I drank on the eve of May 10.  That feeling was rash, desperate, and very much needed. I was standing in a dimly lit room slurping from a magnum bottle of red wine.  I had to finish it – I never left any booze in any bottle.  I didn’t know that would be my last drink.  I didn’t have an inkling that the next day I would turn down the normal airline cocktail and the next day after that I would walk into an AA meeting and buy myself that blue book.  Which is what I called it in the first few weeks.  I didn’t know any better.  My ignorance of AA probably saved me early on.  I said the prayers, I made the phone calls, I bought the notebook and called my first sponsor almost daily.  I just kept coming back to get my court card signed.  I do know that getting a second DUI was the best gift the Universe ever gave me because it gave me back my sense of self.  The self that I had lost in years of drunken and drugged up escapades.  I thought I knew what I was doing.  Oh goodness, how mistaken I truly was.

What I do remember from walking into my first AA meeting was a feeling of Hope.  I wasn’t ready that meeting to get sober yet.  I left right at the end and ran home to drink two bottles of Two Buck Chuck – for any of Trader Joe folks out there.  I boarded a plane the next morning to fly back to Philly for a family gathering.  All I could think of that trip was drinking.  I was there for five days and I drank a lot during that visit.  I also had that memory of the meeting stuck in that tiny teeny corner in the back, way back, part of my brain.  It was Hope.  That’s what was sitting back there.   Hope that maybe I too could stop drinking.  I knew I had a problem for years, but I was content in my lifestyle.  I was content in being rough around the edges, spiteful to most, and feeling like the biggest loser everywhere I went.  Yes, I was content. That contentment ended the day I chose to get sober and follow a few simple suggestions.

So tonight, as I sit here and type away, I am remembering that red wine sediment at the bottom of the bottle. I can almost taste it. Having this memory is one of the best assets I can have in my sobriety.  I need to remember it.  I need to remember what I never want in my life again.

I am grateful for so much in my life (I post weekly Gratitude Lists on my Facebook page) and being able to wake up tomorrow hangover free is still the icing on the cake.  The cake is the 16 years of step work, service work, joy, and the difficult, sad, and heart-wrenching days of life that I’ve been able to feel and endure.  During the stay at home order (week 8 I think), I’ve been baking a different cake each weekend.  Today is cupcake day – in honor of my Sweet 16; cheers to me!

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