In the time and place I grew up alcohol was widely accepted. Having watched my family struggle with their addictions, I began to set boundaries believing this would protect me from suffering like them. As time passed and the disease took hold these boundaries got in the way of my drinking. So one by one they were dismissed until I had become indistinguishable from them. I was no longer a free man.
There came a time when the pain of being was so great I romanced ideas of ending it all. Thanks to God I was unable to seal the deal. So my intent was to go on to the bitter end. Another scrape with the law brought me to a professional treatment program. There and in the days to follow I experienced a small respite from my misery. My problem at that time was I had found no spiritual remedy. So the relief was short lived. I, being a real alcoholic drank again. In the days and years that followed, there was more treatment, failure and desperation than I thought I could endure.
Then whether through divine intervention or happenstance I landed in a meeting of alcoholics anonymous. In that room I heard that there was a solution. It was carried with such conviction I believed it wholeheartedly. I did what was suggested and after a period I found peace. The regret, remorse and hopelessness lessened. I began to live instead of endure life. I began to walk the way only a free man can.
I made choices being newly sober that made my journey difficult. 3 career changes and I became a father for the second time. My son was 3 days old when I assumed sole custody. At this time my daughter who lived with me as well was fifteen. The role of single parent was a tough adjustment. Just over a year sober and still unsettled emotionally, financially and spiritually. I had doubled my responsibility and halved my income. In the following years we cried, laughed and lived. By Gods grace we made it through.
Each day without a drink has been a gift. Some days are like the sweater with the reindeer on it your aunt gives you each year. Some are like waking up Christmas morning to that yellow stingray you have been wanting for so long. Yet they are all gifts Two Thousand One hundred and Eighty Nine so far.
I never dreamed this would work for me. I felt that A.A. would be just another failed attempt to curb my drinking problem. Today I have a life that is rich and full, but absolutely not what I expected 6 years of sobriety to look like. Which I am sure is a good thing for after all I have heard my thinking is suspect. Today I have faith in God, the program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have a host of friends and place to call home.
J.S. ~ Salt Lake City