By God’s good grace, I celebrated another anniversary, by calling an old friend. We grew up together, drank together, and were roommates during some rough times. They got sober a little before I did, and we have stayed in touch off and on over the years.
They have always been on my amends’ list – not as high up as they deserved, but always there. I asked their forgiveness, which they readily gave, and added, “at least you weren’t mean.”
Not being a mean drunk isn’t an excuse for my insane determination to keep on believing alcohol was my friend.
When I recount my story – even in a general way – it’s obvious I was never a social drinker. Nor, have I learned how to be one in all the years I’ve walked with Christ, or been a part of AA or Celebrate Recovery.
For me, alcohol is not the friend I came to know and love when I was around 15 — I didn’t see it as a solution to my problems as much as fun buddy who encouraged me to try all kinds of stuff. When the fun stuff did not go as planned, alcohol consoled me, promising better times.
And, not all times were wretched. But, even the best ones were not purely social.
It’s just that dumber and more dangerous times happened; as did miserable, tedious alone times. Alcohol kept me company through them all, telling me everything will be OK, especially if we stay friends.
They say alcohol makes truth tellers of people – but booze itself lies.
It took me a while get over the break-up with what I thought was such a helpful friend. I so wished to believe, I wasn’t that bad. I loved booze long after I knew drinking was not wise or safe.
In time, though, hindsight, changed attitudes, and better choices helped me discern the problem with these thoughts:
- Nobody knows your story here;
- I could use a drink;
- I’ll just have one, and
- One drink is not going to kill you.
There’s always just enough truth in each thought to sound appealing. But then I remember, especially on an anniversary:
- God knows my story!
- A drink never was enough, and
- one drink will never be enough.
Recovery is not just abstaining from booze, although it won’t happen unless I do.
Living well through a couple of decades without drinking is something I never thought I could do. But reflecting on this year’s anniversary I believe the promise that comes with giving myself over to the program:
I’ve come to beleive: My recovery is evidence of a power greater than I am intervening in my life. Faith in God, and hope in Him, not myself, is the cornerstone of my recovery.
Thanks for reading!
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful