Sunday, August 26, 2012

Always a Place

I hardly know what to say. I know that tonight I'm going to sleep sober for the 1827th night in a row; I also know that's a friggin' miracle. Oh, and I know I didn't come close to doing this myself. ADD alert – I just noticed that my sobriety date is 8-27 and today is the 1827th day. Cool, huh?

I must have cried a half dozen times today. Thank god I'm not one of those queens that wears makeup. I would have looked all Tammy Fay Baker and shit – because a couple of them were on the verge of being ugly cries. But in a good way. I'm really overwhelmed with gratitude by this. I think I'm supposed to be saying things like, “It's just another day.” And “We all only have today.” But what I feel like, “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT?? I'M FIVE!”



[About the song: See the end of the post.]

What I was thinking about earlier today was that I met several guys with five years of sobriety when I was in my first 30 days. I remember thinking that they must be like gods, that they had to have every answer to every question imaginable. That is not what I think of me tonight.

To be fair, over the course of the last five years all those guys have shown me they are flawed and human. And thank goodness for that. I would have never made it this far if I thought I was supposed to have all the answers. I'd have panicked and given up at least three years ago.

What I learned instead was that one of us always has an answer for the question being asked. It might be me today. But it certainly doesn't have to be me every day. It's the beauty of this process that by surrounding myself with so many people with the same problem as me, there is always a solution in someone's experience. And because of that collective wisdom, no one has to be a god or a superhero to get and stay sober and have an awesome life. It's like a live, sober search engine.

Sometimes I'm in a meeting and some jackass (I mean person who is sick just like me) will say, “I had to do such and such for me because you know, this is a selfish program.” I really wish I were allowed to punch those people. There is absolutely nothing selfish about the recovery process. We hold ourselves responsible for our actions rather than blaming others. We talk about our own experience so that others can relate and see themselves in us. That is the way they discover that they can use the same solution we used. In the book that I use as my guide for recovery, there are at least two places where the program is described as an altruistic one. I can't find anywhere it's described as selfish.

The reason I say that is because I want to be clear that this milestone isn't just mine. It is true that I did the work and took the steps required. However, none of the work I did or steps I took were my ideas or creations. I took the suggestions that were given to me by people who had already gone through it. I don't know if it was luck or providence or some semblance of good sense on my part (or a combination of all of them) but fortunately I took suggestions from the right people.

What I really wish this post could be is a list of all of those people so I could publicly declare my thanks and love for all the help they've given me. That's not possible because a) I just don't use real names of people in this blog (and that would be a lot of pseudonyms to come up with) and 2) there's no way I'd be able to remember everyone.

What I can say is that if you've ever said anything in a meeting that I was in, I learned something from you. Sometimes what I learned was that I'm really super glad I'm not you. But more often, I found an answer in your words. Sometimes I didn't even know it until months or years later when I found myself in some situation and miraculously I remembered that someone else had gone through it. I say miraculously because y'all know I can't even remember what I typed three paragraphs up. Remembering something someone said six months ago is akin to having the Red Sea parted for me to walk across.

I don't really have much more to add to this tonight. I'm exhausted and happy and proud and grateful. I can't wait for tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.

Oh, there is one more thing. I want to include the lyrics to tonight's song. I've never heard lyrics that better describe the feeling I have about the people and the meetings and the program that got me sober. Please read them.

Always A Place 
(The Hooters)

There's always a place
some say that it's heaven
where someday we'll find
some kind of escape
but one thing I know
we'll find it together
as long as you're there
there's always a place

A faraway land,
a desert oasis
an island of sun
in a forest of rain.
Don't need to look far
just into your smile
as long as you're there
there's always a place.

And if there's always a place we can run to
there's always a place we belong
and if there's always a dream, it can only come true
as long as we keep holding on,
There's always a place - always
There's always a place - always. Yeah

There's always a place,
when I am way beyond lonely,
with nothing to hide,
and nothing to prove
there's always a space,
that's there for me only
I know deep inside,
the place is with you.

There's never a time
to question our feelings
there's hardly a word,
that seems out of place
we'll find our way home,
we'll find it together-
As long as you're there
there's always a place

And if there's always a place we can run to
there's always a place we belong
and if there's always a dream, it can only come true
as long as we keep holding on,
There's always a place - always

Uhh and if there's always a place we can run to
there's always a place we belong
and if there's always a dream, it can only come true
as long as we keep holding on,
There's always a place - always
There's always a place - always
There's always a place - always
That's good.



2 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Very proud of you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are truly amazing!

    ReplyDelete