I celebrated one year of sobriety today. I belong to a very special group called AA. I feel privileged to belong, though I never wanted to grow up and be a member of AA. Mensa, maybe, but never AA. It was never a group I thought I'd belong to, or sought out...I never sought them out until I really needed them. I didn't think I'd be so emotional today, but the tears won't stop. I'm grateful they took me in when no one else would. I'm grateful that I was willing to listen; be patient (sort of); was willing to give it a shot because nothing else helped me stay sober; that they helped me get home; that they loved me when I couldn't love myself; that they understood the pain I was in and helped me walk through it without drinking. They showed me through their examples that there is another way to live my life, and it is much more rewarding, more uplifting, more productive, happier, more free, less frightening, less dramatic, and so much more loving.
The tears are also from the sadness of loss. Loss of a potential love that will never be because I couldn't stop drinking, I couldn't stop blaming, I couldn't stop being a victim. Even after I got sober, I couldn't stop being a victim for a very long time. Slowly, very slowly I learned. There are no victims here. We have to make our own way, we have to take full responsibility for our lives, its direction, its failures and ultimate rewards. Sometimes I think if I could go back and change it, I would in a second. I would never cause the hurt I created. I wouldn't have hurt someone so badly who I said meant so much to me. I wouldn't have been so selfish and self-centered. I would have let go with dignity and been alone rather than destroy something so completely that could have been a really good thing. I would have tried harder to be the person I always wanted to be and am now only because I am sober and growing each day. I would have just tried harder.
Why do we alcoholics do what we do? I don't know. But I carry a statement that a very good friend of mine in the group shared one day...I am so grateful every day he is there...he has 20 years sobriety and counting, and he shows up every single day for a meeting, and I can see the path to a better life through him. He said, "Out there, no explanation is possible, in here, no explanation is necessary." I am so grateful that I can go there and not have to try to explain myself. I can be me, I can grow, I can mature, I can complain. I can do all of it and be accepted and loved where I stand in sobriety.