That's all I have to share. My experience, strength, and hope. As AA members, we are all in the same boat. The boat of trying to stay sober, one day at a time. There isn't a hierarchy of AA members. There isn't a magic day when you are cured and therefore become a counselor to all the poor unfortunates who come through the door.
Around the country, there are some differences in the way things are done within AA. One that I find varies widely is the stating of your sobriety date. Where I live, it is considered boastful to talk about how long you have been sober. I have also found that people stop listening to you when they find out you have been sober for over 20 years - because they think you have somehow graduated to that higher level of recovery that they can't relate to. So I generally keep my mouth shut about how long I have been sober.
But just for the record, I will state that I went to my first AA meeting on July 24, 1984, and I have not had a drink since then. Words cannot begin to convey what that means to me.
I can assure you that MY best efforts did not achieve this. My best efforts would have had me drunk within my first year. The fact that I am sitting here this morning, at the age of 54, in a nice clean house (that I own), writing on a nice computer, about my decades of sobriety is strictly due to the Grace of a loving God. Yes, there was and is "work" to do. But it pales in comparison to what I have been so freely given. In my wildest imaginings, I could not have dreamed up the life I have today. A little bit of going to meetings, working with others, doing some steps, helping others do some steps... that is like paying 2 cents and getting 2 million dollars.
My intention is to stay sober for the rest of my life. But I can only take care of today. I could be drunk tomorrow. But as long as tomorrow finds me taking care of that day, I should be fine.
I am so grateful for a loving God who has blessed me so abundantly. I am so grateful for AA and the wonderful friends I have had over the years. I have other non-alcoholic friends and the quality of those relationships just pales in comparison with my AA friendships. A new thing in my life is this blog and the wonderful AA bloggers I have come across. I find this so exciting. I am so grateful for the AA way of life. What a gift. Every sober day is a priceless gift.