I just got home from my friend Patty's birthday meeting. She celebrated 23 years of sobriety today. The meeting was great. Someone said that over 1/3 of the room were long-timers, if you define a long-timer as someone with over 18 years of sobriety. It was just nice to be there and feel like I am one of the crowd, like I just fit in, like I am just there with my peers. I can remember her 2nd birthday. She had a huge party at her little townhouse. There were so many people there, they were even sitting on her stairs. It was a wonderful thing.
Many of us went out for breakfast after the meeting. We filled up a whole back room of a Mexican Restaurant. People make fun of me because I always order Bologna and Eggs there! Who ever heard of fried bologna being on a menu? Well, it is on that menu, and I eat it every time.
A unifying factor in my friendship with Patty is that we both are overwhelmed with gratitude to be sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are both grateful to have long term sobriety, but neither of us take it for granted. We both know that we are One Drink Away From a Drunk. One Drink. We both go to meetings regularly and do all the same stuff we have been doing for these decades. Sharing our experience, strength, and hope. We did not graduate to some higher plane of recovery where we only come around occassionally to bless all the unwashed masses with our royal presence.
We do not come to meetings to comment on and critique others' experience, strength, and hope... we come to share our own. We do not extend uninvited sponsorship, advice, or criticism. We are in the same boat with everyone from the shaky first day-er to the shaky 50 year-er.
This is also what I love about you fellow sober bloggers. Almost without exception, we share our experience, strength, and hope with each other. We do this with respect and love for one another. We almost never come along and dump unsolicited advice and a superior attitude on each other. And for that I am truly grateful.