I took the above picture at my current home group. There is a white board in the room, all the birthdays for the month get posted. I love the way my name and the number of years I have been sober is listed. I am just right there amoungst 'em. Not ahead, not behind, just right there with you all. All the sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous. My sponsor talks about how lonely it is the longer you stay sober. I have had a taste of that and it is very sad, in a bitter sweet kind of way.
I am certainly grateful to be sober and alive. But I do miss my old friends. I miss the folks who have died and who are now drinking. I miss the ones who really messed up and are now in prison. I miss the ones who just aren't around anymore.
So, I will drive the 15 or 20 miles up north to my old home group and be with a bunch of survivors. And I will be so incredibly grateful for them. If my old friend Ron is there, we will embrace as if we have never had a harsh word. And then someone will remind us of the time I called him horrible names, threw coffee at him, and stormed out of a meeting. Someone else will remind us of the time he tried to have me permanently banned from our group (that was LONG before I threw coffee at him). I have history with these people, some of it good, some of it not so good. But we love each other deeply, no matter how we used to feel about each other.
I am so grateful for all of the sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am so grateful that I get to be "One Sober Alcoholic." Thank you for sharing this wonderful life with me.