"I'm going to love you forever; forever and ever Amen."
Oh sure, it's corny. It's country. It's wonderful. And I can't hear that song without crying today. And although he is now married to someone else who brings him great happiness, and he loves with all his heart, we still sign e-mails (and blog comments) FAEA... which stands for "forever and ever amen." And bless her heart, his wife understands and wouldn't think of feeling threatened by this, she knows her husband loves her.
But it reminds me of something an old guy I worshipped in early sobriety said once. A young guy was marvelling at his 30+ years of sobriety and the old guy, with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, said something that stopped me dead in my tracks... he said "I'd trade my 30 years of sobriety to be 30 years old again." It amazed me at first, and then I thought about it and realized that it probably made sense.
When I celebrated 10 years of sobriety, I realized that I had somehow gotten 10 years older than I was when I got sober. I was 42 instead of 32. It was dawning on me then that I ought to try appreciating where I was instead of wishing for something else.
I later heard another someone with 30+ years of sobriety tell a newcomer that he "envied him the journey." I understood then and I understand now that the early days and years of sobriety are wonderful, full of wonderful friendships and the newness of living life on life's terms.
I am so glad that I lived those years so fully. Oh, it wasn't pretty a lot of the time, but it was a fully human experience. I had fights, I had romances, I had friends, I had sponsors, I had sponsees, I had husbands, I had dances, and parties, and romantic dinners at home. I had new love and middle love (I have never been good at "old love") and meetings and break-ups. There was plenty of drama. There was lots of love.
And now I have beautiful memories. And very few regrets.
I would like to say to anyone who is new to this sobriety thing: enjoy yourself. Do not wait until you get your 30 day chip, or celebrate a year. Don't wait until you have 5 years or 10 years. Enjoy it now. Every day is a gift. If you have a sponsor who is advising you to wait to live, get a new one. Really.
Whenever an alcoholic gets to live a day of freedom from the slavery of alcoholic drinking - they should celebrate. And appreciate each moment. So few of us get to stay sober. And those of us who do should be able to look back and not regret that we wasted a moment.
(posting at night again.... it is different from morning posts)