Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Early Sobriety

Tonight I was watching American Idol and just seeing Randy Travis reminded me of my early sobriety.  One of his songs was "our song" for me and a man I dated (who was a blogger for a while).  The song was "Forever and Ever Amen," and we danced to it.  And we sang it.  And it had special meaning for us.  

"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)

10 comments:

steveroni said...

Mary, you are dammm serious at night. Wow! I like that concept--

Don't ya wait
'Til too late
To hug and date
And kiss your mate
And meet your fate
Right on...right on.

And if ya haven't done it by 35 (yrs sober), ya best get it on, Bub
'Cause time waits not!

steveroni said...

My opinion, Mary Christine...you should give it more than one night's trial. You'll see how much easier the morning will flow...maybe?

I'm posting in a minute. Yep, you're in it. Sorry!

dAAve said...

I like that song too.

I can't imagine why someone would intentionally wait to start enjoying life.

Scott W said...

I have never heard of a sponsor telling someone to wait to live. That just makes no sense. I've got today, that's it.

I like your night time posts a lot.

Trailboss said...

I agree. I like your night time posts a lot also. There was so much said in this post. It was really good.

veganmama said...

"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."

Love it! I agree with your perspective, and not just because I'm still in what some old-timers would call early sobriety (I'm a week short of 18 months).

Patty said...

I like your night post, too. Funny, I was just discussing this my sponsee. HAVE FUN!

Ed G. said...

The only regrets I have in my 25 years on this path so far are where I hurt someone by my choices or drama. Unfortunately, I have a few of those...

But, even those I see were necessary for me to "get here from there" and I wouldn't trade there for here on any bet that I can think of.

Truth for me today (likely to be different later) is that I can't think of any part of my life that I'd like to go back to - drunk or sober. I would like some things different today (like, an income would be nice...), but there's not much of the "old me" that I'm sentimental for.

I came to this path because I "wanted what they had".

I stay on this path today because, most days, I want what I have...

Blessings,
Ed

Jackie said...

My temporary sponsor told me to that I should not have sogned up for my Labour Law course and that I should just focus on being sober for the 1st year...I'm 10 months sober today and got an A+ on my mid-term!

Syd said...

Very philosophical post. I do want to enjoy every day no matter what. Some are better than others I admit. But every one has something to offer. I'd rather not waste the ones that I have left wondering what I "should" do--I just need to get doing.