Thursday, June 04, 2009

What it was like: Year Three

This is going to start to get painful.  In my third year, I met a man.  A sober man in AA.  A man who was independently wealthy, handsome, intelligent, charming - and we loved each other.  His wife had died a couple of years prior.   Oh my.  

I had never been sober 2 years before.  I had never been so vulnerable and open and available.  And I had never met anyone like him.   We were a sensation everywhere we went.  We looked good together.  We were good together.  We were both sober, attractive, and very funny.  

He lived on the western slope, I lived in Denver.  We were commuting back and forth.  It was so lovely.  Until it wasn't.   It is amazing to read my journals from this time because I don't really remember how good it was and how long it lasted.  In my mind, in my memory, it was only a month or two and then it just didn't work.  But that is not what happened at all.  My memory is not a reliable thing.  

My job was going great.  I became a licensed insurance agent.  I worked for a large multinational firm.  I got two promotions in my 3rd year of sobriety.  I was working in marketing and got to travel all over the place just chatting people up.  I really loved it.  I got to put together proposals and quotes and all kinds of complex programs for people.  I got really good at doing some weird rating for workers compensation insurance.  I won't even go into it... it was fun.  It was the first time I realized I might have a gift for some strange math.  Not adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, but some really weird formulas.   I also realized that I had some really good interpersonal skills - which was a revelation to this person who had always had such a difficult time getting along.   I had visited my sister in New York City, she took me to Saks and bought me a complete wardrobe.  I had THE most fabulous clothes!  It was really an amazing thing for someone who an overweight drunken housewife just a few years before.  

I was going to tons and tons of AA meetings.  I was sponsoring quite a few women.  I was a step nazi.  I really thought it was all about "the work."   I was very involved in service at a group level.   I was very grateful to be sober, even if I didn't yet realize anything like peace of mind.  I guess I thought I had - since compared to my drunken state, my newly sober state was peaceful bliss!
 
On my 3rd birthday, I wrote this in my journal: "I'm Mary, I'm a grateful, recovering alcoholic.  By the Grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have not found it necessary to take a drink of alcohol for three years!  Thank you God.  This is something that is entirely beyond me and my capabilities.  But you gave me the strength and willingness to do the footwork and then you took care of everything else so beautifully.  Thank you."

I look at this and think - good, I was STARTING to get the idea.  But there was a lot of pain ahead....

8 comments:

Scott W said...

Oh, no! Year four ahead!

Steve E. said...

This series of blogs is coming to be a story worthy of publishing.

It is the beginning of a story, that I will wish would never end. And it probably WILL never end.

Mary, please keep it going. If you have to break from it for a day now and then, we'd understand. But only if it becomes too emotionally draining for you.

Pam said...

I'm loving the "peek" into your life. Although I'd rather be plopped down on the sofa next to you reading the journals out loud.

Trailboss said...

I actually know what you mean about the weird math. I too was a licensed insurance agent. Did that for 5 1/2 yrs. I'm glad I'm out of it. Look forward to the rest of the story.

Syd said...

I don't think that my memory of events is reliable either and I was sober the entire time. I don't want to think about all those years of living with alcoholism. But they happened. I am enjoying your story MC.

Ed G. said...

I enjoy your story. It has a message for me. Throughout my life, I've attempted to maintain a daily journal and I've been able, sometimes, to keep it up consistently for 2-3 days in a row!

If comparisons meant anything in this process (they don't), at 3 years you're way ahead of where I was.

Blessings and aloha...

Mike Golch said...

Congrats on you 3rd year sober. Hi I'm Mike and I have been sober for 18 years and 7 months By the Grace of God.

Cat said...

Ok I started backwards so I am working my way to catching up.