Since I had started my job in September of 1994, things really started changing for me. I had some real stability. I actually had vacation time! I actually had a little bit of money to go take vacations.
I was hanging around with my old best friend - my first sponsor in AA. I had made a wonderful friend in a man who had gotten sober just a couple of months after I did. We would meet at the meeting on Saturday mornings and then go take day long hikes in the mountains. When we were done with that, we would generally go to a movie. I love movies, but for some reason, I usually go when it is someone else's idea - but it was great fun to know all the movies.
In November 1995, I rented a house in North Denver. Oh, how I loved that house! It was over 100 years old. It was 2 blocks from a lovely old church, which I walked to frequently. If you have read about my journey for the last eleven or so days, you might have a pretty good concept of why I was so excited to live in a pretty little house and go to the pretty church two blocks away. I always paid my rent on time. I never caused a problem for my landlady and landlord - who lived just next door. (When I told them I was moving 3 years later, my landlady actually cried!) The police only came to my door once - and that was when my house was burglarized.
I was working in Southwestern Denver, living in North Denver, and going to meetings in a northern suburb. I was doing a lot of driving.
At that time, I also started having a lot of pain in my neck. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my spine. My physician looked at the x-ray of my neck and told me my neck had been broken in several places - and he wondered what the heck happened! I couldn't begin to explain it to him. He told me with a very sad face that I would be in pain for the rest of my life. By that time, I already realized that. And you know the really odd thing about that? It was OK. On the spectrum of pain, I would rather have physical pain than be in a bad marriage or any other number of situations that I was no longer in. Later I would have an MRI and find that I had two ruptured discs as well as the arthritis, but that was later.
One night, I couldn't sleep because of the pain, and decided to try a meeting at 6:30 a.m. since I was already awake. It was on my way to work, I could get there and get to work on time. I was so excited when I found that I liked the group. And they liked me. I met a bunch of people who would later become my friends. And I met a woman who was to become my sponsor.
As I alluded to earlier, my house was burglarized on December 27, 1995. I had been in a car accident on December 23, 1995. Someone at work said to me on New Year's Eve, "I hope you have a better year next year, this has been a bad one for you." I couldn't believe it! I thought 1995 was stellar. Are you kidding me? No one hit me for a year! I knew where I lived, I knew where I worked, I had relationships with all of my children, I could go to church without shame, I knew who I was, and I was happy about who that was. A burglary and a car accident? Constant pain? These are just things that normal people have. Just regular life stuff. I was grateful for every second of my new life. It was the most wonderful thing!
My twelfth birthday is probably the only one that I have no written journal entry for. I know that by then, I had a new sponsor - the one who I am so blessed to still call my sponsor today. I know that she came to my old homegroup for my birthday meeting. I know that my best friends were there.
I know that I was grateful beyond comprehension for what God had been able to create from the broken wreckage of my (sober) life.