Thursday, July 23, 2009

25 Years

A Quarter of a Century without a drink.  Imagine.

Twenty-five years ago at about this time of night, I was buying the last six pack of beer I would ever drink.  I sat until about midnight drinking alone at the kitchen table, my family already asleep.  I went to bed, having no idea that those beers would be my last.  

On July 24, 1984, I began the adventure of a lifetime, when I called Alcoholics Anonymous.  I thank God for His loving intervention.  For His loving hand in all the days of my life.  

My sponsor and her husband arrived this afternoon.  They will spend the weekend with me, which is lovely.  I was touched that they drove all day to get here.  

At about noon today, I picked up the phone to call my old friend Big Ed.  I wanted to tell him that I was celebrating 25 years of sobriety.  For some reason, this has just been a matter of fact thing until I made that phone call, and then I ended up realizing what I was saying.  Twenty-five years of continuous sobriety!  How incredibly awesome.  What a blessing.  How kind God is, because I could have "worked" steps until kingdom come, and never have "earned" one second of the life I have today.  Ed and I talked about all the times.  About our friendship.  About all the years.  About the cars, the husbands, the apartments.  The years.  Of a loving friendship.  In Alcoholics Anonymous.

At lunch, I drove to the mall to buy something that was on sale... but I didn't find it.  So I quickly walked around jewelry stores until I found just the thing I have wanted since I was 13 years old.  A pair of ruby stud earrings.  And when I found them, the sales clerk asked me if they were for a birthday or a special occasion.  I looked at her and decided to tell her what they were for.  But first my eyes misted up and I couldn't speak.  She said "oh, there is so much sadness,"  I told her "No!  It is so much happiness!"   I told her that I am celebrating 25 years of sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous and this is my gift to myself.  She smiled and said that deserved a big high five - so there we were, two middle aged women in the mall at lunch time, high fiving my sobriety.  Her mom is also sober.  It was wonderful that she understood what I was celebrating.  Someone mentioned later that rubies are the July birthstone... maybe that is more truly my birthstone than the one for my natal birthday...

My birthday is always humbling.  This one might be a little bit more so.  But it is such a joy.  

I will speak at the 6:30 a.m. meeting tomorrow, and then will celebrate again at a 7:30 p.m. meeting across town.  What a joy.

Thank you bloggers for allowing me to join you in our journey.  You can see that for me it isn't always sunshine and puppies, but it is always real.  And no matter what happens, God is with me, and I am OK.  

To repeat what they told me at my first meeting:
I never have to drink again, if I don't want to.

I don't want to today, and haven't for a very long time.  I am so grateful for this and for the people who join me as we trudge the road of happy destiny.  

May God Bless You and Keep You.   Lots of Love from Mary Christine.

24 comments:

Mike Golch said...

Mary Christine,that is a powerful message,I am glad I stopped by to read it.You have a few more years sober that I have.We both Celebrate the the end of insanity.

Hope said...

Can hardly see the keyboard for the tears. Thank you for being a beacon of hope for me on my own journey. God bless you.

big Jenn said...

Congratulations and happy 25 to you! jeNN

Findon said...

Happy Birthday Mary. 25 years IS a long time and I think an achievement. I like what you post, I have a sense of equilibrium in your life and that is the evidence that the programme works if you work it. Thank you for that

Anonymous said...

A heartfelt congratulations. I will have six months in a few weeks, which to me is a blessing almost beyond belief. 25 years... Total awesomeness. The same miracle every 24 hours for each of us who get to wake up, go to bed, and in between really live and experience a full day sober (and remember it).

Mary LA said...

Congratulations on 25 years, how wonderful!

Mary LA

cdron97 said...

A friend used to say, "You don't have to drink, even if you want to." Many blessings and congratulations. It's a good day to be sober! Best one ever.

Pam said...

First of all, that is the perfect 25th year birthday present! I really love that.
And secondly, YOU are such a gift to my sobriety.
Happy Brithday my little turnip tart.

wendy said...

Happy Birthday Mary. Thanks for sharing your journey with me and keeping the door open for us newcomers to arrive. Hope you have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Syd said...

MC, I am glad for the 25 years that you have not only been sober but discovering a new way of living and thinking. What a miracle that is. I think that you deserve every gift there is to offer. But I'm sure that the gift of sobriety is the best of all. Have a great day.

Gin said...

Happy 25! Enjoy those ruby earrings. I know you will look beautiful in them because you will sparkle yourself knowing the meaning behind them!

Kim A. said...

MC..I don't often get goosebumps via online stuff but I got them today. I know AA (and Alanon) create miracles cause they are walking around (and blogging)today. Shine on!

Namaste

Scott W said...

Awesome, totally awesome!

Lou said...

My birthday is in July, and the ruby is the July birthstone. A few years ago, I got a pair of ruby studs also! It's hard to find real rubies now, most are synthetic.

I like that you treated yourself, it shows how we love ourselves when we live a real life. Not in an egotistical way, but a comfortable way.

AnyEdge said...

How wonderful. To think, when you were first abstaining, I was eagerly anticipating my tenth natal birthday. I got a motorcycle. Your gift was better. Congratulations. You are an inspiration to me.

dAAve said...

Happy Silver Anniversary MC.
I'm so glad we get to spend this time together.

Trailboss said...

"I never have to drink again if I don't want to." Awesome. Congratulations on 25 yrs. It is a milestone but I suspect every day without a drink is a milestone.

Ed G. said...

CONGRATS!!!!

If you're an alcoholic of my variety (and I think you might be), 25 years is a long time between drinks.

I am VERY impressed.

...and ever so grateful for the brief part of that time we've shared together on this journey...

Blessings and aloha...

~C~ said...

what touches me about you is that your still so grateful to be sober, you dont it it gor granted and your still amazed that you can stay sober so long. Humility!

Your inspiring! Congrats!

Prayer Girl said...

Congratulations and God bless.

25 years is a miracle - heck, one day is also.

PG

Madison said...

You're the proof that it can be done.You chose life. Anybody who has a drinking problem and doesn't drink is a hero in my book.

garden-variety drunk said...

Happy Birthday!

Willa said...

Congratulations to you, Mary Christine.

I want the real - the real bad, and the real good. Just tell me the truth, don't sugarcoat it.

Thank you, and I'm sorry I was late to the party! 25 years...it must feel awesome!

Mark W. said...

Outstanding! Congratulations! I need folks like you to keep doing this... Thanks!