Here's what I am not a big believer in: the danger of long term sobriety. Oh yes, I am sorry to tell you, there is danger in it. And like a lot of dangers, it is very seductive.
Lately I have noticed on my blog that people will come by and make disparaging remarks - always prefaced by "I have been sober for 19 years!" "I have been sober for nearly 23 years!" whatever amount of time. As if that length of time makes them right. It is the trump card, the end of every argument. I guess it works quite well with someone who is sober a couple of years. And I guess their reading comprehension is not really good, my header tells you my sobriety date. Playing their game, I guess I am right and they are wrong. But I don't play it that way.
I have heard the expression "the road gets narrower" and to me that means that the longer I stay sober the more I have to live by a prescribed set of spiritual principles. I cannot deviate from these. I will know right away when I do. I will be off the paved trail and on the rocky shoulder - ready to stumble and fall. I have heard others claim that "the road gets narrower" means that they need to judge others and only keep the most wonderful people in their life - to me it means the opposite.
So, here's the thing... I have been sober for 25 years. Oh, that's wonderful, you may say. And I would agree. It is a blessing. One I don't think I could have earned in a thousand lifetimes. I have a sponsor who will have been sober for 37 years on February 5. I can talk to her (now that her health has improved). Many people who have been sober for over 20 years no longer have sponsors. And they no longer have anyone who is willing to talk to them about how they are "really" doing. And not take their length of sobriety for an answer for how they are doing.
It is easy to believe that if I have gotten away with some aberrant behavior for the last 25 years that it just might be OK. But it might just be a matter of time before it is going to catch up to me, and with a vengeance.
We're all in this boat together. We ALL need to care about each other. Not just old timers caring about newcomers. But all of us watching out for each other.
A few years ago, I had a problem with a group and left it for a while. I talked with a member of the group and expressed my dismay that not one person from that group called me to see how I was. She was incredulous at the concept of someone calling someone who is sober over 20 years to see if they are OK. But why?
I guess I was fortunate when I got sober. I was around a bunch of people who didn't behave as if you reached a certain point in sobriety when you could no longer be questioned or worried about.
We are all in this together. We all are staying sober one day at a time. We do not get to a certain point when we are immune from needing to take care on a daily basis of this gift we have been so freely given.
When we rest on our laurels they get wrinkled.