|Going out in my pajamas to take photos of flowers in the snow|
A couple of weeks ago I saw a psychiatrist for the first time in many years - well, except for those who are my friends and former co-workers. I had never seen him before and he asked me a bit about my story. When he asked me if I drank, I told him I had been sober for 27 and a half years. (I don't know why he asked me that because in my chart the first diagnosis is "Alcohol Dependence - Sustained Full Remission.") I got to talk to him about that silly diagnosis too. I am certainly NOT dependent upon alcohol - but I am certainly an alcoholic. That is the problem with ..... oh, never mind....
He asked me about my sobriety. He was thrilled that I have been sober for so long. And I started crying. Because I have gotten to be almost defensive about my length of sobriety. As if you can't say how long you have been sober without it turning into a pissing contest with someone who is sober for a year or two and wants to judge the quality of your sobriety or thinks it is some kind of well, contest. I truly don't get it. I don't preface every sentence with it. I don't boast about it. But it is a grateful fact of my life. I could weep each time I really truly think about it. Like I did on Dave's post today - he said he hadn't had a beer in the middle of the night for eight and a half years. If you drank like I did, and I believe Dave did, eight and a half years is freaking incredible! A miracle! More miraculous than a lunar landing!
I always encourage people to "be where they are" especially with respect to their sobriety. I loved my first couple of years of sobriety and I am glad I had people around who told me to enjoy it and not waste my life away wishing for more years of sober time, and therefore wishing to be older!
I am grateful that at my home group, I can actually feel free and not apologetic about my time sober. It is a revelation to me after years in a group where I felt defensive about it!
As one of my old buddies says, "it gets greater later." I believe that, but I also believe that any day of sobriety is a miracle and each day is to be relished. I also know on a cellular level that I could be drunk tomorrow.
But not today. By the Grace of God.