I have been feeling compelled to go on a walk for a few days. I needed to go somewhere to do something. Where? Not sure. The thing? Dunno that either. All I do know is that I have learned to listen to me. For a moment, let’s forget about that “inner voice” and that “inner child” stuff . . . I simply was listening to “me”. I find I have many interesting, clever, unique, insightful and perhaps even funny things to say. So – I listened to me – the person I have grown to enjoy. I put on my old white tennies and went for that walk. I’ve lived in my new neighborhood for about a year and a half and went to explore. I walked only about half a mile from my home and saw an old-fashioned looking fence leading from the sidewalk. I followed that fence and continued to walk. Fence on one side. Short red brick wall on other side. The sound of a bird, perhaps a dove? – I sat on the short red brick wall where there was a place to rest my back and turned so I could also put my feet up. I sat for a bit. And there it was. . . . I found the reason why I knew that it was important that I listen to – me.
On August 2nd, 2010, it was officially 23 years since my last drink. I am 23 years sober. I needed to be still. To pause. To give thanks. “I am 23 years sober.” I whispered to myself. I am quieted by the miracle. I have worked incredibly hard on my journey of recovery, never taking a break, yet, I am one of the lucky ones. I – am – lucky.
I pause to give thanks.
I pause to let my personal miracle of recovery of this family disease cover me with its grace and warmth.
I pause to enjoy, appreciate, feel.
I thank all of the men and women who have gone before me and helped me. The ones who listened to me, showed me how they did it, let me cry on their shoulder. They understood. The ones who loved alcohol, but grew to hate it too. Many of the ones who have helped me are no longer with us – they have passed on – sober.
And I am honored to carry the message of the miracle of a sober life that is there for those who want it.
I want it. I still want it after 23 years of work with out a break.
I give thanks so quietly – a whisper so soft that it turns into a comfortable thought. So quiet a whispered thought that only my God of my own understanding can hear me – and at this moment when I pause – that is all that matters. Yes, I do have 23 years sober, but all I really have is today. A daily reprieve. Just for today. I am free.