i have a friend who is six days ‘older’ than me, sobriety wise. his dry date is january 6, 2002. and mine is january 12, 2002. i wrote him an email the other day to congratulate him on his ‘anniversary,’ and i mentioned that i hoped this year would be better than the last.
he reminded me of the potential spiritual significance of the fact that every 7 years farmers leave their fields fallow as an opportunity for the soil to regroup and replenish itself and recuperate from the years’ past harvests. i enjoyed the idea, especially when i considered that as in all birthdays, you get your number AFTER you’ve completed your year. so, although we now were considered to “have” seven years sober, we were in fact headed into our eighth year.
that meant to me, that my ‘fallow’ year or my resting year could have indeed been the past year. and while indeed my spiritual literature warns against ‘resting on our laurels’ and that failure to enlarge spiritual growth is nothing short of a fatal recipe, i think that i very well may have been on a slow coast this last year. i am grateful to the power/s that be that watch over me and see to it that i am well taken care of that i have continued to stay sober and with my wits about me and who will see me through just another day so that i might have another chance to do something right tomorrow.
i’m not going to lie. i feel like i’ve fucked a lot of stuff up. i feel like there’s so many things i am currently failing at. but, i have stayed around and seen people who could absolutely NOT stay sober for one minute who now have stayed consecutively and cumulatively sober for years and years by adding up moments and days. and i got a measure of hope from that. i got a measure of faith through them that the impossible was possible if i did what they did. i got an idea that i could have the freedom from the obsession to need to have an outside solution to my inside problems.
better yet, and this is truly the hope i cling on to to this very second — they went on to tell me over and over again, in different ways, in different stories, in different times, through different mannerisms of different people that they had bigger miracles accomplished for and through them. ridiculous amounts of debts paid off — that they paid off, with their own money, over time. relationships renewed and repaired and re-established — through their own small, repeated actions, over time. hardship and fearfulness and terrible sadness were walked through and NOT around — with the help of friends who showed up for them and took care of them and would not let them fall away into the night, because they had become a part of something, over time. the wounds and scars and heaviness of the past were no longer a burden and became something to free others — through honesty and open-mindedness and willingness, over time.
i have no reason to believe that any of these things aren’t true, except for the fact that i have a disease of perception. sometimes, it is skewed to tell me that i don’t have a disease. that’s one of its most popular iterations. ‘you don’t have a disease, so you don’t need any treatment.’ but one of the more sneaky ways it will come at me is the ‘you have the disease so badly, no treatment will work for you. don’t even bother.’
that’s just as arrogant as thinking i don’t have a disease. the literature calls this sort of self-deprecation ‘pride in reverse.’ so, for today, i’m going to be grateful that i’ve had the grace and blessing to stay clean for this long. i know that as long as i keep my body free of alcohol and drugs, i always have a fighting chance to work with god on the rest of the stuff.
i appreciate everyone who reads this thing. it’s a rollercoaster. i talk about a lot of things here that i hope range from the mundane to the sublime. i never want anyone to reads this to think that my journey of a sober person speaks to anything other than my own personal journey of sobriety and my journey with a 12-step approach to life. i make no statements of official thinking or ideas about anything. this is just me and my take on things. i will say that i know for a fact that i am truly grateful to be alive and on the path i am today. namaste.