September 15, 1999
One Year Sober
I got a very special card in the mail from my mom yesterday. It says:
"Kindness and compassion ~
Wisdom, magic and joy ~
Gratitude, blessings and love ~
May the spirit of our world be renewed.
All good things I wish for you.
"There are no words to express my joy at the turn your life has taken. Congratulations on a year of sobriety -- the first step to many years of reaping the benefits that choice will bring.
I love you!
I've spent the entire day quietly observing this momentous occasion. I know I swore I was going to be "annoying" and "redundant" and "in-your-face" about the whole thing, but somehow, celebrating it with a minimum of fuss and fanfare has seemed like a better way to go. Mainly, I just can't believe that a whole year has passed since the afternoon I stood in the Tree House and calmly poured the last of the Livingston Cellars Mountain Chablis down the sink, knowing that this wasit. If I didn't stop drinking this time ... I would die.
It was the most terrifying and thrilling moment of my life.
Twelve months later, my life is better in so many ways, I can't even begin to count them. It isn't just the fact that I DON'T wake up feeling like something crawled into my brain in the middle of the night and died anymore. Or the fact that I'm no longer single-handedly supporting the wine industry, the diarrhea-remedy industry AND the makers of Visine®, all at once. Or the fact that I've stopped looking in the mirror and wondering who that puffy, sallow, hollow-eyed woman is, looking back at me.
It isn't even the fact that sobriety indirectly led me into the relationship of my dreams.
As wonderful and unexpected and groovy as all this stuff is, I think the best part of being sober -- and knowing I'm probably going to STAY sober, God willing -- is waking up in the morning and knowing that I've still got a shot at being a good person.
That's something I'd more or less given up on, at one point last year.
More this weekend. I'm worn out, as usual, from a long day of reacting with proper amounts of fabricated enthusiasm to Franz' every brain-fart. ("Totem Pole Company laser pointers? With our logo on them!") Just for the record, though, I do want to say that I'm extremely happy to be sober, and extremely proud of myself for hitting the one-year mark ...
... and, more than anything else, extremely grateful to everybody who hand-held me through the process. They say there's a difference between being lucky and being blessed. When you're lucky, your friends piggyback you across the hot coals so you won't burn your feet. When you're blessed, your friends make you walk across the hot coals yourself.
But they make you put your damn SHOES on, first.
Color me blessed.
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