My wife and I are taking the next few days off. We’re driving up to Melbourne, where she will attend a conference of addiction counselors while I goof off, take pictures, and find things for us to do in her off hours. We’ll probably catch a meeting or two. A seaside hotel, ocean view. What’s not to like?
What does this have to do with recovery? Everything! A little over twenty years ago she was unemployed, I was close to it, and we were practically non-functional drunks. If we hadn’t sobered up, there is no question we would have died soon.
What a difference! She’s respected in her field, and I in mine. We are each other’s best friends — and I don’t mean that in the smarmy “I married my best friend” way. I married a drunk, then proceeded to finish becoming one myself. The first nine years of our marriage could not be described as friendly, and the first few years of sobriety had their moments as well. But today we are each the one the other comes to to talk over the “stuff” that best friends talk about, and that’s the best definition I know.
Our kids call us up because they like to talk to us. Employers give us raises because we do a good job. We each contribute to the recovering community outside of work. We participate in the political process. We are good citizens and good neighbors. We love our lives (mostly) and feel good about ourselves. We have a new car, no longer the junkers with crap on the dashboard that we drove back in The Day. People seem to enjoy our company. Most of our relatives seem to think we’re OK. Neither of us has threatened to kill the other in so long that it all seems like a dream (although we’re careful that we don’t forget).
I ain’t braggin’, I’m just sayin’. There’s nothing to brag about. Our little working vacation and all the other good things that we have today are a direct result of getting clean and sober, participating in the recovery community and working a good program ourselves. It’s not because we worked harder, or are more deserving, or because we are “blessed.” It’s because we’re sober. Sober, we live. Drunk we are miserable and die. As simple as that.
It works if you work it.