Today marks my sobriety anniversary. Fifteen years.
Hard to believe.
Fifteen years ago today, I walked into Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in LaFayette, NY and attended my first AA meeting. For two months before, I had struggled to quit drinking. And I couldn’t do it. I’d go a day, maybe two. Then I’d drink.
On October 4, 2003, I made a bet with myself. I bought an 18-pack of beer and decided if I could stop at one, I wouldn’t go to the meeting the next day.
When I came to in the morning, half the case was gone and the empties lined up on the kitchen counter.
So that evening, I dragged myself up the road to Saint Joe’s wishing to God I had stopped at one.
It was a week before the LaFayette Apple Festival where Saint Joe’s sells apple pies at a booth every year. And apparently, they spend the week beforehand baking them in the church kitchen.
So when I got out of my truck, the smell of baking apples was so powerful, even in the parking lot.
To this day, the smell of baking apple pie makes me think of my first AA meeting on October 5, 2003.
One of the things someone said to me at that meeting fifteen years ago was, “You don’t ever have to have a drink again.”
I remember at the time thinking, “Yeah. Maybe you don’t.”
The truth is, I didn’t think it would work – mostly because I couldn’t even fathom not drinking ever again. And I told a woman that after the meeting ended.
She said, “Don’t think of it that way. You just don’t have to drink today.”
And every morning afterward, I would wake up and say to myself, “Just don’t drink today.”
After fifteen years, I look back at the person I was when I was drinking and it’s almost as though I’m remembering someone else’s life.
It hasn’t always easy. But life isn’t supposed to be easy.
The difference is, I’m not making worse by picking up a drink.
I got through the death of my best friend sober.
I’m living with Lupus sober.
I struggle to make ends meet and pay my bills. But I’m doing it sober.
And despite the difficulties or the pain and sorrow that life might toss my way, I’ve learned to live with both the good and the bad by just not drinking today.
I had no earthly idea this was possible when I walked into that first meeting.
My sober life is a gift.
And it all began at Saint Joe’s fifteen years ago today.
I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am.
So instead, I’ll just say a prayer of thanks and enjoy a slice of apple pie.
Hit the Tip Jar!
Every dollar makes a difference! Hit the DONATE button in the side bar. Or, set up a recurring monthly contribution by choosing SUBSCRIBE.
Please White List Patriot Retort
Not everyone can afford to make a donation. But you can still help keep this site solvent by white listing PatriotRetort.com in your ad blocker. Ads help pay for this site and ad-blockers hurt that effort. I made sure that the ads that appear here will not obstruct or interfere with your enjoyment of the content. So please add PatriotRetort.com to your white list.