Last week I picked up my silver chip. Six Months – no drinking. Parts of me think that 6 months is an eternity, while other times it doesn’t seem that long at all. I sat in a chair in a homeless shelter thinking I would die and hoping I wouldn’t, on the eve of the first day of Summer. The longest day of the year, certainly felt that way to me. I jumped from meeting to meeting that day because I didn’t know what else to do to not cave in to drinking. It is my first time in AA. All I heard in that first meeting was, “Keep Coming Back” and that was all I could do.
I have spoken in this blog before about an old friend of mine that looked me up on a business trip and wanted to “make amends.” This happened about a year before I decided to go to AA. I had no idea what my old friend was making amends for but I was so happy to see him and even happier to see him at peace, I couldn’t imagine why he felt he needed to apologize for. As he struggled to explain what his life was like before he got sober some 20+ years before, I was part of that life. I also was drinking then. The day we reconnected, I was thrilled with my choice of an iced tea at a local pub. I have no idea why I did not order my normal “pop pop” but I didn’t. He drank coffee and we had a great visit. While he made his amends, he planted a seed.
I spent the next year after swilling down vodka, dodging bullets both professionally and personally. I have no idea how that happened. I have no idea why I didn’t end up in jail with a drunk driving charge. I have no idea why there was such a rapid decline into the abyss of alcohol those last 6 – 8 months. But it happened. And now that I look at it, I was treading water for many years as a high functioning alcoholic with an angel on my shoulder. For that I am grateful. Grateful beyond belief.
Each Day Had A Thousand Hours
In the early days of my sobriety I had reconnected with my “Old Amends” friend and asked for his help and support. He gave it to me with love like something I had never felt from anyone. It is hard to explain. Over the months we have kept in touch and he has made sure to answer my calls or return them quickly. When my head is making me crazy, he has been that old familiar feeling of a friend that can help me laugh at myself. He has known me for 30 years and has been one of the angels that has gotten me through.
My Lucky Day
On my Silver Chip Day, I got a text from my old friend. I expected a “Congratulations!” But what I got was “I am 8 miles out, save me a seat!” I couldn’t believe it. We had had a sizable snow storm and he lives 5 hours away! AND this was a week day!! I figured he was kidding but saved him a seat anyway. Just as the meeting was getting underway, there he was coming through the door, my knight in shining armor. Smile on his face and outstretched arms, my old friend had driven all this way just for me.
Bond of Steel
It seems that the bonds of the AA fellowship are something I could never have understood before last Summer. While I realize that our relationship is far and away from JUST the fellowship, it is the fellowship that has taken two broken people and brought them together again. I do believe my Higher Power has this huge plan that I am but a chess piece. I just have to wait and see what move he has for me now.