Friday, July 18, 2008
Friday Grandbaby Blogging - and 20 Years of Sobriety
I'm in celebration mode today. Today marks 20 years clean and sober in Alcoholics Anonymous which, frankly, is a complete surprise. For those of you who are not alcohlic drinkers, you don't have any idea what it is like to be unable to function without alcohol or drugs - that, combined with a clear understanding that to continue drinking and using the way I did, I would surly die. And twenty years ago, death looked quite attractive to me. I could not go one step further.
I had long avoided AA, because I believed it was a cult for White, Male, Christian, Low-Bottom Homeless drunks. Besides, I'm Jewish; we're not. I knew I had to drink because it was the only way to turn off the voices in my head. I had to drink because you pissed me off. I had to drink because it was Tuesday. I had to drink to stay numb. Invisible. I was half a mother; I was half a wife; I was less than half a person.
Had I continued drinking, I would have found a way to committ suicide. I had reached the stage of pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that only an alcohlic at bottom can understand. I found AA by accident; my eskimo is no longer sober.
The last 20 years have not been easy. I've been divorced for 17 years; I filed bankruptcy five years ago and am actually teetering on the edge again. I am leaving a steady paycheck for the unstable world of commission only at a time when our economy is in the toilet but it is something I just know is the right choice. I am terrified about it, as it is an unknown, but sober, I know that I will be alright. I've never been successful financially, so I have no safety net, and still I have faith that this will work. I have a god of my understanding which is personal, and so I don't talk much about it.
But now, with 20 years of Recovery, I am a grandmother to the most amazing child I've ever known. And I am not half a grandmother. I am happily and usefully whole, and a positive influence on Beanie, even though she's in Chicago and I'm in Los Angeles. She calls me. She talks about me all the time. When I am with her, I am 100% whole and with her. I am relied upon, and this makes me so grateful I cannot tell you. Beanie is the most tangible gift I've received in sobriety. I have a rich, full life, with friends and family - and this perfect grandchild who is truly the love of my life.
For all this, and more, I am very grateful.