My life has been pretty full these last six years. As my children (now 15 & 18) have passed through middle-school and into (and soon out of) high school, I have been so involved in their lives. This would have never happened if I had been drinking. Thank you Lord. I mull over coming back and writing details about my life and the day to day, yet the days are full. I changed jobs about a year ago and am working less hours, have reduced the amount of stress in my life about 1000%. I was fearful, of course, of making a big change in my life – I was with the last company for 25 years and had no interest in being the new guy somewhere at 50. But, you know what? After stopping drinking I can do just about anything and I understand now more than I ever did what is important in my life – my family, my health, my happiness.
I’ll come back soon and write more (that’s probably code for seeing you in another two years…!).
One message I’ll leave in closing – you CAN change your life if you are sick and tired of the life you’re living today.
This is the longest I’ve been sober since I was 15 years old. It’s also been the longest period of sobriety I’ve ever had. I once did 4 years – but fell right off the wagon one afternoon. It was like I had never quit.
So… what’s the last five years been like? It’s been a gift – as I know I wouldn’t be sitting here today except for the Grace of God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ve done a poor job of documenting the process of my sobriety, that’s for sure. It has been a ODAT – One Day at A Time – kind of thing for me.
I’ll come back later tonight or tomorrow and fill in some of the details. For now I’m going to enjoy this amazing day.
How the hell did that happen? I never would have EVER imagined that I could stop drinking. I truly envisioned the end of my life would approach through the end of a bottle. By the Grace of God and some amazing friends in the program, I’m still here.
I know I’ve really sucked at updating this blog. How come? Because my life is full right now – full of work, full of family, full of activities with my kids. I’m now living life as it was meant to be lived. Life isn’t perfect – I still do dumb things, I still have good days and bad days. But, man oh man, they would be so much worse if I were drinking.
I’m grateful to be here.
Wow. It’s been three years. As I look back on my life I can say with no doubt whatsoever that I’d be dead or in prison if I hadn’t stopped drinking. I’ll be 48 this Friday and am astounded at how well my life has been going. What’s changed in my life? Well, shoot, I’ve changed. I still struggle through the day to day things – money, bills, the job, etc. You know, things we all worry about. The good news? I don’t get as worried as I used to about all of that noise. I was all ready to give up (actually, I had given up on most of my life) on my life and was just waiting for the other shoe to drop before I found sobriety.
I’m not posting here nearly as much as I thought I would – and I have to be in the right mood to do it. I’ll come back soon and tell you more about the last three years, but I just wanted to post that it’s been three years and I’m still here. My life is better than ever and I’m spending a ton of time with my kids. I believe that is God’s purpose for me.
What a difference three years makes. I’ve been sober for almost three years now, although it’s still a day by day thing for me. My life has gotten a lot better in the last three years – I’m spending more time than ever with my kids and my relationship with my wife has never been better.
I was recently asked to “tell my story” at an Open Meeting. I thought I’d tell it here as well… so, here goes. Hold on.
Hi, my name is Dan and I am an alcoholic. I’ll be 48 years old in March and drank for a good thirty years. Man, that blows my mind every time I say that. I think that I’m not old enough to have done anything for thirty years. Continue reading
It’s a good read – click here to go meet Roger.
I had some thoughts on that post – I added them at Roger’s site, but thought I’d put them here too…
Hi Roger, what a great post. I’m Dan and, well, you know the rest…
I’ve been in the program for a couple of years now after drinking for thirty years. The one brief comment I’d like to add to the conversation is that it is the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous that has kept me sober these last few years. I am eternally grateful for meeting folks just like myself – even if we all come from different walks of life. The chef, the writer, the art director, the computer sales guy, the executive, the engineer, the cop, the fireman, the nurse, the doctor, the retired guy, the homeless guy, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, the priest. All of who are my friends from AA. I’d never have met most of these folks in my normal everyday life.
It’s amazing that a group with such diverse lives can come together for sixty or ninety minutes and offer each other the gift of having traveled the same path.
I’m not savvy enough to tell you how or why AA works – just that it worked for me. I quit drinking more times than I changed shirts – it never took. The fellowship gave me the gift of my life.
I’m gonna be a bit more diligent about coming back here and telling you more about what’s been happening in my life for the past two and a half years. I’ve worked Steps 1 through 7 pretty well and am now thinking about Step 8 and beyond. It helps if you do them in order (:D) – but you’ll see I danced around a bit. I think everybody can do 12 Step work, btw.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for helping me to not drink today.
In other words, I haven’t really been visiting www.recovering-alcoholic.com all that much. I just cleaned out about 900 robot spam comments. Apologies if I’ve missed a comment from you and you aren’t a robot!
I’ve been sober about two years and seven months. Man. How about that? I’m proud of myself and thank God every day for each day. How did I do it? Find a meeting. Go to meetings. Find a sponsor. Focus on saving your life. It works.
More soon. Hopefully it won’t be another two years.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for helping me to not drink today.
Step 2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
I was quite convinced that I would come to Alcoholics Anonymous and skip the “God steps”. Why? They made me a little uncomfortable – not because I don’t believe in God or because I thought I wasn’t insane, but because the God that I knew was not the type of God that would really care about me and would take the time to help me. And, of course, I know everything and didn’t need any help from anyone – even God. Continue reading
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. Father Martin says it better than I can… http://www.youtube.com/user/fatherjoemartin#p/u/5/OjblEQfx6iI
Step 1 is an acknowledgment of one’s condition. Acknowledgment, I think is the key word. Most alcoholics know that they are alcoholics long before anyone tells them they are. I’ve known since I was 15 – and I’m 45 today. My father was an alcoholic and his father was an alcoholic. I’m not smart enough to know if alcoholism is a disease or a genetic thing or a predisposition to drink to excess or what. I just know that I can’t have just one drink – one is too many and ten is not enough. As I said, I’ve known since I was 15. Heck – I even admitted it to my pals in the bar – we all thought it was a hoot. Those that really knew me and loved me? As I said on the first post I made on this blog, they knew it too. It took me a few months of the fellowship before I became comfortable saying, “Hi, I’m Dan, and I’m an alcoholic”. Continue reading
Yep, that’s me. I had to run right out and get a blog so that I could talk about my experiences in trying to stop (again and again and again and again) drinking. I don’t know if anyone is reading these posts as I haven’t advertised the blog in any fashion (although I’ve gotten a *ton* of comments from bots and even some that were tuned into the recovery nature of this blog in an attempt to get me to approve the bot to post – more on that later…), and it’s been about eight months or so since I last posted. The good news? It’s been nine months (nine months seventeen days if you’re counting!) of sobriety. I have had two periods of extended sobriety in my life – the last one was nine months and the one before that was four years. Other than that? I’ve pretty much drank most days for the last thirty years. So I’m experiencing an anniversary of sorts at the moment – I’ve eclipsed one of my prior records of sobriety. I’ll be thrilled when I beat the next milestone, although it’s a day by day thing for me at the moment.
So… what have I been doing for the last nine months or so? For the first 90 days or so I attended an AA meeting every day. I have attended two different weekend retreats, a great Big Book Conference, and I’ve thought a lot about myself. Folks say that AA is simple – that you only have to do three things – stop drinking, go to meetings, and then change everything about yourself. Man – is that true or what? Continue reading