My Dear Smarties
Today (August 5, 2015) I celebrate ten years free of alcohol and drugs. Getting here has been filled with a few treacherous events but never once did I break my commitment to stay clean and sober. I owe a great deal to you people in this wonderful community and don’t think I could have gotten here on my own.
It took me a long long time to come to the conclusion that I had a problem with drugs and alcohol. I had been in AA many years before and after I left that organization, I was able to stumble my way through each day, functioning to some degree on jobs, going in and out of relationships, often appearing to have control over my life. But, appearances, as we all know can be very deceiving. Underneath it all, I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t get through one single night without getting high on something.
On the July 4th weekend of 2005 I decided to see if I could go for 30 days without a drink. And I got through it. I didn’t sail through it but I survived the test. On the eve of the 30th night I did what a lot of people would do, I grabbed my bottle of scotch and drank myself into oblivion. That night, lost in my numerous trips back and forth to the bathroom, I fell over and landed hard on my ankle. It was broken and so was I. I was done. I didn’t find Smart for a few days but deep down I knew I was making a choice. The door slammed shut inside me. I made a conscious decision to never drink again. And that was that.
Since that fateful morning, a great deal has transpired. I faced many harrowing experiences including putting down dogs, evacuating from bush fires, losing a ton of money on a creative project, going through a life threatening car crash, facing the loss of my dearest partner David who died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage and more recently a diagnosis of CLL, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. That’s a lot isn’t it? But I did it all clean and sober, not because I possess more will power than anyone else, not through mantras or prayers, although mantras and meditation do have a definite place in life. I got through it all because I made a choice to stay clean and sober no matter what. That’s it. That’s my magic formula. And it works.
There’s a saying that I’m particularly fond of. It goes like this. “But besides all that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” You’ve got to have a sense of humor, right? Life just happens.
The support here at Smart has been invaluable to me throughout the journey. There were times when I just clung to the website and the help that was forthcoming from so many people. And there were times when I gave what I could to people who needed it. Although I don’t spend much time here at Smart anymore, I know that the door always remains open to me and I truly appreciate the ongoing invitation to return whenever I want to.
As for the tools, there are so many and they are all very important. For me, playing the tape to the end of the story has been my most life saving tool. I’ve used it a lot over the years to remind myself of what the consequences would be if I picked up a drink again. In fact I used it a couple of days ago when that crazy little voice in my head popped up inside me and said, “So, you’ve made it through ten years, you know you can do it. How about we get completely wasted tonight to celebrate all this? Then you can get sober again in a few days and keep going.” My response was simply to chuckle and say “Really? You’ve got to be kidding, right? Not now, not ever.”
It’s wonderful to be here today, alive, clean and sober and full of joy and gratitude.
Thank you for being here for me.
Much love to all of you