118. TWENTY-FOUR YEARS SOBER

Well, here I am, one year away from the quarter-century mark in my recovery. I must admit it doesn’t seem like it, but truthfully that’s a pretty good thing. Sometimes it feels like only a few months since I last drank. I still occasionally have dreams I’ve broken my sobriety, and while they are extraordinarily realistic as well as deeply frightening, I am nonetheless grateful for their continued presence. It keeps me reminded what I don’t want and sometimes that’s more valuable than knowing what I do want. I never think about alcohol in my daily life even though I’m besieged with ads, billboards, and commercials, not to mention a liquor store every two blocks whenever I get behind the wheel. None of these things sway my interest in the slightest. I was lucky in that I never really enjoyed the flavor of alcohol, I just chased the effects of it, so there’s no Pavlovian response to my five senses, thank God.

What breaks my heart the most is seeing others who are where I was and knowing I can’t really do anything to help them, although knowing this doesn’t stop me from (gently) trying. I understand how hopelessness feels, I empathize with what it’s like to want to live AND die at the same time. I wish I could hand over the experiences and knowledge I’ve accumulated to those who need it most, but in the end the best I can do is let others know I was once where they are now and try my best to be an example of someone who managed to find a way out. Looking back on the past two dozen years I’ve done a lot to get where I am now. At the beginning of my recovery I thought it would be an uphill battle, one with overwhelming challenges and unforeseen obstacles. Nothing of the future I had envisioned has come to pass. What I’d feared or wished for never happened. Disaster never struck and fortunes surpassed even my most hopeful of fantasies. Most of it’s been fun, surprising, and completely rewarding. Yes, there have been times of challenge, but my fortitude has easily outweighed every so-called setback. Nothing on my path has been a burden. It’s almost as if I exchanged ten years of my life in payment for what I consider to be a Utopian existence.

Every A.A. birthday I’ve had since I started this blog I’ve written a post to express my gratitude and to share my journey with others. The chances that this particular entry matches closely some of the other ones I have written wouldn’t surprise me. On occasion I go back to read and share other entries, but not the ones published on my birthdays, and I have a very specific reason for doing this. I want what I feel at this moment to be written down without self-bias. I don’t want to taint my connection with spirit. If it so happens to match what I said last year, well, does it really matter?

As a closing thought I will say this, my intuition, my insight, my inner voice tells me that something very, very big is on the horizon in my life, something good, something miraculous. We’ll see what I have to say next year.

Please follow my blog, comment and share as you wish.

With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 comments

  1. Nothing wrong with being repetitive (if you even were). It’s an anniversary… where you get to look back and relish on your tenacity. Of course you’ll have recurring gratitude for the events/thoughts/people that helped you get to where you are today. Of course you’ll be celebrating many of the same sentiments. And each year wiser, you become all the more grateful, I’m sure! Definitely something to celebrate, especially via a blog entry! I know ego isn’t your thing, but it is an impressive recovery journey, so kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, I NEVER allow myself to “look forward to the next anniversary” because doing so would be presumptuous arrogance on my part. I truly take life, at least my recovery, one day at a time. Took me a l o n g time to get this one down completely and here’s why. Looking forward, for the newly recovered addict, it makes perfect sense to move through life with baby steps, this keeps expectations and hope from seeming too unachievable, BUT for myself, now with many years since my last drink, it’s even more important to look BACK one day at a time and realize it’s the careful and dedicated journey that breeds quality of life. I do not seek status quo, that for sure, however, it’s priceless to realize what might feel like a small adjustment now, will eventually equal massive changes later, both good and bad depending on what I do of course. These movements do not just “add up”, they actually compound. Two correct moves now equates to ten rewards later, and that’s a fact.

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    1. Your reply is most kind, thank you! I did think it was going to be tough from the start of things… but I was eventually surprised at how little CORRECT effort was required to manifest even some of my biggest achievements. Un-learning my life was probably the biggest obstacle because I, for one, as well as a good number of others who are where I was mentally, are highly resistant to admitting fault. No one “wants” to be wrong, and many fight the notion all the way to the grave. The easiest way to “admit fault” is to shift the definition to “take responsibility.” They both mean the same thing BUT one phrase is disempowering while the other gives us great command over our lives. Blame is the disease of those who can’t figure out how they were the ones who put the symbolic noose around their own necks. I’m glad I found the courage to remove mine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I too like this cognitive reframe… as well as you sentiment, “Blame is the disease of those who can’t figure out how they were the ones who put the symbolic noose around their own necks.” I feel truth in this.

        Liked by 1 person

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