An Unexpected Birthday Gift

 

I love when the universe makes a point with such exquisite precision that it could not possibly have been orchestrated by any human efforts.

Like Ebenezer Scrooge, I was visited by the Ghost of Boozy Future and got a glimpse of what my life could have looked like had I not bothered to get sober – had I continued to party it up, or to convince myself that none of that icky bad stuff would happen to me.

When those “yets” start happening, it is not pretty. Meaning, just add the word “yet” to the end of sentences like: “I’ve never had a DUI” or “I’ve never lost a job.” Keep drinking and drugging. They will.

Trouble spills into health, finances, relationships, jobs, and home – which can become home-less surprisingly fast. Did I forget anything? Oh yeah, trouble with the law.

A dear friend since middle school relapsed. We’d shared so much, got married, had kids, and divorced around the same time. She moved far away. I got sober. Years later so did she. She relapsed once, twice. Recently she hit a new bottom. But when that bottom hit another bottom, her adult kids (those still speaking to her) joined forces. Filled with anger, disgust, fear, and resentment yet also just enough compassion, love, and caring to literally save her life, they called. Could I help, they wondered? A series of decisions had been made, actions were taken and delegated.

I could offer a place to stay for a few days on her way to rehab. This was for me a profound experience. Not usually the first (or second) to raise my hand to proactively offer help, it was a gratifying feeling to be of service from the heart. I stayed tuned into what might be the next indicated step. I heard myself string together words during those days I didn’t know I had. They must have been dubbed in by my higher power. To stand by her frustrated and frightened kids and model love for this woman whose inner beauty we have all experienced first-hand, affirming it will shine through again if she one-day-at-a times it into the future.

At times I felt myself getting overwhelmed and resentful. But wait. I intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle. I reached out to my wise and wonderful sober friends for insight. It came through swiftly and brilliantly. Once heeded, my thinking snapped right back on track. I had to acknowledge how quickly old feelings of anxiety, drama, and stress stirred in my very core. Equally amazing was how quickly I could now recalibrate back to my healthier new default.

Note to self and to everyone else who is no longer supposed to drink. Do not drink. Do not. You can’t. The risks are real. It is not funny. It is hurtful, harmful, and sad. Nothing good will come out of it.

The exquisite point of this for me? This happened precisely on my 9th AA birthday. To live life today as a sober woman, knowing for sure that it coulda woulda been me dealing with my own version of wreckage if I hadn’t made a decision on that very day 9 years ago. So grateful.

Rooting for her, rooting for me, rooting for you… I see and feel proof that recovery is progressive. Peace, serenity, and gratitude expand exponentially.

 

 

In gratitude, harmony, and support,

 

An Unexpected Birthday Gift

5 thoughts on “An Unexpected Birthday Gift

  • May 31, 2019 at 9:42 am
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    Now that is a story worth sharing. How awesome that you could be a light in the darkness your friend was in. A win-win. Hugs🤗💜

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 12:34 am
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    Thank you for sharing this story, very inspiring.

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  • June 2, 2019 at 4:14 pm
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    Thank you so much for sharing. It brought definite thoughts of how my own children, family and friends would be so disappointed. But most of all myself. Staying sober one day at a time. Best to your friend.

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  • June 16, 2019 at 1:42 pm
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    Lena:
    Happy You’re Still Sober Day!! I think that those of us that take on the task of becoming a helper in the personal development space are so fortunate to experience the big highs and lows of growth. While very painful when we’re in the middle of the storm, it’s so powerful and rewarding to have these tools to recalibrate and get back on track, and we are better coaches for it. This was a wonderful post, thanks for sharing. Blessings to you and dear friend. Lori

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    • June 17, 2019 at 8:55 pm
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      Thank you, Friend, as always for your words of wisdom and support – you always share a valuable perspective – and then some.

      May you continue to grow as you help so many others do the same…

      Reply

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