“How dark it is before the dawn! …I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.”    ~Bill Wilson

“Merely to abstain from wrong thinking is not enough; there must be active right thinking.”   ~Ernest Holmes

I learned a new concept this week as I took my 5 year chip (sobriety commemorative coins given at meetings) in honor of this momentous milestone for which I am so grateful.

In certain circles the 5th AA birthday is considered to be when you get your marbles back. The task now becomes learning how to play with them. My friend Jim said he attends a meeting where marbles are given out on the occasion of the 5th birthday… along with the suggestion that if you ever feel like drinking, simply put the marbles under your tongue and wait until they fully dissolve before taking that first sip.

Five years ago I walked into my first meeting on my own free will – no court cards, no rehab requirements, no intervention… events which in hindsight I wonder how I avoided… I realize now the Higher Power Universal Wisdom was working that magic that day which is visible only in hindsight. 

I was a little (ok a lot) shaky both physically and emotionally, and scared numb yet even then I knew I was in the right place. I had proven to myself beyond the shadow of a doubt that I could not stop drinking on my own; any and all attempts seemed only to end up with me drinking more than the last time, somehow doubling up in anticipation of the end being near, one way or the other. Knowing it was only a matter of time before I was in an accident, under arrest, or the cause of physical injury to myself or to someone else while driving.  High anxiety at all times.

That wonderful hindsight again, I am extra grateful that I walked into the rooms on my own two feet, fully willing yet clueless as to the wonders that awaited me.

I was throwing in the towel only to be swaddled in something so beyond my comprehension at that point. The universe is said to speak to us individually in a language we will understand. Somehow I heard it say ‘go to that meeting’ that day.

Had I been humanly strong armed into going, I believe I would have held some speck (or large blob) of resistance that might have been hard to shake. A misguided self-willful ‘yeah, I’m here and it’s good but I’m only doing it this way because…’ and then the excuses would have followed: I am being forced to; I would have done this on my own; I would have found my way here …

Knowing myself and the delusional denial I was in (and for which I must still remain vigilant) I fear I may not have been “all in.”  Ever. Or it very well could have taken more than 5 years.

1. Did you come to your spiritual recovery path willingly or strongly suggested?
2. Some classify it as “desperation or inspiration.” Can you identify your entry point?
3. Can you identify a point along the way in which the willingness shifted?

In gratitude, harmony and support,



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