Play It Forward


Flashing back to those early days of sobriety (and truth be told from time to time since) …

I’d see those handsome guys and pretty women in the café laughing, seemingly carefree and happy. Cocktails in front of them. For a split flash second, a rogue thought would land – I wish I could get a drink and join in.


The stewardess is rolling the teeny bottles of booze down the aisle. People are pulling out their credit cards. I could pull out my credit card…

Those wobbly moments at the intersection of sobriety and insanity where it seems like others are having more fun than me, and it’s not fair, and maybe I could just….

“Uh, No. Really you just can’t” the higher power wisdom informs me…

“Just play it forward in your mind,” my first sponsor said.

I’d forgotten all about that brilliant suggestion til I heard a 1-year birthday girl mention it recently in the “how’d ya do it” portion of her share. It was helpful to me in those early days too.

Imagining 2 hours, 4 hours, 12 or 24 hours later if I succumbed to the illusion – not a pretty sight. Too loud and obnoxious, spilling and dripping food and drink, slurring words, stumbling around. And that’s still in the 4 hour zone. Keep moving the evening forward. Sometimes waking up in surprising places. Makeup smeared. Trying to recollect what happened. Queasy. Dry mouth. Headache. Cranky. Shame and guilt.

But it can go way beyond just that evening. Try playing it forward as the days becomes months and the years become decades. A frightening and dreadful sight. Alcohol and other drugs of choice are unforgiving. They ravage us with health issues, financial issues, legal issues, relationship issues – if there are any relationships left. Wreckage. Pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.

Those unfortunates. Whether inability to be honest is at the root or whatever, it is a horrible thing to see.

Try playing it forward to imagine what’s possible when we choose freedom and recovery. When we make use of our higher power, our sponsor, our fellows… Imaging how wonderful it feels to have authentic, honest relationships, financial freedom, energy and vitality, happiness and laughter about the simplest of things.

Grateful to be sober today. Sending loving strength to those who are still suffering. A glimpse of it is all I need to remember to be grateful for one day at a time, getting to know my higher power, and practicing the principles in all of my affairs… and so it is.



In gratitude, harmony, and support,


Play It Forward

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