I’ve Only Lived Twice (Reposted with a link to brand-new content)
[Author’s Note: this year marks my 25th anniversary]
Until I saw the date, February 2, it hadn’t occurred to me that it was my “birthday” again. This birthday–which is more of an anniversary–marks for me the first day of uninterrupted sobriety 22 years ago. It hadn’t seemed like a very important day at the time; in fact, if anyone had asked then, I would have said it was the worst day of my life. I was bloated and quaking. My eyes were yellow like a cat’s–from jaundice. And my store of courage was so low I had to be led around like a child. There’s no question that on that day, my second life began.
It would help to note here that I am not sharing this out of pride or to fish for a pat on the back. After all, I brought it on myself. But it could make a difference if someone who reads this takes hope from it, or contacts me because they “know someone” who can’t stop drinking. I need to be available for any shaky, fearful souls who are having the worst day of their life–just as people were available to me to give hope in that day so long ago.
But the theme of the shared experience is universal–especially when things happen that aren’t your fault. Longtime spouses die, freak accidents, calamities: life-changing things. Someone who shares the experience from a distance–from the perspective of time on the other side of the worst of it–can bring hope to another who is in the throes of despair. It turns a negative into a positive—at least for a while.
I’m not very active in recovery circles any more. I should find a local AA group and share my story. Years ago, I wrote a short story called “Share and Share Alike.” It has always been the title chapter of a novel I hope to complete. It’s also a kernel concept for an unfinished play. I have included a link for download. I hope to do this every year around my “birthday.”