“And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me, shine until tomorrow, …….”
I am gratefully coming up on the anniversary of my sobriety. The first 12 years of my life I did not drink. That was easy. The last nine years of my life I have not drank. That’s been a little tougher. Nine years is a long time. I am in a good place. I am proud of where I am.
Later on this year, I will start my 7th decade on this planet. Wow, that is hard to believe. I know I’m getting older. I’d like to think I’m getting better.
As I embark on my 60th birthday, there is much to reflect on. I think I know more now. I know writing this entry helps preserve my sobriety. One goal I have is to have my number days being sober get on the other side of the days that I was drinking. If my estimation is correct, that should take place in a couple of more decades. I believe I can do that.
So much has changed in the last nine years. But if I had to put one word to it, I would have to say the word would be “grateful”. I am grateful for so many things – Grateful for second, third, fourth and more chances; grateful for my beautiful wife, my incredible kids, my new grand kids, my immediate and extended family, friends, my good fortune and the knowledge that I’ve been able to gather. But, probably the most surprising thing that I am grateful for is my relationship with God.
I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea. It’s not that I am overly religious, far from it. I miss Mass more than I should. I swear, yell, judge, curse and do a lot of things that I am not proud of; but, I pray every day. I can’t speak for Him but I think God knows I am a constant sinner that is trying to get better. I think God listens to sinners.
“’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.”
Anything that I have been able to accomplish is through the grace of God and for this I am forever grateful.
Because of my good fortune, I feel a sense of indebtedness. Combining the things I have learned with the sense of indebtedness brings me to the purpose behind this entry. I feel the need to try and pay my good fortune forward.
I am not presuming that my advice is golden. Lord knows, I been wrong so many times. And, I know what has worked for me can’t work for everybody. I respect that folks have to do things their own way. But, if you think you may be lost and you are looking for some help, here’s the simple plan that I’ve been using these past nine years.
If you think you might have a problem but are unsure, look into the eyes of the person that is most important to you. If you look hard enough, you will be able to see into their soul. If you are causing their soul damage, then it’s time for you to change.
Denial is a powerful human instinct. It was almost my doom. When your moment of truth comes knocking on your door, let it in. Accept it, embrace it and start to take your problem head on.
Devise a plan with specific steps. Write them down and start working the steps. Then, pray like hell. Pray early, pray often. Pray in the name of Jesus. Pray for the strength to work your steps, pray for guidance and inspiration and most importantly pray to give glory to God. You’ll find out soon enough, God listens and prayers work.
After a while, positive thoughts will start popping into your brain. I like to think this is God talking. Listen to Him. Act on those positive thoughts.
This is what worked for me and if you choose to use it, I’m positive He will help you just like He did me.
May God bless Lucy and all of her listeners!