Tuesday, January 20, 2009

17 Years Today

January 20 - No one who has attained mastery is dull. Unusual, perhaps. Extraordinary, perhaps. But never dull. Meditations from "Conversations with God - Book 1" page 78
Wouldn't it be great to be able to say "I have mastered Sobriety." Yeah Right. But it would be nice. Very Nice. Just think - no more meetings, no more mingling with a bunch of recovered drunks, no more crazy people, no more thanking God for another day of sobriety. Nope I think not. I like my meetings, my bunch of recovered drunks, crazy people, and that God is working in my life on a regular basis. Yeah, I'll keep it like it is.
17 years ago today as I was laying there in pain with the ole body just throbbing I was remembering my decision from the night before. I thought well, I'll find out where a meeting is tomorrow. The next day, I thought hell no not today, I'm still sick as hell. I think I was really trying to renege on my word to myself. But the next day, Wednesday January 22, 1992 I called the San Bernardino Central Office and inquired about a meeting. I asked if it was ok to "audit" a meeting to be sure it was what I wanted to do. I asked how long I could "audit." I was told if I wanted to check it out I was certainly welcome. So I got the address for the Mountain Club in Running Springs. I went to the 8 PM meeting.
I sat outside in my car, debating with me, myself, and I whether I was going in before the meeting started or just slip in after it had started. I decided to go in before. As I got out of my car, this guy got out of his truck and started to walk up to the door. He reached out his hand, introduced himself, and said come on in, we've got a fire going. I went in, got a cup of coffee and sat down. The leader said let's have a meeting and they read chapter 5, chapter 3, 12 traditions and then asked if anyone was new. I raised my hand and was asked to give my name and the nature of my disease. This voice said, My name is Zane and I'm an alcoholic. Then I told my story. I mean I told my story. No one tried to stop me. When I finished, they clapped and I thought, oh, I'm a hit, I'll have to come back. At the end of the meeting, several men gave me their phone numbers and told me to keep coming back. I later learned that the clapping after each share is a Southern California tradition and is not done on a state or national basis. I did keep coming back. I did 2 - 4 meetings a day for at least the first two years. I got a sponsor. Those people figured out I was gay, but loved me anyway. I did the steps with my sponsor. He crammed into my head "You Don't Drink No Matter What." I saw people go through all kinds of things and they DDNMW. That is probably the best part I have learned in my 17 years of continuous sobriety. I've learned a lot of other stuff, I had no problem with a Higher Power. Mine is God.
I've had to live life of life's terms. I've been through all kinds of up and downs, professionally, health issues, and deaths of close friends. But I have never found it necessary to have a drink. I learned to think the drink through. And I have done that - and by the time I think that drink through I have become totally shit-faced and back where I started. I know from my history that I cannot have a drink. At the end, I was a quart a day of scotch or tequila plus at least a bottle of wine. And I do not ever want to repeat that. I am content to live a sober life, practice the principles of AA in all my affairs, have a daily spiritual contact with my God, and wake up in the morning remembering what I did the day before. If I am forgetful, it is because of age, not a hangover. And you know what, it just keeps getting better. Try it, You'll like it.
Tonight I am grateful for:
  • God, my Higher Power
  • My Sobriety
  • Mamie, my OCD schnauzer
  • My sponsor
  • Scott W. did the chips at the 12:15 and was a bit sly when he asked does anyone have 17 years TODAY.
  • A friend treated me and others to lunch today
  • Daave was there also.
  • Lots of Happy Birthdays from my blogger buddies.
  • All y'all.

Y'all be pretty now, ya heah.


Akannie said...

WooHoo !!!!!!!!!!

Happy, Happy Birthday, my friend.

And wishes for many more. Thanks for being such an awesome example of this program.

Love, AKannie

Shadow said...

hiya. just popped on over from steveroni and wish to say CONGRATULATIONS on your fantastic achievement. you've got a helluva lots of one day at a time behind you. wow!

Syd said...

Zane, really glad for your 17 years. Neat how Scott asked if anyone had 17 years. Good for you my friend.

Findon said...

Yes it is a wonderful way of life. Thank you for your example Zane.

Scott W said...

It was a pleasure!

Keep Coming Back!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Congrats on 17 years! I love your blog and lurk quite a bit indeed, thank you for your sharing and your gratitude. I am sure you are pretty every day!

Akannie said...

Man...I swear I posted on here last night...

In case I'm senile...

Happy Anniversary my friend. COngrats on 17 years, though as my friend JohnL always says...
"Congratulating a drunk for not drinking is like congratulating a cowboy with hemmorhoids for staying off a horse."

This really IS the easier softer way for drunks like you and me!

Love and kisses, Anniek

PS--if you'll send me your email addy, I'll send you a surprise. xoxoxo

Mary LA said...

Happy happy 17th anniversary for yesterday!

Love & hugs


Bill said...

More Hugs!
Feed the dog!
Keep coming back!

Indigo said...

Hi Zane, I came by way of Scott's blog. Congratulations dear friend for 17 years. I'm looking forward to my 5 years in April. Each day that passes by to me, is it's own miracle. (Hugs)Indigo

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inspiration and congrats!

Texaco said...

Congratulations, from a fellow "Agent of Satan"

Keep blogging.

Pam said...

award for you on my blog