This is going to be an exciting week (and month) for me.  This coming Wednesday is my 12-step anniversary, my birthday is the 25th, my current job ends on the 30th (I expect a break, then a new position with the same company), and today Michele and I attended the 10th Anniversary party of a treatment center that we helped start back in 2001.  Oh yes, and we’re getting a new car this week, probably. We’ll be going to North Florida to celebrate my birthday along with my twin nieces and older sister, since we’re all within the same 2-week period, so that will be nice, too.  Oh, and jury duty this coming week…

Busy, fun, interesting, and I’m not stressing over any of it.  It’s just the way things go when you’re clean and sober.  Good things turn into other good things, change happens, and life goes on.  The miracle continues.

That was brought home especially today at the anniversary celebration.  We saw alumni dating back to the first weeks that facility was open.  One is supervisor of nursing at a well-known hospital in Pennsylvania.  Another (her husband of several years) is a computer programmer.  For three years they both drove long-distance trucks, delivering goods and hitting meetings all over the country, then they settled back down in Philly.  They have his kids with them, and hers are a part of their lives.  Both are obviously happy.

We saw other folks from the same period, along with other old friends in recovery.  We sat at a table with a guy who was one of our counselors when we were in treatment, and who has been, at various times since, a colleague and always one of our dearest friends.  Another alumnus, still clean and sober, wasn’t able to be there.  He runs a halfway house, and Saturday’s a busy day.  And so on, and so forth.

These are the fruits of sobriety.  They are the direct result of doing the next right thing, and the one after that, and the one after that.  There are no hidden secrets, no mumbo-jumbo.  It’s just a matter of putting sobriety ahead of everything else, and getting good at it.  After awhile it becomes second nature to do those next right things, and the process goes on from there.

Sobriety and a program of recovery are not about stopping booze and/or other drugs.  They’re not about deprivation, or white-knuckling, or living a life devoid of fun and satisfaction.  They’re about becoming functioning members of society again, all the while helping others toward the same goal, and living a real life, no longer in a haze of delusion and fear.

I owe my last 22 years to recovery.  I’d be dead for certain had I not gotten into the program, and the time before that would have been miserable.  I know it would have been, because it already was.  Good people, a good treatment center, good direction, and the rooms of the 12-step groups saved my life just as surely as if they’d been penicillin.  And as long as I keep taking my medicine, I don’t need to be afraid any more.  That doesn’t suck.

Have a great week.

PS:  September is National Recovery Month.  Why not give it a try?

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