it’s been 39 years

sober emojiIf you are sober today, give yourself and your Higher Power a hand.

Talk the walk, then walk the talk

After 39 years of continued sobriety celebrated today, I reflect on the secrets of sober-livng.  There are no secrets.  It is hard work, commitment to a better way of living and the support of sober friends.  However, talking the walk at the tables of Alcoholics Anonymous and then walking that talk in everyday life will guarantee a fighting chance to overcome those addictions that have become personal demons.

The fellowship of AA is ancient wisdom set to contemporary times.  Even before the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as set forth in “The Way”, Lao Tzu and the Buddha realized a life dedicated to victorious living through abandonment of self.  The writings of Bill W. and Dr. Bob describe this dedication to selfishness and self-centeredness as “self-will run riot.”  AA BIG BOOK  The I, I, I and me, me, me  controlled all aspects of our lives, did it not?

Within my sobriety today, I cannot judge nor control other people’s talk or walk.  They obviously live with perceptions of life that differ from mine.  Therefore, when elected leaders of our government speak justice and fairness yet legislate in opposition to those pronouncements, and when preachers from the pulpit preach righteousness and morality yet conduct their personal lives in opposition to what is right and moral, I can only wonder what experiences have formed their perceptions.  Must one of us be wrong in order for the other to be right, or do we simply operate from different realms?  Returning the focus to my talk and my walk enthusiastically,  I become ever more grateful for the teachers who save us from the hells of addiction.

Abba Isidore of Pelusia
“To live without speaking is better than to speak without living.  For the former who lives rightly does good by his silence but the latter does no good even when he speaks. When words and life correspond to one another they are together the whole of philosophy.” CAC.ORG

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it’s my party

I’ve been recovering from the effects of the flu which has been running rampant in my neighborhood.  Yes, I dutifully get my flu shots every fall, wipe down the grocery cart with a towelette at the grocery store, and stay arm’s length from any sniffling, sneezing life forms.  Even as I suffer flu symptoms, I remember the days of yore when Larry was too healthy to get flu shots and then Larry became a poster boy for death warmed over.  The bug got me and put me down for a two to three-week bed-ridden vacation.

I now get flu shots religiously and if I do get sick, there are just a few mild symptoms.  More bothersome is the weakness and lethargy.  Old guys like me know time is becoming a more valuable commodity and we don’t like running at less than 100%.  Well, OK, even 80% is pretty darned good.  So much hell to raise and just not enough time to do it.

Alright, alright.  So, there ain’t much hell raising anymore, but a guy can dream, can’t he?  Looking back on the antics of me, the 20 to 30 year-old drunk, makes me realize how much of a nightmare I was for the people who loved me.  Family, lovers, friends…..they all suffered through my disease with me.  They went to hell with me and by God’s grace they came back a long time before that grace brought me back.  Tonight I celebrate 37 years of continuous sobriety and nothing, absolutely nothing, in my life takes precedence over sobriety and the relationship I have enjoyed with my Higher Power.  Money, prestige, power, fancy cars, big house, designer clothes, community social status…..nothing can compare to the status I have found as a child of God, as a man committed to sober-living.

Even when the mind says, “go, go, go” but the body says, “no, no, no,”  I have an enormous gratitude list that seems to grow every day.  I appreciate the days when even 80% is all I can muster.  The slowdown gives me time to read, time to just talk on the phone with a friend, time to sit on the porch and entertain the cardinals stopping by for a visit, and time to yell at the top of my lungs, “Thank you Jesus.”

It’s been one helluva ride and I can’t wait to see what the next couple decades will bring.  Naw, don’t have time for worrying and fretting over politics, over the economy, over North Korea’s Kim, nor over America’s Trump.  Those problems will be resolved according to God’s timing, not mine.  Of course, if the big fella upstairs wants some advice, I’ve got a few ideas.

Stay sober, my friends.  One day at a time.  If you don’t drink that first one, you won’t get drunk.  One is too many and ten is not enough.  Keep it simple, stupid, and remember  g.o.d. – good, orderly direction.

If you’re sober today, give your Higher Power a hand.clapping

 

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