I made it. I was dreading Friday night. That was my usual unwind time. Stop and get a couple bottles of wine or Vodka and a mixer and by ten oclock I was well into relaxation land. Well since I no longer drink I would no longer have the reassurance that I could end my week with a lot of alcohol. I was cold turkey. I went to the 5:30 AA meeting and decided to let the meeting set the tone for the evening. It was only my third night but I feel like I have old friends there already. One man was celebrating his eight months of sobriety. You receive a medal coin that says 8 months and has the serenity prayer on the back. Someone who has walked the long 8 months with you says a few words about you, then gives you the coin and a hug. Then the person celebrating the anniversary gets to tell how they've done it so far, and passes their coin around for all to see. I left feeling good like I always do. I called Al on the way home and he wanted me to pick him up before we went to Target. We did a little shopping and then went to my parent's to pick up Grace and Sam. Arriving home a little after 8:00. The kids put their pj's on and went to Sam's room to play. I made a healthy dinner, and had a delicious glass of fresh lemon water. After I watched the latest episodes of Parks and Rec and 30Rock. Then Grace and I headed up to bed and I read for about an hour.
Saturday morning greeted me with the sunshine. It was the first Saturday in two years that I had not consumed a bottle of wine the night before. My eyes opened, no self-induced hangover. I made the bed, opened the blinds, and let the sun in. Showered, got ready and set out to do errands. It's amazing how good it feels to not be hungover. I had forgotten. I stopped at my favorite bookstore to pick up a copy of Codependent No More and afterwards headed down the street to stop at my favorite florist shop to just take a look around. When I walked in I was greeted by a very nice salesperson who asked if she could help me, we exchanged a few words, and then I looked down to see the sweetest flowering plant. It was filled with tiny pink and white happy flowers. "It's a primrose and you can enjoy it now and then plant it outdoors later" the lady said. I bought it and as we exchanged conversation while she was checking me out,I kept thinking of the perfect spot for my new plant. The lavendar that I was trying to save in our bedroom had taken a turn for the worst. That lavendar represented me, sick with life and alcohol, and this new plant was expressing what I was feeling for the first time in a long time. The salesperson handed me my package and I was on my way. As I was stepping down to the sidewalk, I noticed that the proprietor had sprinkled red rose petals all over the sidewalk. How beautiful and unexpected in the middle of winter! In AA we are told to look for the "signs". This was a sign, an assurance, that yes the road will be long, hard, and painful but the result will be glorious. I went to the 11:00 meeting which was aweseome. One man celebrating six year, someone else 8 months, and myself one week. They treated my one week like it was ten years. People who try to quit drinking without AA do not know the difference between getting sober and sobriety. I wish I could show you these wonderful people. Some have reached serenity and it shows, some are their for the tenth time, starting over, some are stuck and not moving forward. But there is a love, an acceptance, a safe zone that I have never experienced before. Total strangers came up and hugged me after the meeting, gave me their phone numbers to call, encouraged me to keep coming back. It's not about the alcohol. It's the journey. It's growing up and taking the chance to trust God and let him mold you into the person he wants you to be. Its no longer and I, but a we. Together with God. Each day I have discovered more about myself. I have so far to go. Much pain lies ahead. I have to dig through all the years of denial and pain to get to serenity. One man told me today as we were walking out, "Thanks for your tears, it's great. The good news is you're getting your emotions back, the bad news is you're getting your emotions back." I'm ready. I'm going to take the advice I heard the first night: "Face this head on and be fearless.