60 days and counting. Today I picked up another A.A. coin, which marks my 60th day of sobriety. This one is glowing gold, and I will cast it into the neck art I’m crafting, along with the silver and red ones I had already earned.
If you have a history with alcohol and have ever given sobriety a shot [pun intended], then you know it’s not the easiest task to undertake. You know that the Boozie Man comes out at night, casting his reign of terror on our fragile status. You might ask how I did it. How did I defy the alluring spirit casting his ghostly shadow on my resolve?
When Merlot called to whisper sweet nothings into my ear, I put a call block on his number. When Vodka opened his khaki overcoat to show me his collection of rooty-tooty flavors, I pointed and laughed at his mini bottles. And when Gin hid in the bushes and enticed this little girl with a candy-tini, I looked him square in the eyes and…well, I screamed “Mommy” and ran as fast as I could.
The truth is that I have built a fortress for myself, which I have fortified with many vises of protection. I have joined the ranks of A.A. and the women are soldiers with whom I rally once a week. There are no rigorous trainings. No demanding drills. Just a dedicated troupe that marches on in service to each other for the fight against alcohol addiction. Each of them is armed with wisdom garnered from hiking up those notorious twelve steps. With open hearts, they share their painful plights and enlightened discoveries. From them I learn how to develop weapons of defense against one of the most dangerous foes of all—myself.
My personal safeguard is a strong resolve to move forward with my life. I do this by keeping the memory of the former me alive. I don’t celebrate the drunken me of yore, but I definitely need to remember just how bad my alcoholism had gotten before I decided to change the way I was living my life—lest I fall prey to the charm of the Boozie Man.
OK. And as long as I stay sober, I keep getting these silly little colored coins. I like that too. I intend to wear my coin necklace proudly for all the world to see. When asked about the piece, I explain my past challenge and my current choice. The people that I have met in A.A. have been enlightened through deep, personal work and are now contributing to make the world a better place. I am neither ashamed of my drive for sobriety nor of my participation with A.A. I realize that many people who have not had involvement with either may have their judgments, but perhaps my experience will educate them.