Recovering alcoholics often remember their last drink. I also remember my first drink at the age of 10 years old, on the Fourth of July in 1962. We were at a family picnic, it was raining and all the men were hanging out in the garage waiting for the weather to break. In the garage was a cooler of beer. My father consented that I could have one. I remember that I did not particularly like the taste, but it was the manly thing to do so I drank. But I also remember that by the end of the bottle, I felt a slight effect from the alcohol, and I really liked that a lot. Here was the magic substance that somehow fixed my chronic depression and unhappiness. For the next 12 years, I increasingly used alcohol and drugs as the medication to make everything okay. For the next 10 years after that, alcohol stopped working for me and I struggled with my inability to control my drinking, constant blackouts, along with the physical, emotional, and spiritually bankruptcy.
This morning I reflect on the freedom from that insanity and gratitude for the possibility of recovery. One of the AA Promises is that “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” Today, I often say that if every breath I have ever taken and ever drink I ever drank got me to where I am today, I would not change a thing.”
For living to see the fruition of that promise and freedom, I am truly grateful.