Early on in sobriety I had regrets over the time I considered wasted in a drunken state of existence. Besides the path of chaos and upheaval I left along a good bit of the length of the Mississippi River, I used to think about how I was behind everyone else some 15 or so years, just in living life. I got sober at the age of 32, which at that time seemed quite old. Now at the age of 62, that seems young.
I have posted before about how my specific recollections of the past are not really the same of other folks directly involved in those past experiences. I have also reflected on the concept of the Wounded Healer in recovery and the true blessing and responsibility that entails.
I am perhaps more reflective on this as I lean toward my formal “retirement” from a 40 hour (make that more like 60-70) per week employment to an existence where I will be more selective in how I spend my time and energy.
I definitely consider my getting sober as a benchmark of change and difference. In sobriety, I have never once just laid in bed, wishing I could just go back to sleep for the entire day because I could not face life – or immediately jumped up to look out the bedroom window to see where my car was because I had no recollection of coming home the night before. Those are the simple gifts of sobriety.
The challenge of sobriety is living into the recovery of “practicing these principles in all our affairs.” I thoroughly enjoy that today I have the opportunity to put back what I have taken. Today, I have that choice.