I recently celebrated an anniversary. Which one doesn’t matter because we know time in the program is no guarantee of sobriety; it’s what we do each and every day that counts.
However, it’s good to mark the passing of another year just to remind us of how long we’ve worked at our task, what we’ve achieved and how much different we are from when we started.
I thought back to my first few meetings. Then, I thought of myself as a loser. “Why me?” I thought. “Why do I have this problem? Why can’t I enjoy a drink like everyone else? Why was I such a failure?”
The kind people in my meetings told me that it wasn’t just me…they also were “failures.” Failures at drinking like normal people. In that, we all had one thing in common. No matter what age, educational background or life style, we all had the same common problem.
But…there was hope! They were working on identifying their problem and recognizing what triggered it. They were learning how to see those triggers/defects as they cropped up and not let them break out into major issues. They were trying to become better human beings.
I sat and listened. At first I didn’t contribute much because I didn’t really understand what was going on. But I stayed…and with the guidance of a Higher Power kept going back to those meetings. Over time, what I heard and read made more sense. Slowly, my brain and thinking cleared a little and I could see what I had been and what I was becoming. I was changing into a person with a much better understanding of myself and how I could improve into a better person.
As time went on, this process became easier and more of a regular part of my way of thinking. My defects were becoming clearer and, more importantly, how to manage them was becoming part of my everyday life. After more time these improvements become almost automatic and my life became much more manageable and progressed smoothly.
Now, when I notice another anniversary, the word loser doesn’t even occur to me. Now I realize that I am, along with all my fellow AAs, a winner. I now have a new way of living that is different and better for me and for everyone around me. Now I know how to better handle those previously baffling situations and take control of how I react to life as it unfolds before me.