My roommates Mother, and sometimes his Aunt, come and visit on a regular basis. A few times they have asked me to come to dinner, drove us to sober events in the area, etc. Last weekend I was invited to their homes for Easter. The whole experience reminds me how our Higher Power brings people into our lives for a reason, if we choose to believe such things. The experience brought me back in time reminding me where I had been and where I am now.
I was nervous about going. Back in the day when actively drinking between 2004 and 2007, Candor, NY, was my “stomping grounds”. I was later reminded of my friends GW, CP and “Griff” who I had not thought of in more than a decade until now. These were “my three best friends”. All extreme alcoholics, two with extensive criminal backgrounds. At times I thought, would they recognize me or what happens if I see them? As much as I could I tried to put those thoughts out of my mind.
As we headed for Candor in the early afternoon, all I could do is stare out the window. I just love the peace and serenity of country living. The other two were having a conversation in the front. I usually call my roommates Mother by her first name. She insisted, “..call me Mom. It’s okay. You’re part of our family now.” She asked about my past, how I had known “Griff’s” family and my experiences. As I told her I was transported back in time when I would be riding in the GW’s car down the country roads and through the “back hills” to get to our destination. Both of us drunk, with cans of beer between our legs mostly likely heading somewhere to get more beer. Our thought was you can’t always visit the same place otherwise you’re considered an “alcoholic”. As we finally drove into town, I felt a relief. No longer was I the person which used to live here over a decade ago.
After we got settled in their house, Mom drove us to a meeting in Owego, NY. The last time I was in a meeting in Owego, NY, was Feb 2018, right before my relapse. From July 2017 to then I had made meetings. After, I started making excuses, never to return and relapsing. As people filed in I began to recognize people. Shaking my hand John (an old timer at the meeting) said, “I do know you from somewhere, right?” I simply said, “Yes” leaving it there. I even saw another old timer from Binghamton who knew my old Sponsor when we all lived there. Knowing it was a “Beginner’s meeting” I was prepared to do a short share of my story and relapse experience. Halfway through the meeting I shared telling them where I had been and where I am now. Knowing the geographical area, many were amazed when I said I walked from Van Etten, NY, to Elmira, NY taking me ten hours to get there, walking into a facility straight off the street getting the help I needed. Hopefully I inspired the few newcomers that were there. You are NOT alone and recovery is possible.
Saturday night, I had trouble sleeping. I was flooded with memories of my old self. I kept coming to tears thanking my Higher Power for helping me become the person I am today. Eventually I woke up at 5:30 am and just went out to enjoy the sun rising. I had myself a deep crying session and I wasn’t one bit embarrassed about it. From that moment on, those memories subsided. Afterward, I was able to enjoy a relaxing afternoon with my extended family for Easter.
The whole experience just strengthened my commitment to my new journey in sobriety. I need never forget where I can from. Today, a few of the Ninth Step Promises are coming true, again.
The Ninth Step Promises
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
. . .Big Book pages 83 & 84 Copyright © Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.