It Hurts But I’m Okay

RIP Joe Triassi (b. 1940 – d. 2018)
I hope to continue to pass on what you taught me in honor of your memory.
You will not be forgotten.

A year ago today, my previous Sponsor passed away after going in for routine surgery. Despite those of us who told him not to have the surgery at his age, he said to me, “It’s going to be okay.” It hurts so much because I miss him. But today I’m okay because I’m suppose to be where I am – alive and sober. This is just another example of how the program of Alcoholics Anonymous works in my life.

Joe had 30 years of sobriety at the time of his death. He was the “kick in my ass” I needed to stay sober. He was always there, many times, when things got rough talking to me to get through those moments. I will be forever grateful for our experiences together.

On this day a year ago I was drunk off my ass, deep in my addiction, sitting on that pity pot wondering why I had taken dark road again. I got a call from a friend of ours; I didn’t want to answer the phone because I knew it was bad news. News was relayed to me Joe had passed away. I completely fell apart – I was alone again.

Seven months in my new journey of sobriety, it still hurts. I know it will take time. But I’m doing what I need to do to stay sober. I went to a meeting in which the following topics were brought up: The AA Daily Reflection (humility and responsibility), self-pity, our purpose in life and joy. All relevant to me today so I shared how this program of AA works in my life.

I could easily sit back on that pity-pot. What a jackass I was for relapsing when Joe gave me ten years of sobriety, the best ten years of my life. I could bring up the shame and guilt again of how stupid I was to make such a decision to drink again. The list can go on. But today, I don’t have to nor will I revert back to my old self!

Today I am a humble and responsible human being. It is only through the 12 Step of Alcoholics Anonymous did I learn these things. A year ago I thought I could control my drinking despite my own past experiences. I could lick my alcoholism on my own. Yet deep down I knew “with all my self-knowledge” I could not. Today, I’m no different from anyone else in the rooms of AA. We all have today sober if we choose this life. I am only responsible for myself and my actions.

My new Sponsor and I are going through the 12 Steps. Currently we’re on Step 7, Step 8 and Step 9. In our readings of the 9th Step Promises it states:

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.

Big Book pages 83 & 84 Copyright © Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Today, these promises are coming try in my life, right now. I do have a new freedom and happiness. We talk about the “bondage of Self” being selfish and self-centered. After going through the 4th Step, looking at my part in my life, I recognize my defects of character and work on them every day. I have been freed of “Self” with the help of my Higher Power and the 12 Steps in my life. I don’t regret my past nor shut the door on it. I take my experiences and learn from them. I could go on and on about the other promises but one stand out right now:

No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.

While I shed tears in the meeting and choked up I wasn’t embarrassed. Today, I know, even as a man, it’s okay to cry like a baby when I’m hurt. They were tears of joy because today I’m alive and sober. Therefore, with that in mind perhaps I have a purpose in life.

At the end of my share I said, “Perhaps my purpose in life is to stay sober and pass on what Joe taught me to other suffering alcoholics”. My new Sponsor actually brought this the same thing, “Isn’t our primary purpose to stay sober and help another alcoholic achieve sobriety?” With that said I know I have the right sponsor for me! We think alike. Therefore, I am grateful to have a new Sponsor just like Joe.

I knew today was going to be hard. I wrote on FB, “You’re passing pains me because I miss you so much.” Perhaps there is a little guilt still there because when the three most important people in my life passed (my Father [1998], my Mother [2006] and Joe [2018] – I was always drunk. Honestly I miss all of them. But I can’t dwell on the “what I could of, what I should of” of my past. Otherwise, I’m putting myself back on my pity-pot. Not today. Today, I can be hurt, sad, cry like a baby and be okay.

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