There is the saying, "the difference a day makes"
For those battling alcoholism, this is more appreciated than a person without the disease can ever know.
You see as an alcoholic, it is literally taking each day, one after another, without choosing to have alcohol rule their lives. One drink is too many, and 2 is never enough.
For those of you who have been around alcohol, it is a familiar story, isn't it? You always ask yourself the question, "Why?!" never understanding how one can CHOOSE misery, and hit rock bottom. But that's usually the only time an alcoholic realizes that it's time to seek help beyond themselves.
And 5 years ago today, that is exactly what happened.
After trying to "do it my way" this person finally asked for help and admitted that he was helpless against the power of alcohol and asked for help. I can imagine how terrified he was, and the world of uncertainty that faced him spinning around in his head. But as I watched him take his final last drink of beer, he was finally ready to exist without alcohol controlling his life.
The battle was a tough one. It was a month of meetings, 2 and sometimes 3 times a day, but he worked the program and found support in Alcoholics Anonymous. That support came from strangers at first, because they were the people who knew best what that first sober day was like. Also, by the time you usually make your first step into the program, there probably isn't a lot of family support there for you because of all the poor decisions a life of being an alcoholic will bring.
And the support I saw from virtual strangers was amazing!! I mean, really...outside of being a soldier, I have never seen a brotherhood of people committed to each other like AA.
And so one day became 2, and 2 became 4 and so on, and now we fast forward to the 5 year anniversary of his sobriety today.
Whenever I get down, or depressed, I always think of this day and the moment one makes the conscious decision to get sober, and then actually does it. And for anyone else, it could be a decision about weight loss, smoking, or any other addiction that may exist out there. But once you have a day of sobriety behind you, you realize that others before you have done it, and it becomes possible for you to do it as well.
And this brings something called "Hope" -something previously not in your vocabulary to this point. And when you see it can be done, one day at a time, you gain back the confidence you once had in your life and gain momentum. And soon enough, you have your life back...and it is better than it ever was. Now a wife gets her husband back, and your kids get back the father that loves them so.
So today, I wanted to take a moment to congratulate that very special person in my life. You believed in me and loved me when I needed it as a child, and I looked to you as a mentor. To be there for you and watch you reclaim your life back was everything I owed you for loving me like a son. To watch you fail would've crushed me and your family, so thank you for not disappointing us.
I'm so proud of the choices and hard work that have given you back to us who love you the most. I will always admire the courage it took for you to ask for help and seek it. But most of all, I want to thank you for your example that you've proved to me, yourself and others, that you are living proof that if you want your life back, it is yours for the taking. Now you are giving to others the gift that was made available to you and I love you for being this example to the world. But again, I wanted to say:
Happy 5th year Anniversary of Sobriety... I love you.