ALL THAT IS GOLD DOES NOT GLITTER
For Christmas holiday my wife gave me a special gift which I had picked, a gold cross. This is the first time in my life I've owned a real piece of gold. It feels so good. The cross is larger than what it seemed in the pawn shoppe (When something is named "shoppe" everything costs 20% more.)
Since the actual cross makes a startling appearance against a black sweater, I have listened to several confessions in the mall. People say "Good morning, Father!" in their early morning cheerfulness. And I just walk around 'blessing' them. I hold out my hand, so they may 'touch' me, if they like. So far, no miracles have shown themselves. (You KNOW this paragraph was tongue-in-cheek, right?) And there WAS/IS one miracle:
I AM SOBER! Corollaries to that are: I am happy, I am free. I am joyful, to a degree. For all that, I'm grateful!
The following part-paragraph is from our beautiful Big Book, "Alcoholics Anonymous". It is written by a woman, but BEST--Oh! so best--describes my last years of that non-sober life, lived in a foggy state between half-awareness and oblivion, which some of us know so well. In the Second and Third Editions, page 224, and in the Fourth Edition, page 202 will take you to "ME". Title of story is "Women Suffer Too". My heart beats faster still, as I read this excerpt:
"And I remember the creeping horror of the interminable night, in which I slept for short spells and woke dripping with cold sweat and shaken with utter despair, to drink hastily from my bottle and mercifully pass out again. 'You're mad, you're mad, you're mad!' pounded through my brain with each returning of my consciousness, and I drowned the refrain with drink."
Every word is important, because each word harbors a meaning of truth for me, for the way life (slow death) WAS.
I must say to you, that from there ("I was alone and lonely...")--to here (enthusiastic joyfulness)--was not a one-day job. It took God, with my somewhat reluctant and sometimes half-assed cooperation, almost thirty-five years to get from there.....to here--wherever 'here' is. Here is where is the GOLD!
Do not ask me if I wish to go back to that life. Whatever I do today--I know what I'm doing. Seldom do I know WHY, but I do not want to know the answer to 'why'? So, please do not ask "Why?" Ask "What?" or ask "How?" or "When?" or "Who?".....or "Who cares?" -grin.
Gratitude I express now, with enthusiasm for my sobriety, for this Golden Way of Life--our program of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions--and reaching out to touch anyone who also reaches out for help, for support, or for me to (ahem!) "hear their confession" -BIG GRIN!!!
In Peace, Service (I guess we're ALL in the 'service' business!), and LOVE.
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