As I sit here listening to Magnolia Electric Company, I am reflecting on my day and thinking about how much pain Jason Molina (the lead singer of MEC) had to have been in to follow through with the act of drinking himself to death. This is relevant to me today in ways other than the obvious. I met a buddy of mine for coffee before my meeting tonight. Earlier today he buried a close friend of his that died from an overdose. We shared with each other how we were both grateful that it was not our mothers having to go through that pain. That we were not the ones that had caused such preventable destruction.
From there I found myself in my usual Thursday night meeting talking about emotional sobriety and reaching out for help. I thought about how hard I have worked to change my evil ways and how grateful I am for all the help and support I have received over the last 20 months. When I think about how much I have changed, sometimes, it is almost inconceivable. I shared about how I use to make my problems everyone else’s problems, how I looked for others to solve my problems and fight my battles for me. Neither of which ever happened and if it did it never worked out the way I wanted it to. I have spent a lot of time here really taking a long hard look at what I needed to change. I had to really admit the things I really did not like about myself and get off my ass and do something about it. And today, I am so grateful to myself for that hard work. I am grateful today that I have found a bit of peace that I have been searching for my whole life. Before, I never knew the feeling of being content. I was always looking for the drink, the drug, the woman, the sex, the material possession to fill that that gaping hole in my heart. Yet, none of that worked. Only through getting sober, being honest, self inspection, and searching for a higher power that was sufficient to all my needs have I been able to slowly and surely heal the wounds of the past. I am still no angel by any means, but I am miles apart from the old, miserable, needy, shell of a human being I use to be.
Tonight, I have no words that could ever express the amount of gratitude I have for this new life the journey of recovery has given me. Never, would I have ever thought that I could be a person that would actually think about my motives before acting. And this is just one of the amazing gifts that keeps me out of harm’s way and emotionally stable today. I am grateful to be able to sit out in the late summer Georgia heat, late in the evening, and spend some time talking, to share in another man’s pain. After all, nothing guarantees my sobriety than working with another alcoholic. I am grateful to be back on my feet again financially and able to finally for the last time move out of my parents house and back to Athens, Georgia. I am grateful too for the opportunities that are waiting for me there. I am grateful to see all the hard work I have put into my writing finally paying off with being offered my first professional writing gig. Most of all I am so grateful for the trust I have earned back from my family, and to honestly enjoy spending time with them. I cannot ever get the lost time back, but I can make the most of the time I have today, and make sure not to waste a minute of it. I could go on forever listing all that I have to be grateful for. There are too many, but I am grateful for them all. I will close with this simple exclamation. It is great to be alive!