Living a life in recovery has provided me with so many blessings – ones I could not have dreamed of when I was using. I have a calm and loving relationship with my family, I have a loving partner in my life, I have the privilege of being paid to do the work I feel so passionate about – bringing recovery into the healthcare system; the list goes on and on. When I take a moment to get still, really still and quiet, what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt after almost 11 years sober is this: the greatest gift I have been given in sobriety is an incredibly grace-filled, loving relationship with God and therefore with myself so that I can show up in the world in the way that I believe God wants me to show up in the world.
On the evening of Jan 21, 2007, there was an intersection of what I can only describe as my willingness and God’s grace; some would call it a spiritual experience – I know I do. And it has been a slow unfolding for me. When I first walked into the rooms of AA, my best thought was: can you please help me figure out how to stop using drugs, so that I can drink normally. Yep, that was my best thought. Luckily for me, I was desperate enough and felt so broken that I was willing to listen and follow suggestions. To listen to the others in the rooms, who had more experience than me and, who one day at a time, showed me how to work the 12 steps.
A lot has happened since Jan 22, 2007 – In 2010, I moved back to the East Coast – I missed my family, I wanted to be closer to them. I also had to put my dog Nicholas down that year (I cried for 2 months straight). In 2011, my best friend’s dad died and while sitting in the church pew hearing the priest say, “Michael is with God now,” I cried and cried and cried, because I really believed it – for the first time I was able to take in the fact that death exists no more, that Michael, that I will be with God forever. In 2013, and when I turned 40, I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The love and care of the fellowship and my parish carried me through that journey. In 2015, I fell in love, and for the first time was able to truly let someone love me and to fully let myself love another. In 2017, my mom had her 3rd bout of cancer. And today, I am able to say to her, “Mom, I love you so much. I support whatever decisions you need to make for your healthcare.” And 2018…well, as my sponsor reminds me: more will be revealed.
As I look back over the past almost 11 years, what I know in my heart and mind and body is that, I would not be sober without God and without AA I would not have God in my life. And for all of this, I am feel extremely blessed.