My teenage granddaughter, who graduated from high school a few months ago, called this weekend to tell me that she was going to into the Air Force in about two weeks.
She'd been talking about entering the service for a few years. Now, all of a sudden, it's becoming very real. She's really going to do it.
We make small talk for a while and plan to get together next week for lunch. I want to see her one more time before she goes off to Texas for basic training.
I bring this up because this is one of the benefits of sobriety. When I got sober going on 27 years ago, this girl wasn't even born. She's never seen me high. She's never seen me drunk. All she knows is the grandfather who's always worked hard in his business and lived a sober life.
When I first got sober in 1991 I never looked very far ahead. Maybe three or four years at most. I did my best to live my life in the moment. I went to meetings. Stayed sober. I applied the twelve-step principles to my life.
Now, years later, I look at the many blessings that have been given to me because I stay sober and clean. Had I not got sober in 1991, I know I would not be alive today. I would not be able to visit my children and grandchildren and spend summer and Christmas vacations with them. I have been blessed over and over again, and it all started when I made the decision to go into a detoxification unit.
And I use this experience to try to encourage newcomers. I suggest to them that they be patient. That eventually their family will come back to them. They'll be able to find a job. Maybe go to school. Perhaps raise a family. Maybe never have to be arrested or go to jail again.
The Big Book tells us in the Promises that we will know "a new freedom and a new happiness." I'm pleased to say that the promises have come true for me.
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