old (2007), Uncategorized

turning "21"

Somehow I managed to make it to two meetings today, despite it being the busiest day of my week — filled with a conference call (in which I participated from the Brown Line “L”), traipsing downtown with W., taking a break to eat lunch at Flat Top Grill, editing the S.D. newsletter & revising my own, watching the kids so A. could go to work. Going into the morning meeting, I was fine, riding the high of the past couple of days, forgetting how L. told me that when things are the best is when we need meetings the most. By late afternoon, I felt my reserves draining altogether, and so instead of heading to the park with M., I called her up and asked if she could take B. so I could hit a meeting. And that’s what I did.

There were several people at the meeting with less sobriety: someone on his 8th day, a woman on her 5th, another woman on day 28, yet another on day 12 for the 11th time this year. The focus was on the third step, and we talked about issues of spirituality and what kept us coming back. At some point during that hour, after glancing over at the woman on her 5th day, I remembered something I’d heard at the Monday meeting a couple of weeks ago: just by following the proscription to keep coming back, we’ve already started taking that third step.

I started to wonder, though, why do I keep coming back? To be blunt, my first meeting sucked. My second meeting scared me. My third one — which I attended with L. and one of my 30-day friends — was okay, but it was still an experiment, a tentative declaration. As of today, I’ve been to 19 meetings in 21 days — not bad for someone who works 60 hours a week — and I have fully accepted and embraced the work necessary with step one, but I have no recollection whatsoever of any point at which I felt any transition from the “the program as something that might work” to “things I need to do to stay alive.” Every single day, there are moments when I have no idea how I will work through the next five minutes of my life, but it always happens. The next five minutes always come, and I am still here, and I am still sober, despite the odds.

Tonight, I remembered what my day five felt like, and I couldn’t help but think that this day — day 21 — is my miracle.