I had the blessing of attending a gratitude dinner with my Hubs this weekend for AA. It was an area-wide event and easily attended by 200+ people. Tables of 8, dinner of Thanksgiving foods (appropriately themed) and a desert table groaning under the redonkulous amounts of sugar and butter. It was a pleasure to put faces to names of the Hubs friends, just fantastic people. A few observances of mine throughout the evening:
- Coffee. Water. Lots and lots of coffee and water.
- Laughter. Smiles. Tons. No grumpy, long faces. Joy.
- Introductions everywhere (thank God for nametags!)
- Rekindled friendships.
There was a speaker who gave his story of 30+ years of sobriety. A lovely, 70-something man with at times an emotionally shaky voice as he recalled his life, peppered with witty comments and hindsight observances. There was no “massive event” in his life that is present in many alcoholic stories (and drug stories); mainly a life of alcohol-centered living, obnoxious behavior and a wife (and family) that had enough. His message: there doesn’t need to be a “massive event” to stop drinking, but if you have repeated comments, suggestions, pleas from family and friends to “do something about your drinking”, it’s a red flag. Sadly, not everyone sees it until it is too late.
At the end of the evening there was a sobriety countdown. Starting with the most years sober (52) and counting down to the shortest span of sobriety (2 days). It was humbling, impressive and hopeful and I found myself tearing up and that marathon that those with the least sobriety had ahead of them and yet with the amazing support in that room……hopeful in that they had every tool available to them to take each day….one day at a time.
Sadly, we did not win the 50/50 drawing…shucks!!! $350!!! However, I sure came away richer than I arrived.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,