I recently posted this photo as my avatar on Facebook. Shortly after it appeared, a friend wrote and asked if I “made the catch.” I told her I couldn’t remember. It was one of many attempts, I told her, and, Yes, I’d “made the catch” most of the time. I also told her it really didn’t matter whether I’d made the catch anymore. I’d posted the photo because it reminded me that, at 10 years of sobriety and nearly 50 years of age, I’m still soaring; that even though profits are miserably down, my 83-year-old mother’s health continues to wane, my 6-year-old daughter’s chin is sporting 10 stitches following a bicycle accident, and most everything else in my life, including my marriage, is frighteningly at risk, I have everything to be grateful for.
I also reminded her, and myself, that I wouldn’t be saying that if it weren’t for God, a good sponsor, and the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I can’t even imagine how fearful, how paranoid and unmanageably skeptical I’d be, if it weren’t for the grounding, guidance, and camaraderie the Fellowship provides. Some people deem AA a “sufficient substitute” for drinking. I’d sooner deem it an antidote to the fear and self-loathing that made habitual and excessive drinking seem reasonable for far too many years.
Even in the worst of times these days, my problems are high-class problems—problems made imminently manageable and tolerable because they aren’t generally problems of my own making. Most often, they’re “just life,” and in a sober world, there isn’t a day of life that isn’t worth living.