Remember back in the day when I thought you sucked so much, that I did everything in my power to drown you and drown myself in bottle after bottle of vodka, gin and the occasional whiskey? Oh boy, those were some crazy days, weren’t they?
Remember when I thought having you was a complete gyp and how unfair you were, and how crappy it was that I felt forced to have to live through you when it seemed as if you were laughing at me every day and screwing me around at every turn? Remember how I couldn’t see the point in getting stuck with you when all you ever seemed to do was expose me to grief — what does it all mean?! I wondered — even though after a while it was me who took over and began making all the choices that brought the pain down on us both?
Wow, what a ride, huh? And even though I know we are nowhere near done, even though I know that the best is still yet to come, I wanted to tell you something.
Hot damn, I love you! Seriously, Life, I’m not sure when I fell so hard for you. All I know is you’ve got me swooning over here and I’m thanking God for you everyday.
Nowadays when I reflect occasionally on the pain of the past, I feel grateful. I can’t recall one single, agonizing moment that was not worth it because the truth is I needed ALL OF IT. It made me who I AM.
Life, you’ve brought me so many angels, I can’t even remember them all, much less name most of them anymore. What I find wondrous is you just never know when one of those angels will show up, in what form or how long they might stay. As a matter of fact, the realization that you experienced an angel presence often eludes you in the moment. At least that’s how it was for me. Most times, I didn’t realize I was talking with an angel until after they were already gone.
I want to take this moment to shout out to one of those angels, my old AA friend, Frank.
Hey Frank, I hope you stumble across my blog somehow. I hope you see my picture and remember me. I don’t know how long you had your paternal eye on me in those AA rooms. And I don’t know if you realized how much I would cling to the words you proffered me at the end of one our the meetings, cling like they were a raft to a non-swimmer in the middle of an ocean.
Frank are you there? I hope you’re reading. I think you are because angels can see things that we humans can’t. Remember that day? I was just a few months coming so I still had that white-knuckling grip of newcomer smell all over me. You locked eyes on mine, momentarily banishing all blinking between us.
Then you spoke: I’ve been around these rooms for quite a number of years and I’m an alcoholic who has slipped and gone back out a few times. When it comes to drinking, some of us can stop and stay stopped, while some of us need to go back out a couple of times until we really hit bottom before we can stop completely. I’ve seen enough alcoholics to know what the slippers look like. You’re not one of them. I can tell. You’re gonna make it. You are never gonna drink again.
My eyes went wide like discs and all I could think to do was smile goofily and say thanks. And you shook my hand and walked off. I wasn’t sure if I believed you, but I grabbed onto your prediction like a floating wish and tucked it into my hope chest just in case. Wherever you are Frank, I thank you. So far, you’ve been right for seven years and thirty days.
As for you, Life, you keep being your delicious, amazing self and I know we’re going to be just fine, even with all the bumps in the road. In fact I have a strong feeling we’re going to do great things together.
Your adoring fan in Love,
P.S. Hey Life, remember the pink cloud all the old-timers told me I was riding on in my AA early days? Remember how they said it like the ride was only temporary? Guess what?! It’s back! I’m riding it again. You and me baby, jetting on some pink clouds! I love us!
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every bone I swear I lived
–One Republic, I Lived
Had to lose my way to know which road to pave
Trouble found me, all I looked for was washed away by a wave
I’m going back to my roots
Another day, another door
Another high, another low
–Imagine Dragons, Roots
I think the universe is on my side
Heaven and Earth has finally aligned
Days are good and that’s the way it should be