When I first walked into AA, I was a broken person. After 24 years of alcoholic drinking, my body was broken, my spirit was crushed, I was emotionally dysfunctional, and my mind was in a fog.
I just wanted to be “fixed.” I was ready to surrender and stop the struggle.
Sobriety “fixed” some things quickly. I remember getting a good nights sleep without interruption for the first time in years. Waking up without a hangover. What a gift of sobriety that is.
I felt more engaged with those around me immediately. Spending time with my wife and kids was previously tainted by alcohol. It became surreal just to do the mundane things of life with family and friends without being under the influence. My first summer of sobriety was one experience after another realizing you can do normal things in life without drinking.
Other things have changed gradually. I was in terrible health when I walked into the rooms of AA. My liver was in early cirrhosis. I was 100 pounds overweight. My blood pressure was sky high.
After being sober for a couple of years I was given the gift of a clean bill of health from my doctor. It didn’t happen overnight but in the grand scheme of things my health was “fixed” in short time.
Still other changes are longer term projects as I work a program of recovery. There are longstanding character defects that linger into sobriety. I still need to take steps to eradicate these defects. I am still broken in many ways.
But there is hope. Sobriety gives the promise of hope. Sobriety provides the opportunity for steady progress over time.
When I was an active alcoholic time was the enemy: there was never enough time, I lost time while drinking, and time marked the continuous decline in my life as my alcoholism progressed.
In recovery time has become an ally. Time is the stage on which my life can continue to change and grow. I can prune the defects over time and continue to make progress in areas that I want to grow. Time make impossibilities possible as I apply steady efforts of change over time.
In sobriety, time is the fuel for change.
I can give time time.