During my first few days and weeks newly sober, I was terribly frightened; and the ‘too scared to live and too scared to die’ feelings overwhelmed me. I was certain entering a 12 step meeting would mean the end of life as I knew it—and thankfully it was.

With a commitment in my heart to stop destroying myself and those who cared about me, I took a step forward.

A power greater than myself must have told me to dedicate one day, just 24-hours to this sober thing, and for reasons beyond my understanding at the time, the first 24 hours without a substance has woven into close to 28 years.

The way I had been living was nothing short of reckless, dangerous and selfish. I was a blamer, a victim and my own worst enemy.

Being in blackouts, believing the lies I told myself, and trying to convince anyone who would listen, I wasn’t an alcoholic, “I just over did it again.” Oh the excuses I came up with.

It is extremely important for me to remember my bottom like it was just the other day, it keeps me grounded and grateful, willing and honest.

In recovery, I’ve learned what gratitude means; what service is; that asking for help doesn’t make me weak; I can tell my story and not feel shame; I’ve learned the power of forgiveness and being forgiven; that I can’t change you or the world to suit my wants and needs; and a connection to a Higher Power is always available when I need it most— that is the one and only constant in my life.

Today I can lean on you and you can lean on me. We share our history and we laugh and cry and most of all we feel grateful having another chance to do it right. By right, I mean staying on this amazing journey clean and sober.

Let’s stay on the path together and see what happens next and cherish every moment along the way.