In a few weeks, Father’s Day falls on June 17th, just like it did in 1990 — my first day of sobriety. That was the day I made the first commitment to something I’ve stayed true to ever since.

After getting hit over the head with the Cosmic 2 x 4, (When things need to change…. Sudden, dramatic and painful things happen that tend to result in miraculous shifts), I reached out for help and a dear friend took me to my first 12 step meeting. I don’t remember much about it, except feeling confused, full of fear, shame, nervous, shaky, and slowly coming out of a fog.

As we walked through the doors, I asked her why every one was smiling, hugging and laughing. Who are “THESE” people?, I wondered. I came to understand “those” people are “my people!” Had I found a place where I belonged and was welcomed?

When I got home after that meeting, I called my dad, making up some excuse about why I forgot to send him a Father’s Day card — and without hesitation, went right into where I had just been. I was nervous as hell saying out loud, “Dad, I’m an alcoholic; I went to this meeting.” I heard a sigh of relief in his voice and a bit of hesitation, too. At the end of the call he said, “take it a day at a time, I love you.” That brief call was the beginning of the father/daughter relationship I had hoped for all my growing years, one that I had sabotaged with my addictive behaviors, lies and unfulfilled promises.

When we stay clean and sober, while we aren’t forced to — we tend to grow up. We become responsible, accountable and honest. Days can turn into months and months into years.

In sobriety, I’ve learned how to listen, care about others, reach out, ask for help, and be vulnerable. I’ve done what was suggested when I didn’t want to, dug deep inside and spilled my secrets to women I admire and respect. I’ve made mistakes and many amends. I’ve laughed hard, cried even harder, loved deeply and had my share of pain and loss.

I’ve faced challenges and made it through to the other side of every one of them, whether I believed I would or not — without numbing out.  Alcohol and drugs never did and never will solve any problem. 

The biggest gift sobriety has given me is a belief and connection to a Higher Power who always has my back; all I have to do is Trust and get out of the way! (Something I still work on).

When I heard fasten your seat belt, sobriety is going to be a wild ride, they weren’t kidding. Being sober means I show up for real life whether I like what’s happening or not— because I’m never alone.

To each and all who have helped, guided, steered, and called me on my &*!!!!!! — I am humbled and grateful to you.

To my dad, though no longer here, Happy Father’s Day, and I’m still taking it a day at a time!