Sober doesn’t Suck! is a safe place for people to share their stories of being an alcoholic, addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.
I recently received the following article from one of my readers, Chris R. I’m honored to share his words, hoping someone will find comfort and hope in them.
If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.
I was out running errands with a friend and my faithful companion Buddy. My “Honey Do” list consisted of picking up prescriptions, dropping off old dresses at a re-sale shop and swinging by our AA central office to pick up an anniversary coin for a friend so that we could celebrate his two years sober with a special Sunday dinner.
The dresses were dropped off pretty quickly and my next stop was central office because it was nearby and provided easy access to the highway to then pick up the prescriptions. Our AA central office is located on the first floor of an office building that I was pretty familiar with because my children’s pediatrician is located in the same building. The office itself is pretty much unmarked and if you didn’t know it was there it could be difficult to find…living up to the “Anonymous” part of the name I gather.
I pulled up and parked along a side street leaving my friend and dog in the car as I would run in and quickly purchase the coin and we would be on our way. As I was walking towards the building I recognized a fellow I hadn’t seen in at least a few years. We had crossed paths at various meetings, spoken on occasion and perhaps I even gave him a few rides. From our conversation gathered that he struggled with his sobriety and had numerous attempts that hadn’t taken, but to his credit he kept coming back.
I called out to him at the corner in front of the building and he was a bit startled. He remembered my face but not my name. I remembered his name because he shares a name with one of my children and also he is one of those guys that I always liked and really hoped would make it. I could see a very gentle, yet troubled soul underneath his almost always black clothing.
We exchanged a handshake and pleasantries and he informed me that he is living out of state and is in town for the weekend visiting friends. I told him I was heading into the central office to pick up a coin for a friend celebrating his second anniversary of sobriety. He told me he too was visiting the central office, but couldn’t locate it (well played AA, well played!). He was marking seven months of sobriety and was hoping to replace the old coin he had in his pocket that was tarnished because when it was given to him he really hadn’t earned it as he was secretly using. He said it felt a bit strange that he was going to purchase his own coin, but felt it the best thing to do.
All We Have is Today
I was very happy for him and glad to see that he was back working a program, being sponsored and doing what was asked of him (which I can attest from my experience is the most difficult part of recovery). I told him that I could show him where the office was and would be honored to be the one to purchase and hand him his coin. He accepted and we entered the building, I made my purchases and was able to present him with his seven month coin and a hug.
Seven months, two years, ten years…the time doesn’t matter because all of us only have today. I am very grateful for this surprise encounter because it really made my day and provided me with gratitude for this program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am grateful the doors were open to keep letting this fellow continue to seek sobriety. I pray that he is able to keep his sobriety today and bring his experience, strength and hope to others like he delivered it to me this afternoon.
I love this story of experience, strength and hope. It is amazing how serendipity plays a part in recovery.
Jerry L says
An experience well shared and well written. Conveying hope to the rest of us!!
Barbara Blair-Karr says
Love this chance encounter that says it all…good job Chris R.
Michael Borgrud says
that phrase “flip of the coin” nails addiction on the head. Your life does a 180* from bad to good.
Each day is a new chance and it’s a gift that you both were able to share this experience, and thank you for sharing it with us so we can be inspired and blessed by it as well.
Mary Rhodes says
You’re such an inspiration!! I used to be an alcoholic and kicked the bottle recently myself!!