My Family Afterward

I had no family toward the end of my drinking. I also had no friends, no relationship and didn't know my neighbors. My parents died the year before I got sober. My sister and I hadn't been close since we escaped from our parents in the early 70s. Three years earlier I moved to San Diego from Los Angeles for work, but didn't bother to make any friends. I had a girlfriend who lived in Denver. We honeymooned every few weeks until I suppose she figured out I wasn't a very good bet and dumped me. My neighbors would likely have described me as a quiet sort who keeps to himself. I kept the curtains drawn at all times.

Unemployed, I had spent most of the last eight months before I got sober inside my darkened apartment. I sat in my "command chair" for most of every day with my bottle of wine, bag of pot, Marlboro lights, and remote control all close at hand. I had an over-sized modernaire-green ashtray that would hold three or four packs of butts. There were always a couple of empty pizza boxes and a fast food bag or two strewn on the carpet at my feet. It was in this condition one evening that I had what I consider to be the saddest thought of my life.

I was nice and high. I remember looking at the bottle of wine on the table next to me, and, satisfied that I wouldn't have to get up and go to the store to buy more, I thought to myself (or may have even said
out loud), "this is great, there's no one around to hassle me about my drinking, I can do anything I want and there's no one here to stop me. What a great way to live." I find it funny that for many years of my sobriety I considered myself to be a high bottom drunk. Today I can see I was only a few thousand dollars away from being out on the street. When I remember this pathetic thought, I can see mind was already there.

I reconnected with life through Alcoholics Anonymous.  I crawled in from out of the cold and you warmly welcomed me, warts and all.  I learned how to be a friend, how to be of service and how to take responsibility. AA became my family afterward and remains my true family today.