Life on Life's Terms Sober

In 1993, one year before I got sober, my mother was dying. I flew across the country every other weekend to my parents home in Florida. By then mom was on hospice care and hooked up to a morphine drip. I found it excruciatingly painful to talk with her during these trips. I was so uncomfortable all I could do was sit by her bedside and drink. When she died I drank against all the feelings that tried to arise, pushing them down below the level of consciousness. Last year, my wife of 18 years became very ill and eventually died at the end of November. Now, without alcohol and drugs, I had no choice but to walk through the painful feelings sober.

I ran the whole gamut of emotions after Lola died. I was glad she no longer suffered. I was angry because she was 23 years younger and I was supposed to go first. I was afraid about what life would be like without her happy spirit. But mostly I felt sad. I wasn’t sad all the time, but out of the blue sadness crashed over me like a wave. Today the sadness is still there, but it feels more like ripples than waves.

The most troubling feelings for me have been feelings of loneliness, thank God AA provides me a solution. In the middle of February my HP tapped me on the shoulder and suggested I get connected with Alcoholics Anonymous here in North County, San Diego. I committed to 90 meetings in 90 days. As of yesterday I have attended 91 meetings in 84 days. I have made new sober friends and have even hooked a willing newcomer. As it says in our book, my whole outlook and attitude has changed. I still feel pangs of loneliness, but they are nowhere near as painful as they were three months ago.

I miss my wife terribly. Yet, I am not suffering. Instead I feel grateful for the time we had together. I consider it a huge honor to have been chosen to walk with her until the end. I am so grateful to Alcoholics Anonymous and what I learned from people like you about living life on life’s terms.