Giving It Away to Keep It

My sobriety is a gift. A gift I didn't even know I needed or wanted - a gift that I certainly did nothing to earn. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the gift began when God put Bill S, a massage therapist, into my life.

Bill wasn’t at all like my rich friends at the golf club. Yet there was something about him I was drawn to. Today I know that Bill had spirit working in his life.

It was 1988, six years before I got sober. Bill came to my home weekly to iron out the kinks in my super stressed-out body. Bill came over at cocktail hour just as I arrived home from the office. Sometimes he had to wait a few minutes while I gulped down a couple of quick scotches - to get relaxed enough to be massaged!

As he worked on me, I asked him about his life. He told me that seven years earlier he had been a heroin addict in Venice Beach, California.  Now he was married to a professional manager, had a nice, clean used car and owned a home. “What did you do to change?” I asked. “I sobered up in AA,” he said. I acted interested, but I really wasn’t. The following week he brought me a Big Book. After he left, I poured myself a drink and skimmed through the book and promptly gave it to a friend who really needed it.

I wasn’t ready then, but Bill had planted a seed in me. Today I know, like Bill, I have to give it away to keep it. It doesn’t matter if the person is ready to receive the gift. That’s up to his or her higher power.