Freedom and Independence

On this Independence Day I am very grateful. I celebrated my freedom from alcohol.

I went to two meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous this morning. Then I went to an AA Fourth of July cookout where I ate just a little more than I intended. There was sunshine, laughter, and fellowship with the sober drunks. Those drunks have become more than just friends to me. They’ve become my family. I felt at home.

Later this evening, I got to serve the first of probably many weeks to come as secretary of my home group. It’s a new role for me and a chance to learn and grow as I serve Alcoholics Anonymous. Again, lots of smiles and fellowship surrounded the meeting and it felt really good. I was right where I was supposed to be.

Driving home, I watched as the fireworks shot off in the sky above the local high school.

I thought about how wasted I used to get on the Fourth each year. So many parties and bars and so much drunken recklessness. Backyard barbecues with kegs of beer and long tables with fifths of whiskey, rum, and vodka lined up on them. I’d drink all day long and drive home drunk at night. Fucked up. Blacked out. Passed out.

Today I don’t celebrate with alcohol. I’m grateful for my independence from it. I celebrate my freedom from the physical craving and the mental obsession. I celebrate my sobriety knowing that this is a new freedom and a new happiness for me.

I’ve recovered.

I’m sober.

I’m free.

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