1, Maybe 2 Things About 13 Years of Sobriety

  1. My name is Brian, and I'm an alcoholic. As of today, I have been sober for 13 years.
  2. I wrote a list last year called 12 THOUGHTS AT 12 YEARS OF SOBRIETY . In reviewing that list to decide how I might commemorate this year, I found I do not have 13 new thoughts to add.
    Recovery is like the tag line for the board game Othello: a minute to learn, a lifetime to master.
  3. But I do have one or two things, depending how you count:
  4. I try to carry this coin with me every day.
    That little jeans pocket you never use for anything? Perfect for Alcoholism Support Coins.
  5. The coin is a gift from my mom. Its flowery script is not what I would have chosen.
    But then, I did not choose to be an alcoholic.
  6. A coin does not make me stay sober.
    I still have to do the work.
  7. Yet I appreciate the dual reminders.
    Even when I've forgotten the coin in yesterday’s pants.
  8. They are as powerful as they are mundane:
  9. I only have to be sober for this moment.
  10. And to live in this moment, I must remain aware of what I can change.
    Very little, it turns out.
  11. I am grateful for 13 years - an 8th grader’s worth - of being able to choose not to drink.
  12. But most of all, I am grateful that I have today to share this with you.
  13. I am most grateful for today.