20 Years Shout-Out!

Image of LifeRing with Congratulations banner20 Years Soberversary!

I always get a thrill celebrating my soberversaries, but this year is particularly significant, as I now have 20 years.

Its significance lies not in the sense of personal achievement or victory, but in awareness of the healing power of community. That very power is available to everyone here, active participants and non-participants alike.

I came to LifeRing 3 months after my last drink.  It all began with the accusation, “You drunk!”, spat with utter contempt from the lips of my husband while I was in the midst of yet another blackout. We were both alcoholic drinkers.  He was a large man, so his consumption was higher than mine.  And he, of all people, was calling ME a drunk!  It stopped me in my tracks, as I knew he was absolutely right.  I was a drunk! A contemptible drunk.  There was no time for drawing up a plan, no time for goodbyes, no time for wistful backward glances.  It was time for action.

With that as the starting point, a self-intervention immediately followed.  Since my Vegas blackout horror, I’d been keeping a log of things that were “happening” as a result of drinking.  It hit me as a multi-point indictment, one I couldn’t deny.

For many reasons, AA was not a good fit, and so I was hanging on by a thread. I had zero support, zero education, zero community.  Even I knew I couldn’t hang on much longer.  The internet abounded in charlatans, false promises and wishful, often erroneous reasoning.

In a desperate online search, I finally discovered a tiny, fledgling organization called LifeRing Secular Recovery.  Had I won a lottery, it couldn’t compare with my fortune in discovering this sane and compassionate organization.  From the start, I knew I’d found the golden key.  I was home.

LifeRing was going through growing pains as any young organization does.  As much as we hoped for its survival, it sometimes appeared doubtful.  There were a handful of oldtimers but most were newcomers, many struggling mightily.

Fast forward 20 years, and LifeRing clearly will be here long after I’m gone.  I look around, and see many with very high-quality sober time.  We not only put the plug in the jug, but through the collective power of the group, have learned to distinguish rational from irrational reasoning and to connect with our higher selves, our sober selves.

The Sobriety Priority (Sobriety is my Priority.  I don’t drink or use no matter what) is my declaration of independence, and of my refusal to be returned to bondage. It is my inner amulet, the treasure of my mind.  If I didn’t frequent this place, I’m sure I would have “reasoned” that after all this time, certainly I can drink sensibly. How fortunate I am to recognize the fallacy of the “reasoning” that has snared so many others.

And as the baton of recovery was passed to me from former generations of LifeRingers, so I pass it to my future self and to future LifeRingers.

Thank you to all the amazing people who give this haven its strength.  You saved my life.


PS:  I sent a donation to the organization that represents the hearts and minds of you, my closest friends. Thank you.