Living Life – Not Enduring

When the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous were open my Sponsor use to say, “In sobriety we are meant to live life, not endure it.” Today, those words stand out like never before. For me it is only through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous I have found a sense of peace and serenity in my life no matter what difficulties are laid at my feet in the present.

The first thoughts are those during the days I was drinking and gambling. The endless struggle of making ends meet day and day. Forever wondering, “When am I ever going to get ahead? Is this ever going to end? Why me? What now? Do I have go through this again?” Never again do I have fears – whether I’m going to have a job at the end of the day, whether bills are going to be paid, what or where I’m going to eat next or always looking over my shoulder because I screwed someone over to get what I want only to have it all ripped away in the end. The constant battle for a sliver of sanity. I never imagined I could exist any other way.

Then I met people just like me. Our struggles were the same. Yet, they somehow managed to come out of the never ending dark tunnel. Perhaps not unscathed, but not ripped open, torn apart and beaten down to a pulp struggling to stay afloat in our own shit. Something was different. They described a way of life incomprehensible to me. Yet the said, “It’s a simple program for complicated people. You just have to do some work.”

It wasn’t easy at first. I was stubborn – set in my old ways. I didn’t want to do this or that. This isn’t for me. You have got to be kidding me! But after a while, I really had to answer the question, “What do I have to lose?” As hard as it was, I simply did what they told me to do without question.

To my surprise, my life changed.

Today, I have problems. We all do. It’s called life. Life isn’t all “peaches and cream”. There are ups and downs. Someone once said, “If life was constant – you would be dead.” A straight line is a flat line. It’s that simple.

I can sit here writing today writing this with no worries on my mind. I’m free of any fear of what’s going to happen at work tonight. I’m not worried who is going to call me next on my phone. I’m not worried about a knock on the door. I’m not worried how much is in my bank account and checking it hour after hour to make sure it doesn’t change.

Instead, I can gaze over at my TV watching beautiful scenes from around the world pass on my screen listening to soothing tunes as the world happens outside. I’m grateful to have people in my life who check on me in these unprecedented times asking, “How are you doing?”, knowing they really care about my welfare. The lights are on, there is food in the refrigerator, a roof is over my head and I’m more than comfortable sitting with my feet up enjoying life.

Then it hits – damn – I have to work. So be it. I’ll survive another day.

Life today is as it should be – enjoyable.

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