Nothing I say can convey the despair I felt and the pain I inflicted over and over, upon myself and upon others. I take comfort in knowing that you, in your unique and private pasts, understand. It is because speaking at an AA meeting is an obstacle that I have chosen to do it–to get beyond me, because I have to in order to be free.
History is useful so long as it serves the present. Those days of despair that turned to anesthetized years now permit me to enjoy a sunset and a clean shirt and the inevitable reward that sobriety offers of knowing who you really are. For me to get up in the morning, free of obsession, my body relaxed, noticing a smile or a warm breeze or a steady hand, is a miracle, reborn in me every day now.
I have a long way to go. Despair and negativism are old friends, and they revisit. But now I have me and you and God, and I know I will get beyond if I don’t drink, come to meetings, look beyond, and forgive. We cannot change the past, but we can change, and we can experience more fully the miracle that is the present. After all, the present is all we have.