My local watering hole, where I used to get drunk for the last years of my drinking career, is right across the street from where I live. In those last years of my drinking I was already painfully aware that I was an alcoholic. Sometimes in the alcohol fueled depressed state of desperation I would look for company to just feel like a normal person if I got someone to talk to. Cause by that stage I was pretty much alone and lonely all the time. Sometimes an old timer, would sit at the corner of the bar, always drinking coffee. I got in the habit of trying to make conversation with him every now and then. It didn’t take a genius to realize that he was an alcoholic who had been sober for quite some time. Every now and then he would comment on my condition and since I had already told him that I am an alcoholic…he’d say that I should go back to the meetings. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. Every time I’d see him, he’d ask me how I’m doing. For some reason I had no problem being honest with this stranger drinking coffee at the bar. Never did he tell me to stop drinking, or in any way try and push sobriety on me. He would tell me about how much better his life is now that he doesn’t have to drink any longer. For some reason I felt a connection to this old man.
Time has passed and I see him every now and then walking down the street. I don’t go to the bar anymore, so I don’t see him that often, cause he probably still drinks his coffee there.
Each time we meet in the street he asks me how I’m doing? For a year and 8 months I’ve gotten to say that things are going good.
Today I saw him walking towards me on the street. As is his habit he asks me how I’m doing? and I can happily reply that everything is going good and that I’m almost done with getting a new profession and going to AA etc…It was like a warm flame light up in his eyes. I could literally see how happy he became hearing that I’m really making progress and staying sober.
And of course that made me feel awesome inside…thank you sobriety, thank you AA and thank you community.