November 18

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 18: “Expectation has brought me disappointment. Disappointment has brought me wisdom. Acceptance, gratitude and appreciation have brought me joy and fulfilment.” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru

My cup runneth over today. It is the anniversary of the only sobriety date that is as important to me as my own. That is the 21st anniversary of my husband’s return to recovery. His original date was sometime in July 1979. He went out after 16 years in this deal, and barely made it back alive in 1997.

I always loved that he came back and that we got together and celebrated every year just before Thanksgiving and during Gratitude Month. I have never written about one of my very favorite celebrations with him. It was epic. And on his very first Sobriety birthday. Thank God, now I wasn’t living with a newcomer….hahaha…like THAT mattered!

Some of my friends have seen how much fun I have in restaurants and public places, because I let go of trying to be cool or “normal” and have a great time. I engage with the people in the place and everyone who works there. It is so much fun. Well, on this day, it was all laid out for us in a very special way.

We had a dear friend who worked in a really big and popular Mexican restaurant in downtown Palm Springs. She told us she was working the night of his bd, so we told her we would come in there for dinner after a meeting.

So, there were 4 of us who went in and because it is beautiful this time of year in Palm Springs, we ate out on the patio. Only problem…there was a HUGE party going on for these two construction guys and their families…probably 25-30 people. All of them drunker than hell and singing and crazy. Okay. We toasted them with our virgin margaritas.

Soon the band started, and we were all having the greatest time. My husband’s nickname (biker) was Joser, so we sang him Happy B.D. and the drunks all came to our table and sang to him. Then, the two drunk BD boys from the other group picked him up and started dancing him around the patio, chanting…”Joser, Joser, Joser…the birthday boy.”

It was crazy! And it went on until we finished dinner and left. They danced with me and my two girlfriends, and we had the BEST time. What a great way to celebrate recovery! They kept buying us drinks, and we never told them we were drinking virgin ones. I doubt they would have known it, because by the time we left they were REALLY drunk! And fun…no fighting, just fun. I never drank like that, so I was really loving it!

As we left and walked down the street, they were still chanting; “Joser, Joser, Joser, the BD boy…!” What a fun memory that is. It was what I thought of when I wanted to write a special piece today to remember what an amazing event my life with him was. A very simple dinner turned into a lovely event, because I was present to the whole thing. In my life, I can honestly say that those times when I am present and not focused on some weird Ego thing, I have joy and happiness and laughter and love. This is what I want. This is why I do what I do. This is the essence of what my life in recovery has been all about. Over and over, every time. What a joy!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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