There are many times when we don’t drink in recovery.
We don’t drink when we arrive at our hotel for a conference and get hit in the face with the lobby bar. People gathered at tables, laughing, having fun with a wine glass sitting at their elbow.
We don’t drink when out of nowhere we are knocked off our feet by a powerful craving for a crisp, cold glass of wine. Or two. Or ten.
We don’t drink when we realize that no one would know and you wouldn’t have to tell and what could it hurt really.
We don’t drink when we run to our room, make sure there’s no mini bar, and sit down quietly, wondering why now, after so many days, a craving would rear its ugly head.
We don’t drink when we tell ourselves to be still. To lean into that craving. We remind ourselves that the worst will be over in 30 minutes, so just hang on. Stay put. Stay present. This too will pass.
We don’t drink when we are mad and frustrated and sick of carrying around this demon.
We don’t drink when we are weary of the battle, tired of the struggle, fed up with trying to see the blessing in our addiction. We don’t drink and we don’t give up.
We don’t drink when we add up our time, count our days of clear-eyed living, keep track of our world before and our world after the moment that changed everything.
We don’t drink when the craving thankfully exits as quick as it arrived.
We don’t drink when we are feeling stronger and settled and a little nervous to be meeting new people.
We don’t drink when we are asked to stand up and tell our story. We just tell the truth – the real, hard, ugly truth – that we hid for so, so long. We speak our heart and we pray we will be a blessing for someone else. Our hands shake and our voice cracks and we breathe a sign of relief when it’s over.
We don’t drink when we hear others mourn the ones they’ve lost to addiction, knowing we caused that pain to the ones who love us.
We don’t drink when we see someone hunched over, trying to disappear, but they smile shyly and give a thumbs up and we think, “She’s one of us.” We instead go give her a hug and know that we were meant to be at this very place at this very time to give this very hug.
We don’t drink when get back to our hotel room. Alone. Grateful. Sober.
We don’t drink when we thank God for allowing us to be here, surrounded by hundreds of sisters in Christ, being loved on and gathered in and breathing out so much goodness.
We don’t drink when wake up to another day on this earth. A day full of possibilities and opportunities. We are healthy and safe and full of all that is right. We are alive.
And we are profoundly humbled that we didn’t drink.
We didn’t drink. And that is enough.