It was my anniversary yesterday. On January 24, 1996 I walked into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, and that was the last time I ever had a drink or used drugs.
The day was a little surreal for me. In some ways it felt like I just got clean and sober yesterday; in other ways it felt like it happened a hundred years ago. I was living in Puerto Rico at the time, managing a bar (great place for a drunk to work!). I was partying every night and sleeping less and less. One night, after hours of drinking and lots of coke, my heart began beating so hard I thought it was going to come right out of my chest. I broke out in a cold sweat and got up to splash some water on my face. When I glanced up into the mirror, I was shocked by my appearance. My face was pasty gray, my skin hung, and my eyes were dull and glazed over. In that instant, I knew I was going to die soon if I didn’t stop.
Flash forward 13 years. My cheeks are pink and my eyes sparkle. I am healthy and happy. My life is wonderful. I know how this happened – lots of hard work and sticking to the principles of AA – but I don’t know why. I often wonder, “Why me?” Continue reading