In October my husband celebrated his Sobriety Birthday. It was a day I was so excited to witness and share with him. I was very disappointed when I was told by my sponsor that I was not to make a big deal of it! I shouldn’t even expect to be invited to the meeting where he would be celebrated by his AA home group and receive his chip! What? That’s crazy? I grew up in a family that had a party for every little thing. I couldn’t imagine not celebrating this HUGE milestone with him.
I waited and waited to be asked. I thought for sure he would want me there. So me, being the patient person I am (not really!), finally said to him…I’m invited to your birthday right? He thought about it for a second and then said…do I have a choice?
He struggled with his birthday this year. Even though in my mind he had scaled a mountaintop and planted a flag of recovery; in his mind he felt he was still sitting at the bottom looking up. With the looming legal issue still in his future, how could he celebrate something that had caused him, his family, friends, office staff, and patients so much pain?
He went to his birthday. Even though he may have been hesitant, I quickly noticed the impact he had made in that room over the last 10 months. As each person spoke on the topic of the day, they also would mention something my husband had said that touched or inspired them. Three new members there were getting their 24 hour chip and said how they looked forward to the day they could stand in his shoes. One member was getting his one month chip. He said a year seemed so far away, but it seemed doable and was glad he witnessed someone accomplish it. They talked about taking it all one day at a time.
My husband probably needed to hear what he heard other’s say about him that day. However what I witnessed that day, and what I hope he saw as well, is the impact he has had on others. That through the devastation this disease has caused him and the people that love him; his strength through this adversity is being witnessed and helping others grow in their recovery. In my mind that is big win!
I was given permission by my husband to post this story and his chip photo.