My son is a little over five weeks old today. He is sleeping in a bassinet basket by my side. This experience of having a son, a child, is so very interesting. I could not imagine for a moment what it would be like to be drunk and oblivious to him and to myself. There would be so much to miss.
All of this side of life is so new to me. As my baby boy is different every day, so I find myself in my actions and reactions to him and even now to my wife. Things are richer and more complex but that is not always what is the most obvious about what has occurred within this change. What is most apparent is that things are not the same. I feel better about myself, and this is something that seems apart from even thinking about my son.
I understand it is possible for me to get a bit more mature and a bit wiser day by day, and I do believe this does happen for me more days than not. Yet there are moments when I seem to feel the weight of all the change that has accumulated and I know I have really grown. I experienced that on a mountainside in Montana when I was about to move from there. I felt it when I stood on a hill in the adobe desert in Colorado. I had heard the day before, via email, that I had been awarded my Ph.D. Both of these were celebratory turns of feeling the impact of having reached a significant milestone. With it came a humility and understanding of how fortunate and blessed I am. To be alive, and to be thriving.
That is what this feels like. I am seemingly suddenly more grown-up. And I like it.
One key element of my sobriety, my happiness and my ability to live in the right way is to have a strong faith. Yet it comes and goes. I came into AA not believing in God. My use and abuse of substances though did make me willing to try what Alcoholics Anonymous suggested. My willingness led me to develop a relationship with God and an ability to have faith.
Those days seem simple and quaint today. My humanness has returned as I have stayed sober and had my own little victories in life. All of these have been made possible by my sobriety – that is clear to me. I think that my faith has never been as strong as it was in my early years of sobriety. I do have some ideas why too. Part of it has been, simply that I have become somewhat normal. I am no longer so desperate. My life works today rather than it being a real mess that spills out toxicity in all areas and upon all that are around me. I could do better, sure, but I am not doing all that bad either.
So I have become comfortable and in some ways complacent.
The answer to this sometimes lacking strength in my faith is to redouble my efforts in doing what I have been taught works. Trust God, clean house and help others. I have been taking this action for months now and not surprisingly faith is beginning to spread. It is smothering the fear, getting into the nooks and crannies of my thought life and rooting out the crap. It feels good, its uplifting to have this change occur and to have it so palpable.
I am still a bit away from where I once was with my faith. I have also come to understand that what I had and thought was good can never be brought back. I am aiming to bring myself to a new place, not restore myself to an old state. That old state cannot be returned to because I will never be that person again. I have changed and today is today, it is never yesterday.
My old friend Bob used to say “the best is yet to come.” Things are pretty good but I can tell they are getting better. That is some faith I can bank on.