Reunion (part 2)

December 12th

I had an amazing time yesterday at the Christmas party for graduates of an addiction therapy health center — who are still sober, of course. Around 70 people showed up. There were a lot of friendly talks, good cheer, mutual support, and good food. I have to admit that after I came home I was so stuffed that I had to lie down for an hour. There were people from all different walks of life — from successful entrepreneurs to artists to working-class guys to average middle-class Joes. In age, there was also a difference — from twenty-something to seventy plus. There were couples that went to therapy together, and couples that met in the therapy. All the staff was there — from therapists to housekeepers and management. I had fun; it seemed that everybody there had a lot of fun. It was a truly stunning afternoon and evening.

I met four co-patients from my group — they all seem to be doing fine, and they keep working on sobriety and their lives. For example — Helena, she is 72 years old; she had a relapse early this year, but she is not giving up. For the last several months, she’s been attending an AA group in her hometown. She said that after the therapy stay she was ashamed to go to the AA meetings because she lives in a small town where everybody knows everybody’s business. Not anymore — she said that she doesn’t care that neighbors will talk, she wants to be sober and still be a good mother and grandmother. Another guy, Karol — when we were in therapy, it was obvious that wasn’t to be there. He claimed he doesn’t really have an alcohol addiction and only his family forced him to attend therapy. I didn’t expect him to still be sober — but he is! He told me that the realization that he was actually addicted came to him after a few months of sobriety. His children told him what kind of difference they see in him now in comparison to his drinking days — that was the motivation he needed to stay clean.

There was some bad news as well, quickly murmured between people at the party — some good friends died this year. Some went on the bender again and their bodies could take it anymore. There were several suicides, there were several deaths from cancer of the liver or pancreas. It was a somber reminder that any addiction can take over a life and destroy it in many ways. But that can be a motivation as well to avoid any pitfalls on the way.

Everybody there was so full of life, so full of good cheer, it was clear that all of us want this newly found quality of life to last as long as possible. No halfway measures — we want to be sober and enjoy life to the fullest!

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