From the January 2013 magazine.

January 2013: Eight Tulips

It’s a whole new world without blackouts!

What do eight tulips mean to me? They mean a smile on my face, joy in my heart, and being thankful for the friends that I have today in the great Fellowship of AA. It’s because of the tulips that a good friend gave me the other day right before an AA meeting that I decided to write this story. I’ve been sober for a little over 25 years now, and I still have to work this program one day at a time. Reflecting on these past 25 years, I think that other than having a conscious contact with my Higher Power, who I choose to call God, being aware of my surroundings is one of the best things in my life today.

So, I’m writing to you about some tulips, eight in fact—and the joy they have brought me. I guess you would have had to know me while I was drinking to know how unaware of my surroundings I was at all times. I hated the birds in the mornings. Well, I hated mornings, period. I never came to before noon, and often much later in the day. Back in those days, I didn’t work. I couldn’t have held down a job, even if I had to. I was always so hungover that I was sick all day long and most of the night, always swearing that I would never drink again. And always by the next day, hangover gone, I was drunk once more. I know that many of you can relate to that.

-- Susan B.

Hays, Kansas

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