Passing Over the wine
April 2020 | Home Group

Passing Over the wine

No more frontloading, showing off and drama. He now celebrates his freedom with grape juice

Do I miss the good old days? Perhaps “miss” is not what I actually mean...

Thankfully, I don’t celebrate holidays like I used to. I don’t miss the absolute need to have my usual drinks before I even arrive at our Passover seder each year. I don’t miss carefully picking out my special seat at the seder table, paying particular attention to where the bottles of wine are sitting. I don’t miss all the showing off I did, wearing every Gucci, Armani and Ferragamo that I own. I don’t miss telling everyone how successful I am. I don’t miss making sure everyone is having a great time. After all, I was in charge of everyone’s happiness. And driving home? Only an alcoholic could possibly rationalize driving his wife and kids while drunk. 

And now, 29 years later…what a difference! Holidays are all about being with my wife and my family, who never gave up on me. I’m eternally grateful, lucky and blessed.

On Passover Jews around the world celebrate our freedom from the bondage of slavery. On Passover Jews in recovery celebrate freedom from the bondage of alcohol as well. On Passover this recovering alcoholic thanks God for putting into his life men and women of every religion (or not), rich and poor, educated and uneducated, old and young, who have helped me stay sober this year, one day at a time, and attain the life I always dreamed of.

I’m originally from southern Brooklyn, and I miss my old home. However, God had other plans for me. I moved to the South a few years ago, and now whatever God has in store for me my last few years will probably be here in Tennessee. 

Those of us in recovery know how difficult it is for us alcoholics sometimes during holidays. I must always stay vigilant, call my sponsor, reach out to another alcoholic and get to my AA meetings. Even after 29 years in AA, I still must be reminded to do all of these things.

I plan on counting my blessings tonight with a gratitude list that today is brimming to the top. My greatest gift is that none of my six grandchildren have ever seen their Grandpa Mo drunk. Anything after that is pure gravy. God and everyone at our seder knows that Grandpa Mo only drinks grape juice. Some of them don’t know why. All they have to do is ask anyone who was at our seder in 1988!

Have a great Easter and Passover, my AA friends. Thanks for another year of putting up with my never-ending sharing, my stories and my incessant jokes. Oh yeah, since I’m writing from Nashville, I think I’ll share this…

When I forget how bad drinking really was, all I have to do is listen to Merle Haggard’s classic country song, “The Bottle Let Me Down.”

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