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Don’t Want To Miss A Thing

Drinking, she missed that most essential of things: her life

When I hear the phrase: "You don't know what you're missing," it gets me thinking. When is this true? Sometimes, I know exactly what I'm missing! I missed an off-ramp on the freeway. I missed an HOA meeting where they're talking about increasing the dues. I missed the sunset. I know what happened and I know what I missed.

In my Monday night Step meeting, there was a lady who came occasionally. She didn't share often, but when she did, it was real. It has never ceased to amaze me the arrows of truth that fly into my heart from such humble sources. The diamonds in the plain brown wrapper.

I forget what Step we were on, but she was sharing about her gratitude that she was so fully present in her life in sobriety, having relationships with family and friends, enjoying simple moment-to-moment experiences. Not dwelling on the past or focusing on an unknown future. She hadn't realized until she had been sober for a while that while drinking, she had essentially been missing her life. She stopped when she got to that point, clasped her hands together on the table in front of her and said, in a voice of such conviction and depth that it felt like a long-held-in confession: "If you're an alcoholic, and you keep drinking, you're going to miss your life."

"You're going to miss your life." What tragedy! And what truth.

Before I got sober, I didn't know what life really was. I wasn't paying attention. I was enduring, not living. I have memories, so I know what happened, but I missed out on so much richness of experience, simply because I wasn't present. I didn't know what I was missing.

Sobriety and trust in my Higher Power have given me the courage to be brilliantly present and to experience a life of goodness, sharing and service. My litmus test for making many decisions these days is: "Do I want to miss that?" Because now I really do know what I'll be missing.

For more stories from AA members on the joys and benefits of sobriety, be sure to read Emotional Sobriety: The Next Frontier available online at the AA Grapevine Store.

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