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July 07 • Birthday Blahs

Day 729

How big of a deal are the birthdays in the 12 Step program? My two-year mark is in two days, and I'm torn between wanting to shoot fireworks over a marching band, and wanting to lay low so I don't jinx anything. It's also a legit question on its face, without my push-and-pull exercises.

I yield to the decades-long tradition of the program to recognize these annual milestones; I have no reason to think there is anything approaching a net negative impact of marking these occasions. In my early days of recovery, those moments of telling my fellows and my family that I had some sobriety was a big deal. Getting the coins and the hugs were big deals. It's been six months since I've had that experience, and I'm not going to have it this time due to pandemic considerations. And it will be another year until another one coin opportunity comes along. Is it possible that the conflicted feelings I'm having are more about grieving the loss of the celebrations? Is that the question I'm asking?

My wife also seems to have this on her mind; she's asked about it a few times in the past couple of weeks. I'm trying to figure out whether I'm sending some sort of signal that's causing her to be concerned. I had some errands to run today and didn't think about watching the time. I was gone thirty minutes longer than she expected and she was more than a little concerned before I got back. She's gotten good at expressing her angst instead of tucking it down, so maybe that's all it is. Perhaps she feels this way every time I'm late, and she's just now feeling comfortable letting me know.

There are a lot more questions here than anything approaching conclusions. Maybe I don't need an answer here. Maybe all the possibilities have parts of the truth, and this is just a day of introspection about recovery, and sadness about my wife's continuing world of living with an addict. Addicts fail and are pre-disposed to failure because of their disease. That has to be tough to live with, even if her particular addict is making progress and not giving her any reason to doubt his sobriety.

I'll take all this as another reminder that this is about so much more than me. Even that sounds arrogant and overblowing my effect on the world. Still...




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