December 31, 2017 (this day)

This year!

I am circling, circling that fourth step and I will leap upon it soon.

With several hours left to go, and no easy access to alcohol, I think it’s safe to assume that I won’t have had any alcohol in 2017.  The thirty-third year?  Nineteen eighty four was the last year I drank.

2017 was terrible in some ways.  Politically I have been more disturbed and devastated than is healthy.  I had a great year with my precious dog, up until the last two weeks.  After a few difficult hours she left me for the final time.  And I’m much more crushed than is called for.

I’m grateful to be alive, grateful to be here and go this mile.  But anchoress, glueless, my compass is gone.

Not really.  AA has showed me the way since 1984.  The dog was never endangered by my alcoholism.  Since she’s gone, I can say “never.”  I don’t like facing a new year without that anchor and that glue, but really today is just another day, and tomorrow is just another day, and a “new year” is an arbitrary marker.  It’s another chance to be even better.

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December 25, 2017 (this day)

This should be my beginning of Step Four, but that will wait.  This is my report of Christmas, 2017.

My dog passed away last Sunday.  It was as good as it could possibly be without her living forever, or for the rest of my life.  I’m broken hearted.  Truly.

My daughter lives about 400 miles away, and I wasn’t going to see her because the dog was too old to take and too old to leave.  My wife and son were going to go see my daughter the day after Christmas.  But the dog died, and my daughter asked me to visit.  Because both she and we live in potentially snowy areas, we left home on Friday after work and left her house this morning, Monday morning, Christmas morning.  We – me and my wife and my son – are in a Holiday Inn about 150 miles from home, stuck in blinding snow.  We were very grateful to find a room here, but are fairly depressed, each in our own way, to be here.  On Christmas.

Dear readers I am sober.  The loss of the dog is huge.  She has been my constant companion for 11 years.  She was always glad to see me.  She was a very good dog and constantly on my mind if not in my presence.  I can’t believe she’s gone and I can’t believe I’ll ever be happy again.

I’ve had other dogs and I still have cats.  I have human children.  I’ve lost relationships in many ways but this one hurts like hell.

I don’t need to peruse my gratitude list.  My gratitude is infinite, and my experience with my dog was as perfect as it could be.  Even her death was as good as it could be.  I’m grateful, and I miss her, and I’ll never be the same.  I’ll go into 2018 without her and just now, like I said, I can’t imagine ever being happy again.