Today I celebrated my thirteenth year of sobriety: "By the Grace of God," one day at a time. In the beginning, sometimes one second at a time, one minute at a time. I remember two weeks into my sobriety a man made a bet with his friend, referring to me: "I'll bet you five dollars he'll never make it." He didn't know I over-heard their conversation. Here I sit, thirteen years later, drug and alcohol free: more than making it and many of my dreams coming true. I paid no attention to his ignorance as I knew then, I was in it for me and no-one else; I had no hope or strength to offer to anyone...as I was yet this vessel amidst life's treacherous sea: battered, beaten, bruised, hurt, torn, bitter, and angry. I was in search of love, peace, healing, and joy; somehow, this time, I knew I would find it.
Said the Most Hopeless in the Bunch
If words could describe, what the past thirteen years have been-
four thousand seven hundred and forty-five days, just where do I begin.
Treacherous pain of heart and soul, tears shed in a very dark place-
shattered spirit and brokenness, no strength to run this race.
Beaten mentally and emotionally, flesh bruised right to the bone-
vacant physically and spiritually, for sure there was no home.
Dreading the day and hating the sun, because black became the norm-
much more comfortable to feel great pain, amidst life's merciless storm.
Hope was becoming a four letter word, that could not so easily be erased-
the bitter drink that kept me going, I could no longer taste.
I took a step and eventually two, joining hands with others before-
marveling at their radiant smiles, as they sailed a brighter shore.
Stories shared through tears and sobs, were really no different than mine-
we've walked the walk, they've paved the path, they are the lights that shine.
"If I can do it, then so can you," said the most hopeless in the bunch;
"I used to drink three times a day: for breakfast, dinner, and lunch."
"The crutch I used was Mary Jane as I hobbled on my way...
now I don't even need these things, as I start another day."
The strength it came in that final moment, searching for a closing word:
"Cry your tears one day at a time..." rebuild is what I heard.
Thirteen years of baby steps have passed, as again I've learned to cry-
dusting off those feathery wings, to take a chance and fly.
Treacherous pain of heart and soul, has now been turned to strength-
so much healing, fun, and laughter: fought for at any length.
Sincerely...Godwin H. Barton
"You can do it! Yes you!"