XXX Chair

Some anniversaries are meant to be celebrated, some simply get an acknowledgement. I’m not sure where this one falls. Maybe it’s just a milestone – but it’s here. This month marks 30 years without a drink for me. Yep, and I’m not even thirsty. 

Yes, I’m one of those people who shouldn’t drink. So I don’t. It’s simple. My life and the life of others are better that way. I have nothing against the “heathen devil alcohol” – just kidding about the “heathen devil” part. I don’t mind being around people who enjoy a glass of wine, or a craft beer. It’s just not for me. 

How’d I figure all this out? Well, by the ripe old age of 24, I found myself alone, unemployed, depressed and paranoid (and those were my good days). I blamed others for my problems. My life centered around drinking, which I thought was a solution but only made things worse. I was without hope. 

What happened? By chance, I found myself listening to a radio program (for you younger folks, that’s kind of like a podcast). The host was interviewing Billy Carter, President Jimmy Carter’s brother. If you remember, Billy was a mess – but he cleaned up and changed his ways (shortly before dying of pancreatic cancer). Billy talked about what he was like, what happened, and what he was like afterward. For the first time, I related to someone who was like me and I wanted what he had: a different way of life. I call it a spiritual experience of the educational variety. 

Shortly after that experience, I walked into a 12-step meeting (no treatment center for me; I did the home study method) figuring my life was over. I had no idea it was just beginning. Am I saying a 12-step program is for everyone? No, but it worked for me. Rather, the steps of that program worked for me. Do I still go after 30 years? Yes. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. What’s the next milestone? Today. I’m doing it one day at a time.

Dave Miller Back40 Design President

Dave Miller March 2018

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