Drinking Alcohol taught me how to fly
Then it took away the sky....

Thursday, March 17, 2011


 Sober Anniversary
For nearly twenty-five years I had sunk progressively into the alcoholic abyss of total self-centeredness, fear, EXTREME paranoia, alcoholic insanity and a life of utter chaos. Alcohol became as necessary for me to live...as air. It became my God, because whatever task assigned to me, my thought was constantly on the moment I'd be able to drink. "Soon...noon" I'd say to myself.

Following is a slightly edited reprint of my March 18, 2009 and 2010 blog post--

YEAR 1974

Five minutes before midnight on Monday March 18, 1974, I had my last and final drink of alcohol. At that moment I was infused with an opportunity available to many who suffer from the disease of alcoholism, but which comparatively few have accepted. It was a moment of choice, a turning point. I could continue to be among the "Unknowing", heading for certain and early death, or begin a second life, to be one with YOU--the minority of humans who are fortunate enough to be given another chance. I was allowed to live two complete and distinct lives in one lifetime. EVEN THOUGH I WANTED NO PART OF THIS DAMMMM'D AA CRAP!

It was very dark that Tuesday March 19th night (or so it seemed to me!) when I walked for the first time into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Naples, Florida. Being  fashionably five minutes late, I was thinking, "DUMB, Steve--look what you've done now. This is the bottom of the barrel--the stupidest move you have EVER made...you sooo must really be sick!"  My plan had been to sneak quietly into the room, sit, shake, and sweat (the three s's?) in the back, and figure out how to get out of this predicament.

All I needed was a few (the proverbial "Couple Drinks, Judge--tha's all I ever had". LOL!) drinks to get me back to normal. Remember...I had my last drink just 21 hours before. (Yes, I had a desire to stop drinking--but only until after this AA meeting!) Yes, I certainly was willing to do ANYTHING to have a better life--anything...except stop drinking!

That same night though, I somehow knew that I would never drink again. And my job at the time was...BARTENDER, 6 nights a week!  I did not know how sobriety for me could happen, because nothing before had worked. I did not know that I COULD "not drink" one day at a time!

Well, a fellow came walking fast, out from that meeting, almost fell down the few steps, out into the parking lot smiling (Ugh!) and said, "I'm Jim F...welcome." Then, no questions asked, he guided me first into the meeting room, quickly past everyone. I "unobtrusively" bumped into a couple fellows, "unobtrusively" spilled someone's coffee, fell across a couple chairs on the way to--guess where?--OUT the door at the other end of the room! I was 'in and out' of AA in one minute?--grin!

Outside, Jim herded me across a small courtyard into a smaller, very smoky, very crowded room, called the "Beginner's Room". How did they know? The topic of this meeting was Steps One, Two, and Three. Thank God, when I arrived, they were already on Step TWO! I thought, one-third of the meeting must be over! Because all I wanted to do was get out of there.

Nothing did I remember from that meeting, except what they all shouted at one another at the end-not to me, of course! "Don't drink" and "Come back next week." But do you know what? That's what I heard them say. And that's exactly what I did!


Please Note: This 37th year has been the most difficult of my sobriety. Every mistake of mine can be turned into an experience which can help others. Any strength I've discovered in asking God to help me deal with failures can one day be given to another. Any hope I conjured will be the hope I can transmit any time to one who is hopeless. Peeps, our program works! If you wish more specifics, write me: fiddlemn@gmail.com (I am an open book, but not in the public domain--grin!)

This I have learned:  that God makes use of other people in order to work with us--and He talks with us through others--and that's how God was working in my life, in 1974...and now. I write this as witness that a completely helpless, hopeless, powerless, very sick man, age 40, enslaved to the drug alcohol (and a few other well-known pharmaceutical products) was scooped up and delivered from alcoholic bondage, and made well again.

Finally, I thank God for giving me you people, and thank YOU for giving me God!

And right here right now, blogger friends--wonderful 'Peeps' you all are--have shown me SO MUCH about how to live, how to love, and how to be of service in many ways. You have even spoken to me in your silence. Within me a heart burns with a fire of love for God, all He has created, and you bloggers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

In an Attitude of Gratitude, Service, and Love!
Steve E.


  1. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we all walk through this life one step at a time, there is strength there for the asking when we need it, and that the greatest gift we can give ourselves is helping someone else. In life as in flying, it is what we push against that gives us lift. Congratulations on your anniversary and many, many happy returns of the day.

  2. A celebration my friend - I am proud of you and to be your friend

    Best as you face #38

  3. What an amazing accomplishment.

    Very well done!!

    A celebration indeed.

    Have a wicked weekend

  4. Hi, Steve!

    Thank you so much for your comment, I have been ill for another two weeks, and am lying in bed, but I am better now.

    I am thinking of you and of all my blog Friends, but just physically cannot blog these days.

    Take care, be well and till later!


  5. I'd love to be able to be with you today and celebrate this so meaningful day PEEP!
    And as I cannot I send you my best wishes and regards
    and more love and peace!

  6. you rocks steve...know this one has been a tough year and glad you have the framework and the community to surround you to walk through it...and a god to guide it...i am glad to have met you as well...

  7. Congratulations, Steve. Yes, a tough year for you. But you are human. Forgiveness and love can conquer all :)

  8. Thanks for being a wonderful power of example!
    & Passing on a legacy of Love and service .
    Enjoy the day!

  9. Kudos, Steve. Blessings and peace to you, my friend. A great accomplishment and one to be proud of. xx

  10. hello :)

    im so happy for you, really.
    and proud of you :'))

  11. look... you made this witch shed some tears...

  12. hello?
    yes hello, i just had to come back: i'm pic-of-the-week on Illustration Friday! yaaayyy!!!

    (you know since i'm not an artist/illustrator/whatever, this can make me cry too...........)

  13. I have found out such truths too, Steve. You have a wonderful story here, and you're very brave to tell it to us. Who knows? Perhaps you've touched us all in many differing ways that you're unaware of. To me your tale is a reminder that when depression sneaks in it's important to put one foot in front of the other...even baby steps if that's what it takes to get up, face the world again that can be both kind and unkind, magical and mundane, generous and critically unforgiving. It's all there, and we've all got this short but precious gift of living to enjoy it as long as we can. Hugs to you and congrats for another victorious year of being daring and courageous to live life in the raw!

  14. Quite a coincidence; sobriety day on St. Patrick's Day.
    My deepest respect for what you have achieved.
    I hope you may be led into smoother waters the years to come.

  15. Congrats Steve. We earn those years. I am still a relative newcomer at 21 years.

  16. MAGPIE!
    How sweet a comment you write. Thank you.

    And friends we are! You are one special, you know that?

    LOL "Have a wicked weekend"...how do you know me so well? Or do you say that "to all the boys?"--grin!

    Oh, girl you have been SO ill! And yet took the time and energy to celebrate with me. You are lovely--please get well soon--rest, rest, and more rest. Everyone will be here waiting when you are able to return. Maybe try a short one every week, or ten days? It might do you good???

    Oh! What a fantasy--for you to be there and celebrate with your Special blogger-friend--me! No beer, No champagne, maybe a coffee or tea? And an 'apple fritter' (a specialty at Starbucks!) Thanks you for coming by.

    Believe me, I cherish your support, friendship, and that God-given opportunity to read your special brand of talented writing. Another "WUNDERBAR"!

  17. KRISTIN!
    Thank God for understanding friends like you who stay with the Peeps who DO keep trying. Thanks for your message here! PEACE!

    Love and Service--I could write a book about each of those. But I believe many of those I see daily shirk from the 'service' part, thinking that 'just showing up' is service. At first, yes...but there comes a time--whether at 7 years, or 37 years, one owes it to oneself to experience the utter JOY of stepping on the ladder of the service structure. I know you know this--just writing 'cause I love to write--grin!
    Bless you for coming here--and your kind words.

    Thank you for coming here on my sober-versary. You are SO talented in so many areas. I am truly honored that you are here!

    hello :) im so glad you wlked in here today. Been busy--miss the bantering, I thrive on it. Don't cry now--grin!

    I like that dimple- :')) Mine is on other side- :,))
    Congratulations to you, a non-artist, non-illustrator and a non-whatever...for being chosen as "pic-of-the-week" on Illustration Friday. Or is that "Non-Illustration Friday"?

    CATFISH, I had forgotten--how COULD I?--what a great writer you ARE! A short out-of-context quote from your comment: "...short but precious gift of living to enjoy..." I have learned it is "living and giving"...which is already what you DO! Love it...keep doing what you do so well--gonna buy one of your books from Amazon tonight--hope there is a 'Kindle' version!!! PEACE

    Smoother waters! Yesss! Or even if not-so-smooth they can still be filled with JOY. YOU know that! And I do too--grin! PEACE!

    I remember when I had 21 years! (Actually, I do not remember--just joking!!!) I DO know one can feel (and on occasion) behave, like a newcomer no matter the sober age. Thanks for being here today, MM! PEACE!

  18. Happy anniversary. Glad that you made it. That's a lot of 24 hours put together.

  19. Happy anniversary, Steve. Congratulations on your 37th year of being alcohol free.

    You've done very well. And you have inspired many by your humble accounts, as shared so creatively on your blog.

    March 18 - what a remarkable date - I'm also celebrating an important anniversary. Come over to my blog, when you can, and leave me a greeting.

    Blessings... always blessings...

  20. you should be so proud of yourself :)

  21. SYD!
    As you know, 13 days, or 13,000 days. It is still One Day At A Time--the only way I know how.

    I am humbled by your remarks, because I 'know' you, a most worthy spiritual child of God. I did visit your blog, and am in awe at our mutually shared anniversary date...even if our memories totally differ. But DO they, really?
    Thank you. Blessings on US!

    Hey did I just see you on FB? Thanks for your kind words. For true miracles--as is sobriety of an alcoholic--JOY is my word on this Anniversary. Gratitude, and love, and peacefulness ensues from this great gift from God!

  22. i'm more than thankful to have met you in blogworld steve - you have such a beautiful heart and mind. glad you made it and thanks for being so honest and open

  23. Mi más sincera enhorabuena, luchar contra ese fantasma que te persigue es una tarea ardua y difícil, pero eres un gran ejemplo a seguir, la fuerza de la voluntad y el querer ser por encima de todas las cosas es una gran lección de vida.
    Un abrazo muy fuerte y que sigas sumando años a esta gran batalla. Desde aquí te envío toda mi fuerza que te acompañe.

  24. All the very best to you Steve.

    I pray this year will unfold in a more serene and happy manner than the last year has for you.

  25. MIMOSA!
    Mimosa Estimados ... no es más una batalla. Simplemente una "correcta" manera de vivir. Gracias por el apoyo. Y gracias por su paciencia con mis traducciones al español luchando.
    LA PAZ. y un beso!

    Man, if YOU are praying for it...it will happen! Just the TIMING over which you have no control--grin! Thanks, Andrew, friend!

    No kidding, when I see your name on my blog comments, I think, "I'm not good enough at anything to qualify for Claudia's time to comment here". But you do, and I am honored!
    ...And you always have such kind words for the writer or poet, who is neither writer nor poet!
    PEACE! and love...for you