"We never know the difference between a tragedy and a blessing."
When I got sober and stopped doing drugs and drinking, I thought it was the worst tragedy ever. First, I thought I could never go to Europe again – I mean who could enjoy England without going into a pub and having a pint? And could you imagine a café in Paris without a glass of wine? And how about all those special times like New Year’s Eve, weddings, weekend parties, etc.? Everybody would be drinking and enjoying themselves, and I would be stuck in a corner alone and hating it. Tragedy? It was like the enjoyment of the rest of my life was gone for good.
As I worked the Steps in recovery I began taking inventories of my drinking and using career. What emerged wasn’t a pattern of drinking like other people and enjoying parties, but of getting drunk, blacking out, and engaging in humiliating behaviors. During my last trip to Paris, I realized all I wanted to do was drink red wine, not visit museums or monuments. I even sent a postcard to my best friend saying I should have just stayed home, bought a case of French wine and saved myself the $3,000 it took to travel. After remaining sober a few years, though, a new pattern developed – I began enjoying life in a rich and meaningful way.
What started out as a tragedy – getting sober – has turned out to be the biggest blessing of my life. My life today is indescribably better than I could have ever hoped for. And what it all comes down to for me is that today I try to do God’s will rather than my own. My wife and I now look at things differently. When something doesn’t work out the way we hoped, we now ask, “Is that a bad thing?” Instead of getting upset that we didn’t get our way, we now wait to see what God has in store for us. So many times what ends up happening is much better than what we had in mind.
Today, I have the wisdom to look beyond a seeming tragedy and look for the blessing instead.