As I was looking into which section of the forum to find the appropriate one to post this -- Expect the Unexpected was clearly meaningful to me!
After failing to maintain my sobriety after my first trip into AA -- I clearly did NOT expect to make it for a FIRST sober thanksgiving! I thought for sure, that Sobriety would have killed me before I made it from November 14th 1986 until Thanksgiving Day!
Even though I was sober on my first Thanksgiving -- I was still pretty shaky and miserable -- but, I was sooo grateful to be sober on my first thanksgiving!
I remember most everything about it. A long-time sober AA lady named Irene B., invited me to come to her house and spend thanksgiving day with her, her husband Pete, their daughters, and a whole bunch of other AA's!
It was incredible. I had never been in a Sober Home with sober people to spend thanksgiving. I was the newest sober person there and everyone else seemed just like my family... of sober brothers, sisters, and a sober mom and pop!
I was living in the San Fernando Valley area of Southern California, and I discovered that AA didn't close on Thanksgiving! There were a few AA meetings that we also went to that day in addition to having a thanksgiving dinner at Irene's house.
As I look back on it, I am soooo grateful to those AA's that thought of me and welcomed me into their homes and into their meetings, and not only nourished me w/ a meal -- they reached out to personally help me to stay sober.
I remember how emotional it was for me. My family was pretty much gone by then. I had a little sister that still cared for me and of course, my mom --- and it's hard to find a mom, even mine, that didn't care about her kids! I was newly divorced. My kids were away from me. And, I was a physical and emotional wreck on that first thanksgiving.
With about the next five sober thanksgivings in a row after that -- I STILL had no expectation that I would make it through another sober thanksgiving!
Luckily, during that time, I discovered AA Groups that held special thanksgiving dinners in their clubs and places where they held meetings. Each person brought food and we all ate together as we listened to speakers and members share their gratitude to God and AA and each other for their sobriety and for the fact that they could share a sober thanksgiving with each other.
For the next 25 sober thanksgivings in a row -- I've made it a point in my sobriety to be at least one AA meeting on Thanksgiving Day, reaching out and hoping that I could be of help to another sober AA that was going through their first sober thanksgiving.
I thank each of you out there -- for helping me to stay sober! And, I wish you ALL a very merry, cheerful, and sober thanksgiving!
If you end up spending the day physically alone -- REMEMBER, you are NOT alone! We are here with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit -- if we can't be with us physically.
I hope that many of you will log in and share your thanksgiving gratitude and your experience, strength and hope, that will continue to help each of us, new and old, to have a very special sober thanksgiving!
Best wishes to you all!