Yesterday was another milestone… not much of one but something towards the next important milestone… It was my 45th birthday, and also my third birthday after cleaning up.
To be honest, I’d regarded my age since cleaning up as a disappointment until recently, because the first (and only) time I went to rehab was in November 2009. I was 38 then, and I looked around at the other inpatients. I was above the average age, and although there were a few people older than me, most of them (except for one guy named Keith who was over 50 and an excellent marathon runner) were lifelong addicts. I didn’t want to be like them, so I figured it would be good if I could get clean and stay clean before age 40. But thanks to my relapse, I didn’t achieve that. In the end, I did clean up for good about a month before my forty third birthday.
Anyway, the only milestone I really care about is the 15th December. On that day last year, we had our date in court, and the magistrate’s decision was that there was no reason for Josh’s foster care to continue. So the 15th December 2016 will be a year since I got my son back. A year being a proper father again, with custody of my son, a chance to show everyone that I can raise him, and most importantly a chance to be there for him… to teach him the values that are important to me. I’ll write about that some more when the time comes, but it’s less than two months to go now, and all is well.
Update: Funny how easy it is to get these things wrong… I wrote this yesterday in a hurry while Josh played outside with some friends who live in the same complex. This was not my third birthday since cleaning up – it was my fourth. I cleaned up in September 2013, about a month before my 42nd birthday. Hence I had 3 birthdays since then. It’s confusing because of course the first was the same year I cleaned up, not a year later. Doubly confusing to anyone familiar with NA who reads this, is that they always ask about “birthdays” at the end of meetings. By “birthdays” they actually mean anniversary of cleaning up, not actual birthdays at all. I’ve always thoughts it’s stupid to refer to that as birthdays, since birthdays are, you know, when you’re born.