St Thomas Town Hospital
Step One for Bill W.
April 4, 2024
boy inside man
Who Am I, and What Have I Become?
April 4, 2024
man sitting by fireplace

The longer I am sober the more amazed I am at the things that keep appearing for which I am very grateful. It becomes evident after some time sober that benefits just seem to sort of pile up. And, if one isn’t on the ball, he’ll miss some of the most important things.

Someone recently quoted Will Rogers as having said that “while we may be on the right track, we’ll get run over if we just sit there.” It’s true. As a result, I find it necessary, even though I might rather just “sit,” to keep moving. I try to pick out the things that AA and sobriety give me, and to look them over objectively now and then.

Back in my drinking days I was positive that everything that took place in my life was earth-shaking and extremely important. After all, I was a very important person! How could there possibly be anything humdrum or unimportant about my life or anything in it?

The only thing in my life at that time could possibly have been construed as important was the fact that I was always in some sort of trouble or difficulty because of my drinking. Otherwise my life was a pretty sordid, unimpressive mess.

It’s absolutely delightful, now that I’m sober, to look at my life and find that it is filled to the brim with little things. As a matter of fact, there sometimes seems to be so many little things that there really are not always enough hours in the day to cram it all in. The beauty of it all is when one realizes that all these little things are important, and that if they are good things, then we are “on the right track.”

One evening not long ago, in the warmth and comfort of my home, I found myself taking stock of all the little things it afforded me. I observed all the little things my wife and I had accumulated, or made ourselves, or worked on in the two years plus we’ve been married. I found, much to my amazement, that our little home is full of little things.

It is a comfortable, homey home, and it is all these little things in it, that we have found together, made together, worked on together, that make it so. The world is full of houses with people in them. Many of them, perhaps most of them are far more pretentious than ours. They are furnished more lavishly, and display much more material wealth than our little home, but houses are not always homes, and ours is.

Almost everything in our little home reflects either my wife or I or both of us. It is a home which shows our love for each other, and the little things in it add up to something that money cannot buy . . . love.

Suddenly, therefore, while I was reflecting on all this, I knew that as a result of all these little things in my life, I had something which many people never find in a lifetime, a real home, with real love in it. There is nothing little about love, or a happy home. The other things might all be little, but they added up to something grand and glorious and very big.

One thing always leads to another, and I was suddenly never more aware of, or more grateful for my sobriety than at that moment. I sat there in my chair, looking into the fire in the fireplace, oblivious to the ever-present TV commercials, and thought, who needs booze, or bars or movies or even TV for that matter, when you’re sober and there’s a fire in the fireplace?

Thus, after all these years, I am slowly learning that I don’t have to be big and important. I don’t have to have the finest car or the latest fashions in clothes. I no longer need or desire to make an impression on others. All I need is sobriety, and God in His Heaven has seen fit to make this possible for me through AA. I am grateful for it, and, for all the little things in my life that go together to make it a happy one.

By Central Bulletin Editor, February 1973

Like this story? Join thousands of other A.A.'s who receive new stories each month delivered right into their inbox.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.