I have a good friend who is 30 years sober today. Given that she’s only in her 50s, this means that she recognized at an early age that alcohol was not her friend and made the decision to do something about it. I know it couldn’t have been easy and that life gave her, like all of us, many struggles to overcome. But here she is, 30 years later – celebrating this milestone – and her friends and loved ones are celebrating with her, while few would believe that there is anything she couldn’t tackle.
This is a friend that I have known for fewer years than many of my closest friends, yet I believe we are kindred spirits in so many ways that made it possible to forge a deep friendship in a very short time. She and I have had such important conversations, focusing on subject matter so far from small talk. We are fellow travelers on a journey, a bit road-weary at times but both eager to explore what’s ahead.
Although I don’t think she’s always believed it, she is mighty in so many ways. I have seen her growth and increased strength, marveling at the discoveries she has uncovered these past few years, excited by what she is shooting for. This is a woman who feels deeply, laughs with utter delight when something tickles her, display tears easily when moved and doesn’t hide her feelings. I once told her that I could see why alcohol became a problem when she was young because she seems to feel things more than most people and perhaps drinking anesthetized what was hard to absorb or overcome.
At an age where many I know are narrowing their options, lessening the choices, she is looking toward new adventures, finding out just what she really is made of and making plans to move ahead. For her, life is a constant exploration, and she isn’t afraid to take a path not particularly well-lit or often traveled, trekking ahead ready to make it her own.
I am so proud of her on this special anniversary and know it’s just a matter of time before she announces her success in the next 30 years to come.