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My 30th Sober Christmas

Chris Raymer, Vice President of Recovery Services

Christmas is almost here on South Padre Island, TX. As I’m writing this, it’s raining, cold and blowing 30 mph outside. Patients from up north are all walking around in shorts. I have on everything I own. Too funny!

Fixing to celebrate my 30th sober Christmas. Hard to believe. November 1987 I slunk into the back door of a smoky meeting hall in North Texas. During my first few weeks of sobriety, I listened to folks talk about how “hard” it was to stay sober during the holidays……great. The old guys that watched me every day at 6 told me all that noise was pretty much just noise. Wayne G. assured me that if I kept on with the steps and continued to help around the club, I’d probably make it to the next year. They taught me early on that helping others was the key.

No matter how small the act, helpfulness towards others would keep me on the path. I bet I washed a 1000 coffee cups and picked up a million cigarette butts that first month. (Being helpful isn’t always about the steps!)

A new guy called me this week. He was WAY up in his head and having a “tough day”. I told him I was headed up to our Recovery club in a bit to tidy up some and get ready for the evening meeting. Told him he could come help if he had the time. BIG silence on the phone! He was not too excited about my offer. Thanks but no thanks. I sure get it. I wasn’t too keen myself when those old guys made me the same offer, but it was exactly this stuff that saved me then and still does today.

In the big picture, my cleaning up the club wasn’t all that important I guess. What it DID do was allow me to feel a part of our Fellowship for the first time ever. It gave me something to focus on besides my “tough day”. In some small way I was helping, and that’s what counted. I think this short article sums it up pretty well!

Hope y’all have a fine Christmas and a HNY! (Stay Warm!)

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