By Michael B

Is bitter better? Does cynicism preserve sanity? These were the questions furiously ruminating through my head as I had sat in a chair in my 24th hour at SF general psychiatric emergency department. I was stripped of my clothes, my belongings and my ego. I was cold, I was alone, I was in nothing but a hospital gown. It was a site I had seen days prior from the comfort of my white coat just days prior as a consulting neurologist. Being surrounded by now fellow patients patients who had also lost hope or who had needed help brought tears to my eyes and humility to my mind and suffering to my heart. I had hit my bottom and I asked God for help. This was just 6 months ago.

Today I am writing this in a writing workshop on unity day sitting beside a gracious humble and beautiful woman who is helping guide me through the steps. It brings tears to my eyes as I put these words to this paper. Because now my mind is overcome with peace and my heart is full of immense gratitude. 

I know only my higher power, who I found through the help of AA, has brought me here today. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, I know today I am sober. 

I am grateful and my cynicism has been replaced by sanity. 

My bitterness has been replaced by grace. 

And the suffering of the past has been replaced by hope.

I know that if I stay close to this program, if I work the steps, if I continue to surrender over and over and day after day I will stay sober. It’s a life of “thy will not mine” and that is just beautiful.

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