Today is my friend Ellen’s 24th sober anniversary. We have been friends for 22 years. In dog years, that’s about 88. I met Ellen when I started working at TPOT. I had 10 years, she had 2. I thought, what a wonderful, caring nurse. I had just moved here from California to make some living amends to my parents and I needed to scrape up a friend quick! Ellen and I became fast friends. We have shared many many laughs, some sorrows in our lives, a few trips to Disney, unaccountable garage sales and even a few arguments. But that’s what friends do; they help each other get through life sane and sober. Ellen is a true friend.
Ellen’s sobriety has touched a lot of other people, also. She still makes it a priority in her life to carry the message of recovery wherever she goes. She stays sober the way most of us do: meetings, service and spirituality. She also carries the message of hope and recovery to every new person she meets at work.
We still talk to each other almost every day. You would think that after 22 years we wouldn’t have much left to say to each other, but topics still seem to arise. I am grateful for the friendship I share with Ellen. We would not have this friendship if it hadn’t been for sobriety. We both agree that we probably wouldn’t have been drinking buddies, so I’m glad we met in sobriety.
The best thing about having a BFF is that you have someone who understands and can be rational when you’re not. Sometimes it’s the other way around, too! I think we both have talked each other off the bridge occasionally. The thing is, when you find a friend that you can share with, you keep them, no matter what. We don’t always agree on certain topics, like Christmas, lipstick colors or shopping junkets, but we always agree that our friendship transcends all of it. The way you have a sober friend is, you never stop caring for them, and that’s what Ellen gives me.
Congratulations, Ellen, on your 24 incredible years of recovery!