The relapse test from Hell occured closer to Heaven at 35,000 feet above the Earth…
The “No one but me would know” challenge brought it all!
After a sweet European vacation with my 2 sons a couple years back, it was time for me to say “auf wiedersehen” (we were in Berlin and touring Germany - yes the HOME of beer!) and fly back to the states. Berlin to Frankfurt Germany to Seattle to San Francisco. Trains, planes, and a final taxi ride back to my place totalling 16 hours of solo travel time. (“Nobody would know, Tim!”, my disease would whisper….) but, I had it all processed as I was grateful for my time with my sons, happy for their continuing adventures as brothers, praying for their health and happiness. I was looking forward to some mindless games on my phone, some movies in 1st class, some stateside conversations with my then fiance’. All would be smooth and sober. Just long!
Alas, I board the 13-hour flight. I was in 1st class. Empty seats around me. Movie screen in front of me. We are going through final boarding and the attendant comes on the p.a. System and announces that the movie projection system was broken, (yikes!), but as a consolation, those in 1st class will receive FREE ALCOHOL for the duration of the flight. (“Holy shit Tim! Did you hear that?”, whispered my disease excitedly.) Dammit. That sucked. This is going to be long flight. No movies? Free booze of which I won’t touch! To make matters even more strenuous, some late family scrambles on board, some younger couple with 2 toddlers who somehow worked out some 1st class seats - toddlers included. (Say what?!) They filled up the empty row next to me. 🙌🤪👉
OK. I get it now. God is testing me. The Universe is throwing all it had “at” me. This was indeed a test.
Here is the pivotal point: I had reached the level of transformation that it was only me, and all of me that chose sobriety. Chose LIFE over sickness. Chose self-respect. Chose integrity. MY recovery and my sobriety had become to mean everything to ME. No one would know, except ME. And that’s who mattered.
So guess who wound up doing art, playing games and making 2 new toddler friends on the flight? (Continued...)