Forgetting to Remember

Today’s jolt arrived mid-afternoon when I hauled out a (paper!) calendar to jot something down. The square for September 1st remained unadorned by red heart and sparkling star stickers.

Nowhere on my calendar had I written “anniversary!!!” in big purple letters with a trinity of exclamation points; neither on the Month-at-a-Glance nor on the Week-at-a-Glance pages. The only thing scrawled onto the day itself was an acupuncture appointment. Wild.

For the first time in well over a decade I’d forgotten to remember one of the most blessed events in my life: the day I committed myself to Twelve Step Recovery. This, by the way, would end up leading me to Christ Jesus and the Roman Catholic church, but that’s another story.

I don’t think this was an instance of what  folks in “the program” characterize as “purposeful forgetting.” After all, I’m surrounded by reminders.

The first thing I see each morning–beyond cat ears–are the most famous verses of the Serenity Prayer carefully cross-stitched, lovingly-framed, and hard won during an auction where my bidding made me a likely candidate for Gamblers Anonymous.

You don’t have to search very hard to find the Big Book and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions amid the Bibles, breviaries, and catechisms near my desk. And I’m only partly kidding whenever I say I’d never [fill in the blank] again because my book about recovery is the only one paying royalties.

So how could I forget to remember this anniversary?

Is forgetting my anniversary a sign that being clean and sober has finally become a core feature of body, mind, and spirit? I certainly like that interpretation…but it probably means I should get my butt to a meeting.


  1. Meredith, your humility and stark reality inspire me. You’ve got it right…’there by the Grace of God’ go all of us. Addictions of all sorts, dysfunction, etc. But it is those who ask to be healed, who are humble enough to know that they can’t do it themselves that begin the journey. You have reminders everyday, as you say, and so now, this has become your life. No need to celebrate the ‘big events’, you have incorporated all of this into your daily life. Beautiful.

  2. Lynda, what in the name of ALL that is Holy are “too many comments”?!? So glad you didn’t stop yourself for posting one to my post.
    Deciding to stop being self-destructive was indeed a tough decision, made even more incredible by the fact that I’d already cultivated what I thought was a snazzy spiritual life and had oodles of psychotherapy before surrendering to a power much greater than myself. It has been quite the journey — and continues to be so, one day at a time.

  3. Meredith, I have made too many comments on this blog recently and had determined that I wouldn’t submit another comment until someone else had inserted one; however, having read your post, I cannot stop myself from congratulating you and wishing you a very special day. This is, indeed, an occasion to celebrate – you listened to and responded to God’s leading and I can’t imagine it was an easy decision.
    God bless you and keep you in God’s tender loving care.


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