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.