Every morning after a hard night of drinking, I would awake to a blinding hangover and thick coat of shame. How I loathed myself for yet another failure to moderate my drinking. Another obvious reminder I cannot drink normally. Not unlike the walk of shame after a one-night stand, my shameful mornings destroyed my sense of self-worth and left me empty. Literally empty if the morning included vomit. Which many times it did. The crumbs of shame I left in my wake each day and night trailed me for years. One could not so easily see the trail, but I knew it was there. Shame was my cloak, guilt my crown, and remorse my scepter. Now sober almost two years, my mornings start hard, l will never be a morning person, but without the residual shame and without the hangover. If those two gifts alone were all sobriety offered I almost think that would be enough. Yet living a sober life, with a sponsor and even a book to guide me, plus the spiritual and emotional growth that only a person in recovery from alcoholism will be so privileged to know, well…my cup runneth over. It doesn’t always feel like I’ve hit the jackpot, but to know I never have to feel such shame and desperation again, the relief is something I expect to be eternally grateful. Thus I continue the unusual work to maintain my sobriety and my freedom from shame.