The Good, Bad and Ugly, And Grateful for All of It. Written by Jay Keefe



The Good, Bad and Ugly, And Grateful for All of It

This year I celebrated my seventh year of sobriety, one day at a time.

I had my first author event and although I sobbed like a baby for more than half of it, it’s something I never imagined in my wildest dreams.

I wrote another book.

I watched my only brother crawl out of the darkness. As of this writing, he has a little over eight months sober. And that’s a fucking fantastic thing to see.

I drove hundreds of mildly intoxicated people thousands of miles around my city and met some very cool humans along the way.

I witnessed my youngest sister buy her first house at the age of twenty-six and although she lives way up on the North Shore, I’ll still make the trek to visit her, especially when our favorite pizza is involved.

I helped another sister move (I was actually there to see her kids) into her dream home and I’m elated her babies live in such an amazing place, not to mention that said sibling and her husband are amazing parents.

I unpacked boxes for my mom as she returned to her favorite town and although she’s down south for half the year, it’s nice to have her back in the hood for the other half.

I saw one friend walk through her fear and do what she had to do to protect her family and another give birth to quite possibly the happiest cherub I’ve ever seen.

Both of them spent time at my summer home with the tribe cause that’s just how my peeps roll, yo. They welcome my friends as if they’re part of the clan. And I guess they kinda are. But that kind of graciousness and generosity is something I’ll never take for granted. Or forget.

I starred in my second movie directed by an Oscar winner (not really- you may see the back of my head or a random elbow for half a second, but at least I was in there).

I vacationed with my mom for a week and I think I could get used to being elderly: dinners at dusk, asleep at prime time and up at dawn certainly makes good use of the daylight, not to mention zipping around in a golf cart at dangerously high speeds (15 mph bro!).

I ran into a neighborhood friend I haven’t seen in decades and the memories we shared reminded me of how blessed I was to grow up where I did, and to be surrounded by so many amazing people.

I spoke about my alcoholism at a radio station.  Boom.

I received a certificate that allows me to coach others in their recovery.  It will eventually coincide with a business plan that allows me to travel the world while helping others grow, and if that ain’t the bees knees, I don’t what is.

I became a staff writer for an amazing institution that is helping thousands of people wage the war against addiction.

Today I live in the moment my friends.  Good, bad, or ugly, I live in the moment and I know that no matter what life throws at me, I’m going to be okay.

And I’m going to be okay because I take the suggestions that were given to me on October 4, 2009, when I walked into a musty old basement that was far too bright and smelled of burnt coffee and stale cigarette smoke.

I had nothing inside of me back then, not even hope.

That had been gone for years.

But I did have a little bit of willingness.

And that willingness was just enough for me to ask for help.

So I did.

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books [I know a couple of good ones-hint hint!] and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art-write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” ~ Neil Gaiman