Scars -- as many before me have wisely and sometimes poetically observed -- are less a disfigurement than they are, when one thinks clearly about them, symbols of survival.
And, as is obvious to anyone who has seen real struggle in life (and certainly alcoholics, addicts and their families qualify) there are so many kinds of scars because there are so many kinds of wounds.
But when it comes to struggle AA has given me a lot of perspective over time. It has given me the body of sober experience to see that, if I can stay sober for 24 hours I can handle anything for 24 hours.
It has given me tools to determine whether pain is needless suffering, brought about by my own fears and ego, or if it is a healthy and inevitable part of life's rough passages.
AA has helped me develop a personal connection to a Higher Power -- as giddy and silly as that can sound out of context sometimes -- which leaves me with a sense of trust and acceptance.
So those difficult, painful and rough patches in life? Those things which will wound a loving heart, bruise a sometimes-still-touchy ego and leave their marks as my other foolish mistakes and passages have before?
They won't be easy, but I don't fear them as I used to.
I welcome my future scars. They're continuing proof of my ongoing growth.
That's no small thing when you live with addiction.
There are more essays like this one in "Mr. SponsorPants: Adventures in Sobriety and The 12 Steps for AA's and Others." Available as an eBook on Kindle via Amazon. Download the Kindle reader app for free on any device or platform, from PC to Smartphone, and enjoy eBooks anywhere you have time to read.