change

Yes, I have struggled to stay sober, but I have made a lot of progress in the last year.  I went from daily drinker to essentially chronic relapser.  I know I need to stay sober and I want more than anything to have this obsession removed, but for whatever reason it's taking time and error. I am grateful to be where I am though, as frustrating as it is sometimes.
My little brother called me today.  I love my bro.  He and I were inseparable growing up.  I love my other bro and sis too but just have a special connection with the one.  I didn't talk much to my family for a period of about 7 yrs 1994-2001 and then I moved back home - Sept 11 thrust me into a new realization that I loved my family and missed them.  It took about 3 yrs of living nearby before I actually started to spend any time with them and then it became time at the bars mostly.  I was so preoccupied with drinking and no one really knew how central it was to my life.  In 2008 I started isolating again because my daily drinking and weekend binges just became too much to manage and still spend time with family.  They pretty much stopped calling me because they thought I was trying to stop drinking (I was mostly drinking at home while telling them I was sober).  My poor mom just kept trying to talk to me and I continually brushed her off because I "had to work".
In the last year, during which I have made a lot of progress, I came clean with my family about the seriousness of my drinking and admitted to them that I was an alcoholic and getting help to stop.  They were on board immediately and supported me in every way they could.  I am lucky - they may not understand but they back me 100%.
My niece was born 12/26/09 and I have made every effort to form a bond with her and it's going fabulously.  I love her dearly and she loves me back.  When I walk in the door, she gets this huge smile on her face and just screams in glee.  She follows me when I leave the room.  She might appear totally enraptured in playing with her toys and grandmas but when I leave the room even for a minute she drops everything to follow me.  Dang, it just melts me.  I absolutely adore her.  So now, a couple times every week, I get a call from my brother asking if I am coming over to see Mia. 
I don't think any of this would be the way it is if I weren't getting sober.  I wouldn't have the peace of mind or interest to connect with this beautiful baby for sure.
I have to remember... There was one week when I relapsed in August and I went over to a family gathering for my mom's birthday.  I was a wreck.  It was my first day sober after maybe a 5 day bender and I was shaking horribly, so badly that I had to tell my family what happened.  And what broke my heart is that I couldn't even hold Mia - I tried - I was just shaking and too weak.  :(
All this falls apart if I don't stay sober.  I am grateful for where I am today.