Great Events

The first great event of my life happened when circumstances forced me to surrender just enough to be open minded about AA and to follow suggestions. The second great event was a much, much deeper surrender. It happened like this...

I was 50 years old and I just lost a job that I thought was much too good for me. I hadn't worked for 16 months while finding my bottom and during the first part of my recovery. Then I finally found this job. I was working a good program but those pesky character defects raised their ugly heads in the workplace and, after only 15 months, I was out on my butt. I immediately went into a shame and fear spiral, taking me to the darkest place I had ever been to in my life. I was sure that I would never work again. I had very little money and no prospects to borrow any more. I was in shock, but I did what I learned in AA. Instead of picking up a drink I picked up the phone and called my sponsor. At his suggestion I went to a noon time meeting and shared what had happened. I didn't get much relief, but I didn't drink.

For three days the voices in my head kept screaming "What a loser you are Jeff!" and other choice commentary. The voices pointed out that no one would hire a person my age with my recent resume. I had to agree. I was in so much fear I couldn't breathe. The only way I could sleep was to run around the block as fast as I could until I was completely exhausted, then I had to repeat the Serenity Prayer for hours. before I would slip asleep.

Then on the fourth day another member worked me through steps four through nine on this work issue. He helped me see clearly my part in what happened. I made the list of all the people I had harmed. I wrote letters of sincere apology. I wrote a thoughtful letter to my boss telling him of the insights I'd had about what happened and asking him to reconsider. He decided it was best that I leave the company, but by this time the fear had disappeared completely. I can remember feeling that somehow (although I had no idea how at the time) I was going to be OK. I floated on a pink cloud.