The Circle of One

I took my first step towards "we" when I said "I'm Jeff and I'm an alcoholic" at my first meeting. I was four days sober. Big Al was the first one to speak that day. I don't remember what he said, but I was shocked at his sincerity. Even though my cells were saturated with alcohol, I sensed something magical at work. I kept coming back.

I was drawn to the laughter. The clenched fist inside my head began to relax. I began to see I wasn't unique. Our stories were different, but the underlying feelings of fear, self-hate, and hopelessness were exactly the same. I tried to hang on the outside of the circle, but you put out your hand and pulled me in.

I saw peace and freedom in the eyes of some of the members, a lightness of being I lost years before. I really wanted what you had so I got a sponsor and began to take the steps. After taking my fifth, I felt I was a full-fledged member of the AA club. My home group elected me "doughnut guy." Without any effort on my part, a power greater than me removed my e obsession to drink--proof positive that it works. I was hooked.

I experienced the joy of recovery when I began giving away to others what had been so freely given to me. The greatest pleasure in my life today is playing some small part in helping a shipwreck of a person find his or her way into the circle of we. This has to be the best way to live.