By the end of my drinking, I had become an expert at playing the role of the devil's advocate. I prided myself on my ability to tell you exactly what was wrong with any plan or idea you had. If I was looking at a beautiful garden, my eyes would automatically focus on the one weed. My outlook was cynical and my humor sarcastic. My favorite expression was "life is a sh*t sandwich and it's always lunch time."

By the time I staggered into the doors of AA, negativity had become an ingrained habit. Years of negative thoughts and words produced negative deeds. But I was so wrapped up in self that I was only vaguely aware of how my actions affected others. I didn't purposely set out to have a negative life, but as alcoholism eroded my spiritual center, I really had no other choice.

It's only by practicing moment by moment, the actions I learned from the Steps and from sober, recovering people in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous that have I been able to break the habit of negativity. Oh sometimes I still see the glass half empty, but generally my outlook is positive. And this positive outlook is paying dividends in a positive living experience. AA really is the softer, easier way for me.