When I was a kid I had a toy called Chinese finger cuffs. You put your index
fingers from both hands into a tube sort of thing. Then when you tried to pull them apart, it tightened. The harder you tried to pull them apart the tighter it became. Remember? This kind of describes me for most of my life prior to AA -- it seemed the harder I tried, the worse it got.

I was addicted long before I picked up my first drink. Addicted to being loved, appreciated, respected, and cared for. Addicted to fitting in, addicted to to being successful, addicted to comfort. My society and my parents conditioned me to believe that I couldn't live without these drugs and I was willing to go to absolutely any lengths to get them.

I did all that was suggested: pursued a career (work-a-holism), got married
(took a hostage), and acquired lots of possessions. But the emptiness would always return and there was constant fear that my drug supply would be cut off. So I worked harder, tried harder, did more, drank more. But just like the Chinese finger cuffs, the harder I tried, the more imprisoned I became. Life became a struggle, but I thought this was just the way life was supposed to be.

Talk about delusion. Here I was at age 47, sitting alone in my darkened apartment in my dirty bathrobe where I had been for the better part of every day smoking dope, drinking wine and watching re-runs of lame TV programs. And my best thinking was that everything would be fine if I could just find a new job (more drugs).

It was in this sorry state that God graced me with a moment of clarity that
quickly led me to Alcoholics Anonymous and I'll be forever grateful. By
taking the actions suggested by the program, I'm slowly coming to believe
that I can live without society's drugs and it's this vision of true freedom
that keeps me coming back.

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