When I first came in I had a continuous discussion going on inside my head, day and night. Sometimes the voices would all talk at the same time. Sometimes, when they were discussing me, the loudest voice would call for a vote. One by one they would go around the big table with each voice answering in turn: GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY... And the gavel was slammed down and so, once again I was convicted and sentenced to another layer of self hate.
As long as I hated myself there was no way to be comfortable in my own skin. I had to use alcohol, drugs and other to try and escape from these uncomfortable feelings. Finally I got to the point that the alcohol stopped working. Oh I still got drunk all right (and did stupid and hurtful things), but I could no longer escape from the feelings. Instead, the feelings of worthlessness and self pity were magnified.
In the beginning I was given three gifts from my Higher Power. First, I was allowed a moment of clarity that allowed me to see the truth about my life and what I had become. The second gift was the willingness to be changed. And the third gift was being led to the solution contained in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In AA I learned that it isn't other people, institutions and conditions that cause the trouble in my life, but my very own "stinking thinking." You taught me that to change my thinking I first had to change my actions and that the 12 Steps would help me do just that as long as I was willing, open-minded and honest.