My First Few Days

My last drunk was not spectacular. By that time nothing in my life was spectacular. My life had gotten so small that it fit nicely into the rut I carved out after thirty years of drinking. I had no job, no friends, and no interests or enthusiasm. I was living off fast food, cigarettes, pot and red wine and worrying only that my borrowed money would run out.

I was dazed and confused, but thank God for denial because I was spared the true vision of how far I had sunk, about how hopeless my life had become. In my mind there was nothing wrong with me that a new high-paying job couldn't fix.

It was in this sad state that I received grace. In a flash I was allowed to see that all the negative events of my life were related -- they all had alcohol attached to them. In the next moment I was making my way up the back stairs of the Presbyterian Church to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was warmly and lovingly greeted by Will C and the rest of the "lunch bunch." As soon the first person, Big Al, began sharing I felt a connection to AA that has never left me. It was the language of the heart and I felt like I had finally come home.

I don't remember too much about those first few days in AA except feeling accepted and loved just the way I was. I do remember that sometime during those first few weeks Father Bill chaired the meeting. At that time, Father Bill, who has since passed on, had around 25 years sobriety and 50 years as a Catholic priest. In his beautiful Irish lilt, Father Bill told his story. The "what it was like" wasn't pretty. At the end he said that he learned more about spirituality in Alcoholics Anonymous than he did in all the time he had been a priest. Wow.