I saw the fatal progression of my alcoholism when I took the first step. I had crossed the three lines every alcoholic crosses. I went from liking to drink to wanting to drink and finally, to needing to drink. I drank against guilt, fear and anger and their ugly step children for almost 30 years. I stuffed them down into my consciousness where they festered and grew and filtered my perception. As my alcoholism progressed, my perception became increasingly negative. When I crawled through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous I was looking at life through sh*t-colored glasses. There was something wrong with everyone and everything. I complained, criticized and judged, but I didn't understand why my life had become so painful.

Today I know that it is not what I'm looking at that matters, but what I'm looking with. As Chuck C. says in his book, I've been given a new pair of glasses. The dynamic action of the Twelve Steps is changing my perception of life. Toward the end of my drinking, I automatically reacted negatively to almost everything that went on in my life. Today, I automatically react positively to almost everything.

As my perception changes so does my reality. As I look backwards over my years of sobriety I see that my life is getting progressively better. The guilt, fear and anger is melting away and I often feel happy for no particular reason. I have no reason to doubt that this trend will continue as long as I keep doing the things you taught me to do in my first week. I fully expect the best years of my life lie ahead of me.