My drinking career, like my emotional state before AA, was pretty much flat line. Sure, in thirty years of drinking I had occasional spikes that resulted in a couple of 502s, incidents of public embarrassment for colleagues, family and friends and incessant resentful arguments with anyone I felt was getting too close to touching the bag of guilt and shame I was carrying around.

But as a controller I didn't want you to see me drunk so I did most of my drinking at home alone. If I could give you the illusion that I was in control, I could maintain the delusion that my life was somehow alright. Consequently I didn't end up with much of an exciting/pathetic/humorous drinking history, even though I tried awfully hard.

So my treasures from "what it was like" are not so much episodes from my drinking career, but more my feelings about myself and my life at the time. I connect with you when I share about the fear that gnawed at me constantly, about the frustration and confusion I felt, when I share that I was exhausted from the battle, that I was angry, that I lived in constant state of dis-ease. I connect with you because you've felt these things too. It's why we drank.

Once I've connected with you I can share the treasures of my experiences with "what happened," (how God graced me with a moment of clarity and about how AA "hooked" me with laughter and love); "what continues to happen" (as I stay sober one day at at time and continue to grow through the Steps); and "what it is like now" (the wonderful adventure my life is on most days.)

I'm grateful today that my experiences have value, but I understand this value is only fully realized when I share them with a helpful heart.