Asking for Help

Three days before I walked into my first AA meeting I was getting ready for bed when I realized I hadn’t thought about a drink the whole day. I found this strange because I was unemployed and had been getting drunk twice a day for the past eight months. I had been drinking for the better part of thirty years, yet the thought of a drink seemed to be the furthest thing from my mind. What had happened?

Earlier that day I spent my last $3700 on my Visa card to enroll in a treatment program recommended by a therapist. But the program wasn’t to begin for two days. No one suggested that I quit right away, but I was one day sober as I laid my head down on the pillow and turned out the lights. It was April 29, 1994.

I enrolled in the treatment program because I didn’t know what else to do. Life had been leaking out of me for many years. I had no interest or enthusiasm in looking for a job or anything else besides watching lame daytime television with a big tumbler of cheap red wine and my overflowing ashtray. There was no technicolor in my life, only shades of gray. I wasn’t really sure alcohol was the problem, but I was out of ideas. I had to try something -- anything.

In AA I learned I received grace -- a free gift I did nothing to earn. In removing the obsession, God did for me what I could never hope to do for myself. Apparently, without know it at the time, I asked God for help when I went to the therapist and enrolled in the treatment program. Help is what I needed twenty years ago and its what I need today. I ask for help every time I show up at a meeting, work a step and connect with another alcoholic. If I want to stay sober I must continue to ask for help by taking the actions that were suggested in my first week.