Thankfully God led me to AA before I tried crack cocaine. I have such an addictive personality that a couple of crack sessions would probably be enough to make me sell my blood to buy more. I tried everything to outrun the fear: making money, exercise, relationships. Nothing worked for long. Almost 21 years ago booze was failing me too. Oh I still got drunk all right, but the fear shadowed me wherever I went.
A therapist told me some painful truths about myself and recommended treatment. I wasn’t even sure I was an alcoholic, but I was out of ideas. When I committed to treatment, something inside of me let go. My thirty-year obsession to drink was lifted clean out of me. I didn’t realize at the time that God was doing for me what I could never do for myself.
I floated into my first AA meeting on a pink cloud, feeling like a two hundred pound bag of cement had been removed from my shoulders. I was welcomed with open arms. Still toxic and spinning, I don’t remember too much about what went on, but I do remember I laughed, really laughed, for the first time in many years. It felt like I had finally found my way home after a long painful journey. Hope flooded in. Like any good addict, I wanted more. You promised the good feelings would continue if I was willing to take a few simple actions. I took the suggested actions not because I was afraid of drinking if I didn’t, but because I wanted what some of the old timers in the room seemed to have -- peace of mind.
I can’t find my HP hanging out on the outside of the program. God comes alive for me when I’m in the center of Alcoholics Anonymous. If I really want to enjoy my recovery and my life, I must take the suggested actions day in and day out, rain or shine. I don’t do this perfectly, but my life feels useful, content, and exciting when I do.
We arrived in the area at the end of 2013 for what was to be a two month winter vacation. Almost immediately Lola became very ill. As her caretaker I did not have time to get to many meetings last year. After she died I realized I needed to get connected. A month ago I committed myself to 90 meetings in 90 days. My ego would much rather hang out in Cheers (where everybody knows my name) than to walk into new meetings and introduce myself to a bunch of strange alcoholics for the first time, but I knew there would be a payoff if I did. As of yesterday I’ve been to 34 meetings in 31 days. Already I’ve discovered a number of new enjoyable meetings and made some new recovery pals. My life is beginning to feel full once again.