I guess I must be a real slow learner. The promise that I will stop fighting everyone and everything has not come true for me. I’m better today but I still need to be right much of the time. I continue to have trouble with that restraint of pen and tongue thing. But I’m not complaining. Despite ongoing struggles with a variety of pesky character defects, I’ve had no desire to drink for more than 21 years. The fact that the obsession was lifted clean out of me is the foundation of my recovery. I still can’t explain how it happened.
Six days before I walked into my first AA meeting, I was getting ready for bed when I noticed I hadn’t thought about a drink all day. I found this surprising as I had been getting drunk twice a day for the past eight months while pretending to look for a job. I had been bouncing along the bottom for the past five or six years. Denial kept me from the truth about my alcoholism. I actually believed that living all alone with no one else in my life was a wonderful way to live.
A few days earlier I had been to a therapist to find out why I couldn’t muster the energy to look for work as my checking account plummeted. She told me some very unpalatable truths about myself. Her exact words were “You have the emotional maturity of a 13-year-old, you don’t have an ounce of humility in your whole body, and your brain is so foggy from your daily drinking that you cannot hope to have any clarity on your life.” Then she looked deeply into my eyes, like she was looking at my soul, and said “you’re in trouble aren’t you, Jeff?” The voices in my head screamed not to admit anything to this woman. I stared down at my shoes. After a few moments, I whispered, “Maybe”. I am coming to believe that, without knowing anything about Alcoholics Anonymous, I had just taken the first step.
Like the promise says, I have been placed in a position of neutrality regarding alcohol. I don’t want to drink. I don’t want not to drink. I don’t even think about it really. It feels like I am bulletproof as far as alcohol is concerned. But I’m not taking any chances. I’ve seen too many bulletproof alcoholics go out and get drunk. So I continue to take all the actions you suggested to me in my first two weeks. But I don’t take these actions because I’m afraid of drinking again. I go to meetings, work the steps, put my hand out to newcomers and sponsor because it gives my life a sense of meaning and purpose. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous is simply a wonderful way to live.