The Whole Package

I wasn’t looking for a brand new life when I reached out to a therapist for help. I certainly wasn’t looking to quit drinking because alcohol was not my problem, it was my solution. Besides, I hadn’t been arrested for drunk driving in nineteen years. No, all I was looking for was a job. I lived in the delusion that a job would fix everything. With some money coming in, I would stop waking up paralyzed with fear, the creditors would stop calling and I could finally afford a new glamorous girlfriend. Looking back I am so grateful for the pain that drove me to the therapist for help. Otherwise, I might have missed what Father Bill called the whole package—sobriety, sanity, and serenity.

I whined to the therapist for thirty minutes about not having the energy to look for work. Fortunately, she saw right through me. She told me some unpleasant truths about myself. She said that I didn’t have an ounce of humility in my whole body; that I had the emotional maturity of a thirteen year old; and that my brain was so cloudy from my daily drinking that I couldn’t hope to get any clarity on my life. She said she couldn’t help me, but maybe the treatment center up the street could. Even though I didn’t consider myself alcoholic, three days later I enrolled in an outpatient treatment program and three days after that I walked into my first AA meeting.

I floated into my first meeting on a pink cloud. Nothing in my outward life had changed. I was still unemployed and running out of money, but something inside of me had shifted. I sensed I was exactly where I was supposed to be and it felt great. I laughed, really laughed, for the first time in years. I reconnected with life at that first meeting and my connection has deepened throughout the years as I continue to take the actions you suggested in my first couple of weeks.

Today, thanks to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that connects me to the God of my misunderstanding, I am an almost entirely new person. I no longer have the slightest desire to change the way I feel with alcohol and drugs. I live an orderly, peaceful life. Most of the time I am in harmony with what is. I feel useful and contented. My life today is 180 degrees different than what it was before I walked into my first meeting. It’s nothing I did and everything God did.