The anxiety grew as I approached the final page of my fifth step. I knew my most embarrassing secret was written there, waiting for me to read to my sponsor. This was the one I would take to the grave. I thought for a moment about skipping it, but an unseen power gave me the courage to turn the page and read. When I had finished reading, Larry said, “Oh, did you do that to?” Bingo! The embarrassment dissolved and I was twenty pounds lighter. Since that day I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to share my experiences with many men. The painful stuff, the embarrassing stuff, the stupid stuff I did drunk and sober. When I share them with another alcoholic my past experiences are transformed from lumps of coal into gold nuggets.
In our Eleventh Step prayer, St. Francis asks God to make him a channel of peace. I open the channel to my Higher Power when I share my experiences (not my advice) with another alcoholic. Our drunk-a-logs may be completely different, but our problems are all the same. I connect with you when I share about job losses, failed relationships, financial insecurities and the death of loved ones because you’ve been there and done that. When I tell you what happened, what I did and what it’s like now, it may make your path easier. One alcoholic sharing with another is a win-win.
Somewhere along the way, in my relentless pursuit of fame and fortune, I became separated from Life, God, and Good. Without Good Orderly Direction, my life became a living nightmare. A moment of clarity led me to Alcoholics Anonymous and I began my journey back to the Garden. Gratefully, those who came before me in Alcoholics Anonymous left a trail of tiny gold nuggets — their experience, strength and hope — to help me find my way home.