I had a 100% failure rate as a loving human being before earning my seat in Alcoholics Anonymous. Oh, I put on a good act and fooled some people (even myself) along the way, but my heart wasn’t in it. I couldn’t love you because I didn’t love myself. Yet, I expected you to love me anyways and when you didn’t, I swallowed another cupful of self-hate mixed with resentment.
I couldn’t figure out why my life had stopped working. I had no energy or enthusiasm for anything that didn’t help to change the way I felt. I went through the motions feeling completely empty inside. Because I wasn’t suffering major consequences, I had no clue I had a disease called alcoholism until a therapist pointed me toward treatment. I wasn’t convinced I was alcoholic, but I experienced what I know today was a moment of clarity.
I walked into my first AA meeting a few days later. I had never been a joiner because I didn’t want anyone to find out the ugly truth about me. If I had my way I would have hung out on the outside of the AA circle, but you guys wouldn’t let me. You pulled me right into the center of Alcoholics Anonymous against my will. There I discovered a God of my own misunderstanding and began my journey back to wholeness. I also discovered that I was not alone. Our drunk-a-logs are different, but the feelings we have about ourselves are exactly the same. I remember feeling like I had finally found my way home after a long painful journey.
I really wanted what you had and my bags were packed with willingness to do what you did. The men and women who came before me taught me by their actions, not their opinions. I learned the golden key to a beautiful life is not to be loved, but to love. I have to give it away to keep it. Fortunately AA provides me with unlimited opportunities to give back what was so freely given to me. It’s simply a great way to live.