First Step

I was unemployed and spending most of every day drinking cheap wine and watching stupid TV. My checking account balance was nearing zero, but I couldn't find the energy to send out a resume or take any other positive actions. I awoke every morning with a growing ache of fear. I just couldn't understand how my life had become so pathetic. I didn't realize I had the disease of alcoholism that was killing me from the inside out.

Finally, I went to a therapist who had helped me quit smoking a few months earlier. I lay on her comfortable leather couch and whined about my life for the better part of an hour. When I was finished she said, "Jeff, I don't think I can help you. You are welcome to come here once a week and pay me $80 to talk about your life, but I don't think it will help." I was shocked. Then she lowered the boom. "From what I know about you, I don't think you have ounce of humility in your whole body, your brain is so cloudy from your daily drinking that you can't hope to get any clarity on your life, and you seem to have the emotional the emotional maturity of a 13 year old."

The voice in my head screamed, "You can't let this bitch talk to you this way!" but somehow I was able to keep my mouth shut. Then she looked right into my eyes -- like she was looking directly at my soul -- and said, "you're in trouble aren't you Jeff?" The voice screamed "don't admit anything, don't let her know." I looked down at my shoes. After a long pregnant pause, I whispered "maybe."

Without knowing it I had just worked the first step. For the first time in my life I admitted there was something I couldn't handle. As it turned out, that "maybe" was just enough ego deflation to allow God to come into my life and work His magic. Three days later I floated into my first AA meeting on a pink cloud of hopefulness and began, for the first time ever, to take responsibility for my life.

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