Denial, Blind faith, and AA
For the last 4-5 years of my journey in AA I have also entered into the world of visual impairment. I have frequently been asked the same question by different friends and people whom I meet along the way “How does it feel to be blind”. Every time my answer would be you must ask a Blind person, not me.
I never considered my self-being blind and still today, I forget that I cannot see properly. Which has its up and downs. I spent my teenage years suffering from a lot of impaired vision. I do not think anyone even knew that I had visual impairment, and I managed live with it fine for a number of years. Over the years, my vision started deteriorating and now is at the point where I need guidance from a person and the use of a cane. I eventually gave in and registered as having a visual impairment in February 2012.
I feel very overwhelmed at times that I have had the privilege of knowing such things as colours, what buildings look like, and have travelling to a few places around the world. I have even had the experience of going to Tiffany’s for breakfast, before the deterioration of my sight-loss.
These things I took for granted, and today I am happy to be able to live a sober and happy life.
I believe that my step one has grown stronger since the deterioration of my sight. As in my drinking days, I was the type of alcoholic who was chronic, and I drank morning, noon, and night. Drink became my master and controlled all aspects of my life. I thought of drinking each minute of every day, it took away all my morals and I quickly became a liar, thief, and cheat to be able to control my addition of alcohol. I would go any lengths to get alcohol and I really did not care who I hurt along the way. As Bill W wrote in his story in the book of Alcoholics Anonymous that “Drink became a necessity and not a luxury.” The greatest miracle of all is that I have not thought or craved a drink during my eyesight deterioration.
I have continued to complete a daily plan as much as I can on a daily basis, which I have continued to do for the past 15 years. My day must consist of AA activity in every form possible. I am presently unemployed and would surely be selfish if I did not give back as much as I am able.
Each day as I wake, I lay on my bed, thinking of the day ahead and what it will entail and what I can do to help the person who still suffers.
Firstly I get out of bed and pray for a sober day and ask for guidance to help others in need and try to put others first. I send numerous texts to members of AA if they wish to meet for coffee, especially newcomers who need our help the most. I always think of the words of Dr. Bob in his story in the book of Alcoholics Anonymous when working with newcomers.
“I do this thing for four reasons: –
1. Sense of Duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in doing so I am paying the debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it, I take out a little more insurance against me having a possible slip.”
After considering all the above, my emotional state of mind, my survival, and my living with disabilities is down to three things: my higher power, AA and a sponsor.
I am now slowly approaching 16 years sober and at my home group (Road to Recovery Plymouth) the members have been so supportive, and helped me tremendously by looking out for me, giving me lifts to meetings, meeting for coffee and coming to my house for chats about AA; and most importantly always being honest with me. For those members I want to say thank you sincerely, “from the bottom of my heart.”
I have a sponsor – one of the best (if you don’t mind me saying). He does not presume to know what I am going through, nor does it matter. The most important thing to me is that he knows how to maintain a sober life, guiding me through the principles of the AA Steps, Traditions, and Concepts. I continue to complete every suggestion given to me, including sharing, service, and accepting his guidance that leads me to the pathway to my Higher Power.
I managed to order a lot of the literature I needed in large print from America, which I read each day with an aid of a light magnifier and Television. I also take daily inventory. I have currently taken a position of a Region Representative for Southwest region. I am still in action in AA in the middle of the boat as to speak, and by the grace of my higher power I intend to remain there.
I am not sure how long I will keep my sight. But I know that I am so grateful to be an alcoholic, and have such a strong and supportive home group, that I fear no more and know in my heart that I will never be alone.
When I get on my knees at night I pray and say thank you for a sober day, and am thankful that I am able to see in the vision of AA. For that I will always be eternally grateful.
To finish off I have always believed that my higher power has always had a plan for me, and I hope that I continue to maintain that plan. I have recently relied on a saying that states:
“When I stand before my Higher Power at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me to improve the life’s of others’”.