From the Archives: “Far too rock’n’roll”

Far too Rock ‘n’ Roll

My name is Alex and I’m a 25 year old alcoholic.

I came to Alcoholics Anonymous in 1991, with my degree course rapidly going down the shute. I hardly ever made it into college, and when I did I was in the student bar by midday, and didn’t leave until dark. I was not convinced by my first A.A. meeting – I thought A.A. members where a bunch of religious do-gooders, and that I was far too rock’n’roll, intelligent, and independent for them. And also, I didn’t want to stop drinking! I just wanted to control it.

After many many demoralising efforts to control my drinking had failed, and after I had been in trouble with the police, begun drinking in the mornings, and been forced to leave college, I finally returned to Plymouth A.A. meetings in 1993.

I discovered the A.A. basic text, also called “Alcoholics Anonymous”, and upon reading it carefully I came to see that A.A. was not religious: how can a program of recovery that is used in countries all over the world be based in one religion? I also found out that the A.A. had “12 suggested steps” to recovery. I didn’t have to do these steps to be an A.A. member or to come to meetings (in fact the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking). But if I choose to take these steps I could achieve the same happiness and sobriety that a million A.A. members had discovered before me.

With the help of another alcoholic, my sponsor Wayne P, I took these steps. (This other alcoholic was not being a “do-gooder”; helping me actually helped him to stay sober!) After a couple of months I started to find it easy to stay away from a drink, and I began to enjoy life. I returned to college and did much better in my degree than I ever thought I could. And now I have a wonderful research job at Plymouth University.

I’ve been sober 2 and a half years and I still go to A.A. meetings, just in case a new member comes along who decides they want to do the steps of recovery. Then I can help them do this, just I was helped when I was suffering.

(Written Sept 1995: Author still a member of Road to Recovery group…)