Today, I am a very grateful alcoholic. I am grateful to my sponsor, who has a wealth of experience and knowledge, my Higher Power and the twelve steps of A.A. These things enable be to live life free from the obsession of alcohol.
The peace of mind, contentment and sense of belonging that I now have, were inconceivable during the last few years of my drinking. When I walked into A.A, I was defeated at depth, a hopeless drunk desperate for a way out. I didn’t think alcohol was the problem though. In fact I just didn’t know what was wrong with me. I always thought it was something to do with my difficult childhood.
After sixteen years of drinking against my will I was deeply lonely, paranoid and suicidal. I started to drink whatever I could afford to block out the ugly thoughts that kept running through my head. I ended up living in total isolation and was full of self-hatred.
Eventually, I surrendered. I knew that I had run out of ideas and that I couldn’t live like this anymore. The moment I walked in to the AA meeting, which was later to become my homegroup, I was blown away! I listened to people sharing and identified completely. Then I knew that I was an alcoholic. It was just such a relief to finally find out what was wrong with me. For the first time I had hope, hope that I could recover as these people had done. My eyes were full of tears, but this time they were tears of pure joy!
I asked somebody to sponsor me and started following their suggestions. I threw myself into the twelve steps of AA and had the spiritual awakening that step twelve promises us. Life became exciting and fun. I got involved with service and tried to think about other alcoholics. As a result of this, I was able to start work again. Being part of a good strong home group helped me towards integrating with society once more. My family started to come back into my life and I had a network friends.
The Big Book tells us that we must be fearless and thorough in all our affairs. Chapter five also tells us that resentment is the number one offender. Somewhere along the line, I began to be dishonest with myself. I thought that I could get away with dealing with my resentments purely by sharing them with my sponsor. After talking with someone else, I would feel momentarily better and thought that I didn’t need to make a thorough written inventory. Yes, this sounds crazy in hindsight! Before I knew it, it seemed like a good idea to have a drink and I did. Crazy!!
So, I have learnt that the tenth step is absolutely vital to my recovery. I have to keep my defects at bay and continue to look at my own part in any given situation. I try not to focus on the other person involved. What the other person has or hasn’t done is irrelevant. All will be well if I do the right and honest thing. These silly resentments no longer have any power over me when I am keeping my side of the street clean.
If I don’t hand my defects over to my Higher Power, then I am basically running on self-will. I start to think that I know best, when I don’t!
I have to maintain my trust in God through step three and step eleven. God has a bigger plan for me, so long as I hand my life and will over to his care. Any life run on self will is going to be unproductive, especially for an alcoholic like me!
When I let go and trust in God, I am at peace. When I work with newcomers and do service in AA, I am at peace and spiritually fit. Things don’t always go the way that I want them to, but now I can grow spiritually through these experiences.
Of course, my defects will rear their ugly heads from time to time but if I want to be happy I must keep them at bay!
I am at peace within me and with the world I live in. Today, I live free from resentment and fear. I achieve this by maintaining my relationship with God, taking thorough and honest inventory and by following guidance from my Sponsor.