Home, Dry and Sober
I was approaching my 50th birthday with clear messages from Doctors, Professionals, referral centers and my adult children, that I was not going to reach it. Frankly the way I was living, I didn’t give a hoot.
I was convinced I was destined to die drunk, because I had tried everything and here are a few examples: 14 treatment centres, countless detoxes, spiritual retreats, prison sentences, going to AA to share my sensitive feelings of powerlessness. I had a wealth of information and understood the perils of alcoholism. I watched my little sister Caroline and my father Damien die slow agonizing deaths and a multitude of invariable consequences.
This just exacerbated my drinking. I was stuck in a vicious cycle of Alcoholism, and had long since lost the power of choice when it came to drinking. I had one tool for living and that was getting p*ssed. The evidence of my life was diabolical. I found myself exchanging what morals I used to have, for example: getting drunk on the job, putting anybody who cared about me through the ringer, getting arrested, court appearances, and constantly filed as a missing person. I was driven by my selfish ends and could not stop drinking. Anybody who cared about me was wounded by my plight. I had every reason to stop but I couldn’t.
Whilst in to grips of drinking, living in a situation that had long become unacceptable to me, the truth is I did not want to die drunk. I messaged a member in AA whom I truly admired, who managed to get sober and stay sober for a long period of time. I asked him to help me, and he threw me a lifeline and I grabbed it with both hands. I managed to detox with some help and I was ready, I was done – completely destroyed by my drinking. I surrendered and I decided to ask this member to show me how to stay sober. I was given a set of simple actions that seemed irrelevant to my problems. I did not have to like it, I did not have to understand it, and I did not even have to think it’s a good idea. I just did it.
I decided to give it a shot; after all I had no other choice. Within weeks of following direction, I was in an AA group doing the deal, being useful and following direction, and most of all feeling safe. I was around a group of sober people, and given some stuff to do.
I since discovered its about doing, I put in the action and it brought about a change. I was rapidly taken through the Twelve Steps and was following suggestions as my life depended on this. I found myself in a home group where everybody appeared to be doing the same stuff. I’m very grateful that I am part of a home group, who share the same attitude towards recovery, with a strong sense of passion and dedication.
At last I felt at home. I was around my own kind, who knew what to do, after one year of doing the do -everything I was asked – I felt a sense of freedom that I cannot describe. I found some balance in my life at last. I now know the meaning of a Home Group, a place were I have learned to love and serve. I have not found it necessary to pick up a drink since or change the game plan.
I’m still encouraged to keep it simple, I’ve learned to trust, learned to laugh and most of all I’m relatively comfortable sober. What a gift. However I have to stay on top of it, keep putting in the footwork, passing on what has been freely given to me with an attitude of willingness.
I truly know the meaning of my home group being the heartbeat of AA. I’m so grateful to my sponsor, whom I have come to respect for showing me the way home when I was lost. I have also found that other members have loved me enough to tell me the truth. I am accountable and I have found purpose and value, I know my future is bright if I continue to walk the road of recovery. For this my children and myself will be always grateful. I understand the true meaning of “We keep what we have by giving it away”.