Life is Sh*t ?

 Life is Sh*t?

I like so many others I have met in AA never thought I was and alcoholic,  after all I never drank in the mornings or everyday. I sort of knew I had a drink problem for the last three or four years of my drinking. Looking back now I can see I drank alcoholically from the first chance I had, aged thirteen at my uncle's New Years Eve party. My older cousin, his friends and myself were allowed a couple of cans but we were sneaking more upstairs, and I drank far too much making myself sick later that night and the following morning. I never learned from that experience, and although I was rarely sick I always drank too much.

So at twenty eight years old on a day very much like any other, when nothing particularly bad had happened for a while, I was sat in my room and I realised that all of my life's biggest problems were a direct result of my drinking. I didn't get in trouble with the police every time I drank, but every time I did get in trouble I was drunk. The consequences of my drinking had never made me want to stop drinking for any real length of time, but on that particular day at twenty eight years old I realised I was never going to amount to much that I would always be a loser and I did not want that, so something had to be done.

I switched on my computer and found the AA website and looked for my nearest meeting which was just down the road. I never wanted to got to AA. I thought to myself I would rather go to the Priory where all the celebrities go if I really had to do something awful like this. I spoke to my mum and told her just before I went to my first meeting. I said if she mentioned this to anyone then I would never go again, such was my pride. So there I was at my first AA meeting where I was welcomed. The meeting was soon opened by a main speaker followed by sharing from the floor where I was told ‘life is shit and the sooner you realise that the better it will be’. For years these much older guys had been through a living hell and drink had no longer ‘worked’  for them. I thought this place can’t be for me because when I drank it still did work, I would forget any troubles I had and think I was enjoying myself for a few hours. I still had a job as I had had all my life and drank in trendy nightclubs not shop doorways.

So I left and carried on drinking for a few months after which I thought I really should do something about my drinking. I don’t know why but I decided to try AA again and looked for another meeting close to home. On arriving I was slightly taken aback by how happy people looked and the sheer number of people. They looked genuinely pleased to be there and there was in the region of seventy people. The meeting started and people shared about getting a sponsor and going through the twelve steps of recovery.

I looked for the differences of which there were many and – arrogant as I was – thought "I’m not getting a sponsor and I’m not doing the steps." A couple of months later and a couple of relapses on I went to the same meeting where they were sharing the same thing, and this time I identified with the fact that when I had a drink, even though only planning on having say four, I would 99% of the time get drunk; and when I swore off alcohol after some very bad consequences, within a short period of time would be tricking myself into taking that first drink thinking I would this time, and only have a couple, which never happened; and which set off the same old cycle again. So this time I listened and I got a sponsor.

After deciding to do exactly what he told me to do, within a few months I had taken the steps and recovered from alcoholism. My life has transformed completely in the almost five years since. I have done things that I used to dream about when sat in the pub, things that I thought beyond me. And the best part is that I enjoy life, and not once since taking the Steps has that old thought of taking a drink entered my head.

September 2009