“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable”
After living on self-will for a period of thirty-five years continually failing I had to face the fact that something was wrong. I was also aware that the only escape I knew from my self-centred, resentment filled life was to pick up that first drink, the drink that developed an overwhelming desire for another and another. I was doomed to yet another debacle like so many had come before.
Accepting the gravity of my situation I experienced a profound inner collapse and for the first time sought outside assistance. I arrived at my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous – at the Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth which became my home group. I saw Step 1 displayed on a scroll and had little difficulty accepting both the propositions contained within it. I was certainly powerless over alcohol and my life was a mess. I sat quietly and heard other AA’s share their experience, strength and hope, and could not help but identify. I had felt the same and drank the same but these people were leading happy sober lives. They shared most importantly how they had recovered, I wanted what they had. I left that Meeting armed with a Big Book, a temporary sponsor, daily suggestions and numerous telephone numbers of members of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I had been filled with hope but at this point with very little understanding of how this was going to work. Most importantly however, I had faith that if I did what these others had done I might just get the life they talked about. I had begun without realising walking a new road. My sponsor took me through the Twelve Steps and I have enjoyed fourteen months of continued sobriety.
My experiences in AA have taught me that Step 1 is the foundation stone to continued sobriety. The admission I am an alcoholic of the hopeless variety, suffering from an illness of the mind and body which can only be relieved one day at a time by the principles contained within the Twelve Steps allows me to remain humble. This humility in turn means I remain sponsorable and ensures a relationship with my Higher Power who is doing for me today what I could not do for myself.
In order for my recovery to continue and my relationship with a God of my own understanding to grow, I need to keep in the forefront of my mind at ALL times the nature of the fatal illness from which I suffer. Without the Twelve Step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous, a sponsor and a Higher Power, I am only one drink away from insanity and death. If you are new or returning to AA I would urge you to accept the gravity of the illness of Alcoholism and be willing to act upon guidance from a sponsor and give yourself completely to this simple programme.
The promises you will find in AA are just what they are called PROMISES. They have been given to me and you can have them too if you are prepared to retain Step One.
Mike M, Road to Recovery, Plymouth