All through growing up, and through the beginning to the end of my drinking, I had no way of dealing with my outrageous behaviour. After a lot of upset and endless amounts of dishonesty and whinging on to countless people, I had no way of addressing my uncontrollable feelings. I would never have been able to accept that my dishonest life had only manufactured misery for myself and everyone around me. After being sick and tired of being sick and tired, I finally reached the deep pits of insanity. I thought ‘enough is enough’ and then sought help through Alcoholics Anonymous.
I started to hear some cheery, smiley people that had something and through listening to them, I realised that they had embarked on the Twelve Steps. This was the group I started to attend. I decided to get myself a sponsor after constantly feeling uncomfortable each time it was mentioned.
I continued to do what my sponsor suggested and my sponsor started to guide me through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I had accepted that I was powerless over alcohol. I thoroughly understood that it was this bitter, twisted resentment that always led me back to my drinking. I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. I got to the point where I was ready to hand my life and will over to care of God as I understood God. I was then ready to embark on step 4 under the guidance of my sponsor. I started to understand about the defects of character which I so dishonestly insisted that I never had. I was able to see how much misery these defects had caused. Without this being addressed it was only going to lead back to the gates of insanity and death.
A great weight was lifted as I admitted to God, to myself and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs, which left me feeling closer to God. Very shortly after, I did my step 6 – ‘We became entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.’ This is the step which separates the men from the boys. Then it was step 7 ‘Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.’ I stood back and started to practise what humility meant to me.
Then I got to step 8 ‘Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all’ – which I was. For the first time in my life I was able to put myself in other people’s shoes. So, by the time I got to my step 9 – ‘Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others’ – I was enthusiastic because I knew that I needed to do this thoroughly to get over my drinking.
From the humility that the 12 steps and suggestions have given me, I have become truly grateful for all the things in my life which I owe to God and A.A. To keep my channel open to my Higher Power and to remain sober I need to keep my character defects at bay. This brings me to step 10. ‘Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it’.
I continue to take inventory on a daily basis and promptly admit my defects of character and put the causes down. This I am able to keep as simple as possible. And I know that if I do not do this, it will not take that long to go back into that distorted world of alcoholism. By harbouring resentments the day will come where the insanity will return and the thought of a drink will seem like a good idea. I can continue to take inventory and I can apologise to people if I feel that I have done wrong. It’s the taking inventory and the humility that keeps me sober. I need to continue to listen to the old-timers and most importantly of all, my Sponsor. If someone tells me what to do, today, I just do it – I don’t argue. The people I feel comfortable around in A.A. are normally the ones that are going to any lengths and taking their inventories. The meeting I attend has become my lifeboat and is full of rowers. My sponsor encourages me to keep rowing and there’s times when I’ve needed to row harder. My sponsor has always been there to put me back on the road to recovery.
Everything I had in my life before always turned to disaster. Today, I continue to put the actions in and I’m so grateful for the things I’ve got in my life; My lovely girlfriend (whom I love very much), my sports bike and my Harley Davidson, my car, my son and all my lovely friends in A.A. I’ve been in employment all throughout my sobriety.
I put my life in God’s hands and my life is nothing to do with me. Thy will be done. I’ve got a great passion for motorcycles and some of my A.A. friends, who also have Harley Davidsons, come out riding with me. We call ourselves ‘Chapter Six’. They are true brothers and friends that I love dearly. I’ve got so much respect for my sponsor and the old-timers of my group. I’m so grateful to have a strong home group which I will go to any lengths with the guidance of my sponsor to keep the same as it always has been, so its around if my son ever needs it.