When I came into AA at the age of 26 I seriously felt my life was over. I accepted that I could never take a drink again. To drink meant a prolonged and painful suicide, along with the damage I would continue to inflict on anyone that was part of my life. For me not to drink meant a boring, meaningless existence full of misery. Little did I know that with AA and the 12 steps my misery was optional.
I always associated drinking with enjoying myself, even though the last five years of my drinking did not hold any enjoyment. I was too young to be abstinent from alcohol. It wasn’t fair. I had some good times in my early years of drinking before my illness had progressed to the point of utter despair. I knew I had to remain sober, I was also convinced it would be hard work and the end of me having any sort of fun in my life. How wrong I was!
The thing is, when I came to AA I was still in the strange world of alcoholism. I still had that head full of negative thinking. The head that would eventually lead me to pick up the deadly first drink. I remember hearing people share at meetings: We are not a boring and glum lot. We have fun in recovery. If I were to get a sponsor and work though the 12 steps I would not only have a daily reprieve from alcohol, I would find a way of living a free and happy life.
I considered this, it sounded very appealing. I was sure these men and women were telling the truth, I could see it by the way they acted. Those that put in the actions seemed happy and purposeful most of the time, always comfortably sober and at ease with themselves. To be honest, in my alcoholic state of mind, body and soul at the time, I was scared to death of these healthy people that were trying to help me. Ultimately I wanted to be like them. So after some internal tug of war and my final drink, I resolved to give the suggested program a shot. What could I lose? ……
The answer is nothing. I didn’t lose, I gained a life that two years previously I didn’t think possible. I completed the 12 steps, despite all my doubts. I am now comfortably sober, even happy most of the time. I try to be of use to others and practice the simple principles of AA in all my life. I will never be perfect in my practice of the program but I always keep trying to be the best I can, which is a lot better than how I lived before. My worst fear about taking up the 12-step program was that my life would be boring and monotonous, with no sense of excitement or fun. I found that my fears were completely unwarranted.
In my short two years of recovery I have had more excitement and fun than ever. I now do the things I always wanted to, but never could. I am doing well at college on a course I love. I am a member of Theatre Company and perform on stage on a regular basis. I play football every week. I still go out clubbing with my friends and have a dance. I am engaged to a wonderful girl. My life is busy, exciting and full. It is all thanks to AA, my home group, my sponsor and the principles of the 12 steps. As an old timer in my group says, “My life is all on higher purchase from AA”. I owe my life and happiness to AA and must continue to put what I have found in the rooms first and I continue to do the work and practice the principles……………trust me it is never boring or glum.
Dan Mc, Plymouth Road to Recovery Group, Dec 2010