My sobriety date is 04/18/2010.
I couldn’t imagine doing anything without alcohol. It was what kept me going.
It’s what I looked forward to at the end of the day. I earned it. I deserved it. How else would I get through this, etc.
I remember very early on how my thinking was off. When I was in my early 20s and had to get a new picture for my driver’s license, the thought came to me that if I had a beer before I went to the DMV, I would have a nice smile for the picture. What?
My life went along just fine, or so I thought. I had a job. I paid my bills. How could I be an alcoholic? Drinking was as normal and natural as breathing in my family. Why would I want to stop?
It was the glue that bound me. Then I got married and had children. Life changed without my permission. I tried control drinking with and without success, mostly without. I know today that I have a chronic, progressive — and left untreated — fatal disease.
My life became unmanageable. My moral compass, as they say, was off, way off. My marriage ended in divorce.
I got into an abusive relationship and then ended it — all the while thinking my life was manageable.
How selfish I had become. Who am I? What am I doing here? How did this happen? When those thoughts entered my mind, I began to accept that I was an alcoholic. I ended up going to Alcoholics Anonymous. I listened, but just compared and didn’t identify with other people. That landed me stuck in a revolving door — in and out of AA until I had just a sliver more of a desire to stop drinking.
I had a sponsor at the time who was very gentle, but firm, and for that I am very grateful. About a year and a half into AA, my sponsor suggested that I start sponsoring women. Gulp. I said sure, but knew I couldn’t. I couldn’t because I had a secret.
I had a few beers during that year and a half and I had told nobody. Now, it was time to do one of two things, continue the lie or get honest. So I met with my sponsor the next day and told her what I had been doing and explained there was no way I could walk another woman through the 12 steps of AA.
I hadn’t enlarged my spiritual foundation. That had been my sticking point and now there was no way around it, not if I wanted serenity and a life of contented sobriety. From that day forward, I have done everything that is suggested in the program. Why wouldn’t I? My way was not working. I must always remember that this is a progressive disease. I must stay vigilant.
I attend at least six meetings a week and I now sponsor other women. Those are some of the keys to my sobriety. I have a blast with my life. I have a world full of friends and even when life throws me a curve, I am prepared for the fallout.
And when I am in a funk, I know to pick up the phone or get to a meeting. I never know what will be revealed on any given day provided I stay open and willing.
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