Step Five: “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
Tradition Five: “Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”
Concept Five: “Throughout our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal”
ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and
personal grievances receive careful consideration.”
Step Four: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
Tradition Four: “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.”
Concept Four: “At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional ‘Right of Participation,’ allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.”
What a difference a year makes
The last few years I had lurking AA meetings. I was giving up on trying to stop. Therapy, cbt, medication, nothing seemed to work. Plus my drinking had progressed to new heights. I was no longer sneaking a couple nips while showing some nice IPAs to my wife and friends. At age 28 I was consuming handles of vodka in a matter of a day or two.
My marriage was on the rocks, job was becoming harder to attend, and my will to keep on going was seriously diminished. I was physically very ill. Fatty liver, shakes, a couple seizures. I couldn’t imagine life with or without drinking. But I kept hiding it from those around me, but I also kept thinking about AA and how people managed to stay sober.
Then this time last year, like all good alcoholics I found a myself drunk at exactly the wrong time. My family now more than just suspecting of my alcoholism, expressed to me their concerns. I knew in that moment that I was dying, but I was still running on self-will. So call it a moment of clarity or Grace or just residual 12-step work my sister had done with me for years bouncing around my head, but a year ago I asked for help.
I needed to detox medically given my frequency and quantity. After 5 days I moved onto a place my therapist recommended. A spiritual retreat that focused solely on the Big Book. From there I was introduced to a program of action and tried to stay honest, open-minded, and willing. A day at a time it has worked for me. I found that I couldn’t think my way into right living, but I was starting to live my way into right thinking.
From there my entire life has transformed. My marriage is stronger than ever as are my personal relationships with friends and family. We are expecting our first child this summer. Work has accelerated to new levels, and I’m starting a doctoral program I’ve dreamed of forever. I stay active in a fellowship in my area and take suggestions and try to help others. I’ve even starting to sponsor other men and taking them through the work.
AA, the program and the fellowship, has proven to be much more than a design for sobriety; it has been a true design for living. Everything in my life has improved and even when hard times pop up, I’m finding that I’m okay. Situations which used to baffle me are now manageable and tolerable.
And of course I keep trying to take advantage of service and fellowship opportunities like the Boston bid. From folks on day 1 to those with 10000 the people here are amazing. Thank you all so much for being apart the greatest year of my life.
I grew up on Cape Cod in a loving household. My parents taught me morals and good values. However, even as a child I was always restless, irritable, and discontent. I saw others live life with ease. I was convinced I missed the rule book of life.
I knew even before I picked up my first drink I couldn’t wait to have it. I thought about drinking all through the school week knowing my friend’s older sister was having a party that weekend, I was 12. I loved the excitement that came with it. I would say my drinking started to increase when I was 16; I bought my first car and that freedom allowed me to drink the way I wanted to. Drinking gave me the ability to be comfortable in my own skin. I thought I was funny and could let lose, I was able to talk to boys with ease and confidence, and I felt I was who I should have always been.
I chased that feeling for years no matter the cost. I knew something wasn’t right when I saw everyone moving on with their lives graduating college, getting jobs. I couldn’t figure out why I was still living in my parent’s basement, working the same waitressing job, paying off a DUI, in an unhealthy relationship, and my friends were starting to want nothing to do with me.
Even with a therapist, a respectable family, and a degree in psychology and substance abuse I could not fix myself, I was strangely insane. It wasn’t until I was suggested to go to AA, outside of the courts this time. Even in complete denial of my own alcoholism I started to hear people talk about those feelings I had; and they showed me how to not drink one day at a time. I found in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, through doing the 12 steps with a sponsor and a loving God I was able to find out who I am. It taught me how to be responsible, a friend, a sister, a daughter; and lead a spiritual life to the best of my ability.
Because of the gifts of sobriety when I was 18 months sober got accepted to Graduate school in Boston. I was nervous to leave the Cape where I had gotten sober, and had a support network. Near the end of the summer at Tuesday young people’s meeting in Hyannis, I heard this girl Jess, celebrating 3 years. She was a part of the Boston Bid for ICYPAA. Several people from the Bid drove down to support her. I went out to fellowship with them and knew that I was going to be ok moving to Boston. I had already started my network and made so many sober friends. I believe in a higher power today that I choose to call God and it has care of me throughout my life. I am so grateful for the life that AA has given me.