Twenty-five years ago today I sobered up with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. Gratitude is such a big part of how I got sober and stayed sober, so I decided to try and write a weekly blog to share some of my sobriety journey. I hope this blog will help someone else get to an A.A. meeting, or “keep coming back.”
My first post starts where it all began, at the first step in the twelve-step program of A.A.:
“1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Like so many other alcoholics/drug addicts, it was tough to make this admission. I rationalized that I did not have a problem because I held down a good job, did a lot of volunteering, and was well known in the community. I was even proud of the fact that I could smoke pot and drink through the night without falling down or blacking out (or not much …), never got caught driving under the influence (I did drink and drive, just never got caught), and regularly convinced myself that I had everything under control.
It was a friend who helped me get to an A.A. meeting for myself. She asked me to come to her 3rd A.A. birthday. I was very upset during the meeting that night, so I thought about it a lot after and realized that I was upset because I should have gone to the meeting for myself, not only to support a friend. I was powerless over alcohol. Despite trying “controlled drinking” for two years, when the chips were down – and that seemed to be often, I had to drink or toke or both. My life was unmanageable where it counted – in taking care of myself! (I was single at the time, so didn’t have a partner or children who suffered; talk about gratitude!)
It took another two months, and a last beer and joint that day, but I walked into an A.A. meeting on May 23, 1987 in Whitehorse, Yukon. It has been a long journey since then, a journey I will be on for the rest of my life, “one day at a time.” But that day I was ready to admit I was powerless over alcohol, and I knew there was a community of people who were working on their sobriety and would welcome me.
So this first post is a shout out to:
- Alcoholics Anonymous (and all its sister organizations, like N.A.).
- The people who welcomed me to that first meeting, and became my Friday night home group for the last three years I lived in the Yukon.
- The people who have been in A.A. rooms anywhere I lived or travelled, working on their sobriety and helping me with mine.
- And the many people around the world who are on their own journeys as recovering alcoholics and addicts.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!