At 32yrs old when I come to A.A. I was desperate, suffering from a disease that I didn’t really know about or understand. I didn’t think I could ever give away the alcohol; it was progressively my world for about 20 years, then the good times got fewer until there were absolutely none. I was heavily involved in sport during my teenage years & early 20s, which slowly & insidiously went as I drunk more. I became a spectator, critic & someone I despised in earlier years (a barfly).
I was hopelessly alcoholic but still kept drinking experiencing DTs & shakes, alcohol dictated where I lived, where I went, who I hung out with, when I would turn up for work (if I did) & then came unemployment because employers or firms didn’t want to hire an unreliable drunk that used all his sick days & more. Loss of drivers licence, two bouts of alcoholic hepatitis & nights in local police cells, broken relationships & relocations. The list goes on!
I used all sorts of excuses to justify my drinking, why I was late for work or why I didn’t turn up at all. Why I didn’t turn up for meals or family gatherings (unless drunk) why I couldn’t keep a simple promise etc etc. Then I thought I never hurt anyone except myself, boy how wrong I was.
I stole time from my employers or only worked at 25% if that, due to being hungover or still drunk or they couldn’t rely on me to turn up. I stole my parents hope & dreams as well as their peace of mind because I couldn’t be honest as long as I was still drinking. When I first came into Alcoholics Anonymous really desperate & out of answers the most honest thing I had admitted in years was “I’m Kevin & I’m an alcoholic.”
I heard it said by a member of A.A. early in my sobriety “that honesty is a bit like being pregnant, you can’t be half pregnant.” It’s rather ironic that now when I want to tell the odd fib “that guy” with “that saying” always come to mind & my conscience kicks in. I have to do the right thing or suffer the consequences, & to be honest I usually do the right thing or I find myself making amends. Desperation got me to A.A. & gratitude is now keeping me here because I am experiencing a lot of the promises that are written of in the Big Book & because this is a practical plan of action both inside & outside of AA. I know if this didn’t work I would not keep going to A.A. but the proof is in my life today I can function one day at a time without drinking all because of taking & working the Steps under the direction of a good sponsor. It took awhile for me to get honest & surrender but I have hung around long enough for the miracle of A.A. to work.
I don’t do this program perfectly & never will, I just try to do it to the best of my ability. Sometimes I fall short & other times I do alright, what I’ve learnt from experience is to just put one foot in front of the other, through good times and bad and if I’m having problems I pray to my God for the willingness to do the next right thing. That could be to ring my sponsor, get to a meeting, help another alcoholic, read the Big Book or follow another recovering alcoholic’s example. Also it’s been my experience that if I place my sobriety 1st everything else falls into place.