Something I often say in meetings is, I don’t want to die from alcoholism. That I don’t want drinking to kill me. That I won’t let a liquid control my life. My greatest fear has been repercussions from drinking. And it is all true, valid and understandable to anyone. One of the main reasons I came back to A.A. is I knew it worked. I knew alcoholics were able to stop drinking alcohol and to be happy through the program. Another reason for my returning is knowledge of the existence of benefits beyond my comprehension available through honest recovery. I always knew these people had something invaluable that they actually wanted me to have. Yet I couldn’t tell you what it was. I just wanted to not die. I knew there was more, and that little bit of knowledge from years in and out and the desire to stop drinking brought me back into the rooms.
Despite all of this, all of my fears of alcoholism itself, today a thought struck me so terrifying it got me out of bed to write this. The realization that drinking would rob me of the things most valuable to me today. The rewards I have attainted through a program of recovery that I never imagined attainable for me. Sure, I could die from drinking. Any drunk can die from alcoholism. But before that would happen, I would have to turn my back on my Higher Power for one moment. I would have to allow self-will to take over just to see what would happen. Just to see what I could do by myself. In turning from God for one second, all the gifts I have today would disappear. My serenity robbed from me due to selfishness and laziness. I would again know a reality without gratitude. The utter despair of existing alone and hopeless, full of shame hate and guilt would return. My existence would soon wither into a great need and desire to die. Everything I love today would be gone. I don’t mean the privileges only possible for me through recovery such as my amazing children, or the wonderful man in my life, or not vomiting and shaking daily. I am referring to the things I love which I never expected to come from working a program. My unreserved peace of mind. The peace within me stemming from letting God handle me, finding out how to be a better version of myself, righting wrongs and helping others. That peace, that calm, contended sensation is one of the rewards I never expected from doing some steps. From giving in, letting go and doing what I knew worked to the best of my ability. These are my most valued possessions today. The knowledge that in an instant between my thinking and swallowing it can all disappear terrifies me. This fact scares me more than actually dying from this disease. I never imagined that anything about drinking would scare me more than going the way of my mother, sister, uncle and millions of other powerless souls. Suddenly the thought of having my choices, contentment and very being snatched from me is terrifying.
Thankfully, fortunately and finally I know of a practice of preventative measure capable of fending off hopelessness and despair and self-loathe. Knowledge and implementation of this program.
I am a member of group of millions who have lost (or never had) the privilege of power of choice in drink. A people who once had “the tremendous urge to cease drinking for good and found it impossible.” People who “no matter how great the necessity or wish had an utter inability to leave it alone.” I am one of millions of grateful, blessed alcoholics who have so far, “recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.” For us, we had “reached a certain point in which the most powerful desire to stop drinking was of absolutely no avail.”
The odds are indefinitely stacked against us. We should be drunk and useless, terrified and pitiful. By all means and possibilities we should be drunk! Our chances and choices are so, that if we drink, we die. But today for some other-worldly reason, divine in theory and inexplicable to reasoning, utilizing and practicing 12 principles based on spirituality, truth, progress, honesty, open-mindedness and willingness has rid our mind of the obsession, has eliminated the phenomenon of craving.
The inability to take it or leave it alone has become gratefulness, a better, more useful way of thinking and living. My fear of dying a violent, hopeless, painful, shameful death has evolved into a greater desire to keep my serenity and peace of mind. My loneliness has grown into a great desire and necessity to help others.
These gifts have been given to me, whom I never imagined worthy of or capable of comprehension of these ideas through 12 simple principles. A design for living. This amazing straightforward theories and beliefs have evolved my very soul. I am a person I love today. A person loved by God who is in love with God and the gifts presented to me by doing God’s will. I have been given through purposeful undertaking of these standards a way out of the pit of despair. The ability in choice of whether or not I live with incomprehensible demoralization, or learn more about God, peace, serenity, myself and a life I absolutely love.
For this all I am grateful.