Topic for the week: The Fellowship of AA & Lemonade
My name is Alison B and I am an alcoholic. Welcome new members and congratulations to those who are celebrating a milestone. I for one, am so very grateful to the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. It goes without saying that I am also very grateful to be a sober woman today. I celebrate………wait for it……..drumroll, lol. 29 years today March 20th.
So naturally I am reflecting back on who I was March 20th, 1993. It seems like that time was someone else’s life not mine. I can see myself, the 37 year old woman with two young children ages 4 & 7, unhappily married, living far from my family, on a sailboat, in a foreign country. (I had also given much of my power to my husband at the time & that’s my part.) I was a chameleon in my own life, trying to blend in, make you happy and be whomever I thought you wanted me to be. Mostly because I had no idea who I was. I never really made choices of my own, I pretty much went where the wind took me. (Pardon the sailing metaphor, lol) I had been to AA in 1985, but I did not stay. I was not as bad as you guys, I had never been arrested, I had not lost everything, I had never been to jail, etc. etc. I was comparing my outside to yours, and it just didn’t match up. I decided to go out and do some of that “controlled drinking”…………..
for 7 ½ very long years.
Then along comes my personal bottom……again. It was after yet another fight with my husband. I snuck onto a friends boat and drank Sally’s gin when she was not home. (I don’t even like gin) I had an out of body experience in that moment. And I was able to see the insanity of what I was doing. I was deep in self pity and thought about ending my life. I couldn’t figure out how to do it and be 100% successful, so I canned that idea. I did not want to leave my kids. So I got down on my knees that evening in the cockpit of my boat anchored in the Bay of La Paz, Mexico and looked to the heavens. I asked the sky to help me. If there was a God in this world, I needed help to learn to live happily.
I had a sense that if there was a God, He/She/It, wouldn’t want me to leave these two beautiful kids. So, I scooped myself up, told my husband I needed to go to AA meetings. (He was newly sober a few months, so we picked the meetings each of us could attend as we had these two little kids to take care of.) And thus began my sober journey. I was given the gift of desperation. I did not want to go back to that intense feeling of despair I felt that lonely night I dropped to my knees. I got a sponsor, worked the steps with her and was of service to my tiny English speaking AA group in La Paz.
Lots of stuff has transpired in my sober life. Some tragedy, pain, fear, loss and love, happiness, feeling worthy & joy just to name a few. Lots of joy. It is up to me to make lemonade out of the lemons. And believe me when I say, I have made lots of lemonade. At about 10 years sober I was camping in my own yard with my two kids while litigating with my homeowners insurance about a water damage claim that made our house uninhabitable. I was going to lots and lots of meetings when my kids were at school. One lady brought a box of lemons from her tree to give away. After me sharing a little during the meeting about the crap on my plate (living in tents in my own yard for a year), she gave me the whole box of lemons and told me to go home and make lemonade for my kids. And I did just that!!! I did it with a smile on my face.
With the help of the AA Fellowship and especially the women, I have navigated through some really tough stuff. I have always come out stronger on the other side. You have given me lemons, held my had, helped me move multiple times, sat with me in the ER, prayed for me, helped me through a divorce etc. etc. You have seen my children graduate, celebrated a second marriage, watch my kids have kids. You have taught me just how to find joy in my journey. I am here to help you find joy in yours today.
The 12 Steps are a gift. They are the tools to help me turn my life around, One Day At A Time. I use them. I do my best to practice these principals in all of my affairs. I am kinder to people that cross paths with me. I have been blessed to have friendships that last a lifetime. I stay connected to the women of AA, for they have shown me the way out of my misery. I have beautiful relationships with my children and my expanding family. For that I am eternally grateful.
I thank my Higher Power for the lemons of life today. Those lemons have brought me to lean on you. The Fellowship of AA has taught me how to build a life worth living. I do not have to do this alone. Thank you.
How do you lean into the Fellowship and how do you make your own lemonade?