Jul 26: I Am An Alcoholic

I Am An Alcoholic

“I am an alcoholic” … those simple words have such a profound effect. It has been several months since I shared, and I cannot truly describe the feeling I have right now. These cyber rooms have been such a powerful part of my sobriety, and yet I wandered away so easily.

I came to AA in 1998 after a short stay in a mental hospital … in there I died spiritually. It was a very dark time in my life. At that time, I was a mother of four lovely daughters, and they were only in 5th, 4th, 2nd, and 1st grades at that time. My life was consumed in a very toxic marriage and trying to find acceptance in a world that seemed so foreign to me. I truly felt all would be better off without me.

I found myself in the rooms of AA, and it was painful hearing the Promises in those early years because God hated me because I truly felt I was a mistake. Yet you encouraged me to stay and find a God of my own understanding, and I did … in my ladies. I was determined to get better for them … they became my higher power in those early years. I would wear armor when I was with them and when I stepped through the threshold of AA, that armor would fall to the side and I became teachable. Step by step, I was able to find a higher power that brought meaning back into my life.

I saw how I put people, places, and things in the position of God. I saw how I took on the position of God myself … trying to make things be the way I wanted things to be. Slowly but surely, I left AA after my 7th year because I started to see the differences. It took another alcoholic to give me the gift of desperation to truly see I wasn’t different. When my daughter found herself in the rooms of AA, I found myself back there, too. I found GROW at that time, too.

To say I grew a lot would be an understatement. The fellowship and service work in AA and Al-anon truly brought meaning to my life … just what the promises say would happen … “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which use to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

I divorced my husband and commenced on that new life accepting life on life’s terms and embracing it fully. I have gone through a lot since coming back to the rooms of AA; however, I am so very grateful for it.

So where is the topic of this week? Well, for the last three months, I found myself in a relationship. Slowly but surely, I found myself wandering away from AA again … the very thing that saved me from a life that was void of “life.” I found myself in fear quite honestly; however, it is that “fear” that I saw the steps, traditions, and concepts of AA working. That “fear” was awareness of the slippery path I was on, embraced it, and I expressed my needs. Something I would not do and yet something I must do … I do not have another drink in me.

My partner in life is understanding of my need to work my program – for which I am grateful – and supports me – by which I am humbled. That need reminds me of the importance to keep the perspective of remaining spiritually fit, taking care of myself so that I may be there for my partner.

I am truly blessed being an alcoholic. I would not be where I am today without AA and Al-anon. I was given a second chance at life that cannot be taken for granted.

No matter how long you have been in this program, we are all the same … it is a day at a time.

As it says on page 85 of the Big Book, “What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.” I cannot forget from where I came, so when I say the words “My name is Tanya, and I am an alcoholic …” I am truly a grateful alcoholic.

Please share your experience, your strength, and your hope on what it means when you say “I am an alcoholic.”