May 24: Hi, my name is….

I’m Sophie, alcoholic.

“Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.”
BB Chapter 5 How It Works

I love hearing examples of how the program, the tools, the literature, Higher Power/God work for others.
I also love getting to know other alcoholics, hearing their stories – what it was like and what it’s like now. That’s why I pulled out those few sentences from Chapter 5.

We’ve had so many women join us recently, we always have a steady flow of joiners usually but there’s lots more since we’re in the current global pandemic situation. I’m glad our newest members have found us.

I wondered this week if our topic could be an opportunity to get to know each other a little more, using the frame of “what it was like, and what it’s like now….”
I had a favourite game show growing up and the contestants had to answer “what’s your name and where do you come from?”
So it’s a bit like that.
A chance for some fellowship and maybe to share some hope at the changes that are possible with AA….

So here’s mine;

Hi, my name is Sophie.
I’m an alcoholic.
GROW is my AA home group, and has been for over 3 years. I have my AA sponsor online and I do most of my AA service online.
I just celebrated my sober-verserary.
A day at a time I’m celebrating my Twenty Years.
I live in the U.K. I lived overseas in New Zealand for a few years but I’m back home now.
I got sober going to AA meetings in London.

My life had totally fallen apart, then miraculously had been repaired on the outside.
But I was left still broken and shattered on the inside, not knowing what my problem was or what to do about it.

I was 23. Life was over. I had lost the power to choose when and if or how much I drank. I was 6 months out of University.
In those 6 months I’d lived at 5 different addresses, was on my 3rd job and was a victim of every life event. Everything I turned into a dramatic event, a story to be told for sympathy or for entertainment.

Then came AA. May 24th 2000. A moment of clarity. A window of opportunity that I fell through. A friend introduced me. I could hear her saying, if you’ve got a problem stopping AA can help.

I came (to meetings), I came to (woke up from my alcohol induced stumbling) and came to believe that if AA could work for all these guys and girls of all ages, all backgrounds, all nationalities, then it could work for me too.
I learned through listening and identifying with others that my drinking was alcoholic, that I was powerless over alcohol. Once I took that first drink the off switch was gone. What a relief to know what I was and that in AA I could begin doing something about it.

And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past twenty years. Finding my way through my past and learning to live well and sober today using the steps, the meetings, amazing sponsors, and beautiful sober friends and acquaintances.

Sometimes, oftentimes, it’s been one step forwards and a few back. Sometimes I’ve howled in emotional pain. But more often I’ve learned I have what it takes to cope, to survive, to thrive, and to be of use to others.

I have a god in my life today, a god I work at having a relationship with, a god who’s there for better and worse times.
And I’ve learned to laugh and enjoy life. Even in these strange and uncertain times I look for joy and laughter. I still have so much to be grateful for. And I have the program of AA as a guide each day.

Today I’m a Mum, I became a parent in sobriety. I’m with my long term partner, we live and parent together. I met him at 10 years sober after I had finally surrendered to the suggestion to be friends with someone first, get to know them. He is in every way my equal, I don’t fear him or want to change him. I’m learning healthier ways of communicating my needs and applying the program. And I try to take my own inventory and not his.

I look forward to getting to know more about more of you as I open the meeting for shares on this week’s topic “Hi, my name is…”.
As always, anyone needing to is welcome to share “off topic” too.

I always welcome one to one correspondence, and I know many others here do too. I’ve made lovely friends & recovery acquaintances here in GROW by doing that. I’m never alone – and as I shared recently “if in doubt, reach out”.

Thank you for having me be of service. The meeting is open.