How the God of my Understanding has been Working in My Life
I asked to chair the GROW meeting closest to what I have considered my sobriety date. In coming up with a topic, however, I began to take a closer look at my own story and whether the date I chose really reflects my current understanding of how the higher power (I call God) has been working in my life.
Here’s how it went: on July 11, 1999, I had what turned out to be my last drink (of course, it wasn’t just one). I was clueless about what an alcoholic prison I was in; I had no intentions of quitting drinking. But on July 12, for some reason, I didn’t drink. And I haven’t had a drink since.
However, I didn’t come into AA until November 30, 2001. Those 16 months before that date were excruciating – no alcohol and no program. I suffered terribly as a dry drunk, and I hit a bottom lower than any I’d known before. At that particular meeting (I had actually been to a few meetings before that), I found hope, laughter, and a profound sense of belonging. For the first time in my life, I glimpsed an answer to all my suffering. Because that meeting seemed to be the beginning of a new life, I have been celebrating November 30, 2001, as my sobriety date.
For a long time, in AA, I worried that I wasn’t a “real alcoholic.” I was afraid you all would kick me out because my story wasn’t “bad enough.” Somewhere along the line, though, as I have grown in the program and have come to have a new relationship with the God of my understanding, I have accepted my “devastating weakness and all its consequences” (12 & 12, Step One, p. 21). I have been thanking the God I have come to know through AA for leading me to the fellowship in 2001. Now I want to celebrate the date when that power relieved my obsession to drink.
So here’s how I’m looking at my story now: on July 12, 1999, through a power that knew me better than I knew myself, I was reborn as a person who didn’t have to drink. Even though I crawled through the next 16 months, that same power stayed with me, then stood me on my feet and led me to AA school on November 30, 2001. I don’t have to worry about getting good grades in order to graduate – I’m allowed to be in school for the rest of my life! And as a member of GROW, I can attend class anywhere, anytime.
I’d love to hear from all of you about how the God of your understanding has been working in your life – or anything else you might relate to in my share!