I’m an alcoholic. I’m 27. I’m a woman. I’m a homosexual. I’ve been sober in the beautiful Fellowship of A.A. for 17 months and, for the first time in many years, find myself smiling, laughing, and really caring for other people.
After ten years of alcoholic drinking, that life of horror, loneliness, and despair brought me to the doors of my first A.A. meeting. In the first few months of my sobriety, I tried to follow suggestions, went to many meetings, joined a group, and found a sponsor whose sobriety I respected.
But during this time, I lived in fear — fear of my homosexuality being discovered, fear of being rejected by fellow A.A. members, fear of being left alone to cope with my disease of alcoholism. This fear drove me so close to the first drink that I believed I could never maintain the sobriety I so desperately needed and wanted. I became distrustful of my fellow A.A.s. My fears seemed to be a bigger problem than my alcoholism.
Finally, I heard a speaker ask, "Are you willing to go to any lengths to maintain your sobriety?" Was I willing? Who would understand my situation? Whom could I trust?
In desperation, I went to my sponsor. I cried, sweated, and shook. But the words I hated to say came out, painfully and slowly. I sat back, waiting for a word or a look of rejection.
My sponsor simply smiled and told me that she was an alcoholic just like me and that this was how and why she could help me.
I thank my Higher Power every night for this program that saved my life, a program of "principles before personalities." "The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking," our Third Tradition says, and there is a place for every person who wants help. There is a place for me. I thought that I was unique, different, that I had nowhere to turn in this world for help. But thanks to A.A., I have found the way to a full and happy life.