I am one of the many women that has been restored to sanity through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I began drinking at the age of 17 years, and found alcohol to be a wonderful stimulant which enabled me to feel relaxed in any given situation. Whether alone, or in a crowd, I have always felt inwardly isolated from people and alcohol managed to break down this barrier, for brief periods of time.
Being restless by nature, I searched always for the excitements that life could bring and alcohol was always my companion. But Alcohol was a temporary solution to my problem. Since coming to AA in January 74, I’ve learned that my problem is alcoholism. Also, that alcoholism is in the person, and not in the bottle. I drank for 20 years before stumbling through the doors of AA, mentally, physically and spiritually bankrupt. Alcohol had become a depressant rather than a stimulant. I became a social outcast through my change of personality, which caused fits of violence and deep depression.
Laughter and happiness had long since passed in their place were feelings of utter despair and bottomless loneliness. Through alcoholism I built a wall around me, which shut me away from the realities of life and I proceeded to live in a world of fantasy. I was a stranger and nonentity in my own home. I knew I was surely going insane through my obsession for alcohol. Fortunately for me, I had a moment of truth and I rang A.A. I admitted and accepted myself as being an alcoholic. I knew that the road before me would not be easy, but I also knew I would not have to walk that road alone. Finally, I had met people who really understood me and accepted me for all of my failings.
I was not a bad person trying to be good, but a sick person trying to get well.
When I look back on myself, as a practising alcoholic, it’s like seeing a total stranger. Sobriety through A.A. has brought the love and respect of my family.
But more importantly, I now have respect for myself. The A.A. Program enables me to live one day at a time without alcohol. I want sobriety as much today, as I did when I first came to A.A. I’ve also learned that the only way I can keep what I have, is to give it away, to those still suffering.
Unity and service in A.A. is of great importance to my sobriety. The gratitude and love I feel for this fellowship cannot be measured in words. If I don’t take that first drink, on a daily basis, then each 24 hours can only progressively get better. I believe today that I have been restored to sanity through the I2 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.