by John Mc (South San Francisco)

Don’t know about you, but this A.A.-er is in full COVID-19 fatigue. I’m sad and tired for all the people dying, for all the people suffering, and definitely tired of the mask debate. We wear seat belts to save lives, right? We can’t drive drunk, right? (Although many of did and do.) Those are government-ordered laws and nobody’s throwing their self-righteous arms up in the air about them. I’ll get off my soap box now, but I grow weary of sitting with these kinds of thoughts in isolation. Of sitting still with my eyes closed and breathing deep breaths to control my anxiety. Of not making plans, but schedules to keep me on track so I know what day it is.

I came into the program a hopeless, broken man who wanted to end it all in an overly dramatic way (cue the violins)

In my thirty-plus years in the program, I have acquired the tools to know how to live one day at a time, how to breathe, how to relax, how to pray, how to meditate, and how to make conscious contact with a higher power. No small feat, being as I came into the program a hopeless, broken man who wanted to end it all in an overly dramatic way (cue the violins). 

Over the years I learned how to practice the principles of the twelve steps and traditions in all my affairs. It’s quite remarkable, really, knowing my history with alcohol and the kind of hell I crawled out of to get sober. In A.A., little by little, I learned how to change my entire life from one of hopelessness and regret to one of service and freedom from fear, even in the face of a pandemic.

Now I go to meetings on Zoom in different states and in different countries

Now I go to meetings on Zoom. I go to meetings in different states and in different countries. What I see throughout the world, throughout this pandemic that touches every one of us, sober or not, is that people are still, miraculously, coming to A.A. and staying or getting sober. We still count our days, celebrate our A.A. milestones, and share our experiences, our strengths, our hopes, our fear and our sadness. We transform not only our lives, but those around us. In this day and age of magnificent change (and this alky hates change) A.A. remains the one constant in my rapidly changing world. 

We transform our lives

It’s the one place where the virus doesn’t shut me down or stop me from achieving my primary purpose. Today, I can go on a rant, mostly a mild one, as I don’t want to get too agitated (my A in HALT). I feel my feelings, witness the incredulity of this pandemic, and know that no matter what I’m going through, I don’t have to drink over any of it. Today, I know that this, too, shall pass and one day we’ll look back on this time and think it’s a miracle we got through it. The great thing is that we don’t do this alone. Just knowing there are still so many of you trudging the road with me is a comfort. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And please keep coming back!

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