by Marcello C-B.

Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall away from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe. —Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 75

Step 5 for me was the beginning of the changes I have been looking for since the first time I got intoxicated. Changes I truly needed to continue in a positive way. After putting all my effort into my fourth step, sitting down with my sponsor and telling him all my dirty laundry really opened up my eyes how amazingly shallow, egotistical, selfish, so full of myself I was and how I behaved while I was intoxicated. Of course during those times I couldn’t see it until I put pen to paper.

I remember been so intoxicated I thought I was untouchable. My belief was I could actually handle toxic situations better when drunk (instead of making messes out of them). My character defects would get the best of me regardless of the situation. Even though I was better at insulting people I can’t say it served me at all. It gave me a false sense that I was on top of the world.

We feel we are on the Broad Highway

Step 5 is one of the steps I’ve come to like the most because getting all the information out and giving it to God and my sponsor has released me from the bondage of carrying dead weight. With so many self-absorbed behaviors I never thought I had, I was in complete denial about them until my eyes opened after step work. Then the fog started to lift.

This step is more than just cleaning house to me. It’s the beginning of an easier way of life to show you, me, anybody that it is possible to climb out of the deepest hole a person can dig for themselves. I know I kept digging like I was looking for a chest full of gold.

Today I am on Step 12. I continue to work the steps with the same sponsor, I continue to stay in contact with other sober individuals in the program. I go to Zoom meetings all over the continent. If I get the idea to use I simply remind myself how bad it was before I got sober, and I will call a fellow addict or just play the tape of the countless times I have been to jail behind my drinking here in the US and in Mexico.

photo credits available upon request from [email protected]

Believe me, my life has not been peachy. It hasn’t been horrifying, either, but I am completely sure I don’t want a repeat of past bad situations. I’ve had enough of it and can still taste my last relapse in my mouth. I am not going back for any of it, again. I have given myself a second chance at a first class lifestyle today. I believe you can as well, you just have to be consistent, be true to yourself and truly believe in yourself. Then you can move forward from it.

A habitual relapser who couldn’t put the bottle down because somebody was going to steal it from me (when I was partying by myself)

At first I couldn’t keep myself sober in the beginning from the many times I tried. This last of two hospital visits at UCSF Parnassus Hospital in San Francisco was enough. The journey I started and continue to be on since September 17, 2019 has been so amazing I really can’t complain. And if I can do it, you can do it too. This is coming from a habitual relapser who couldn’t put the bottle/pipe down because somebody was going to steal it from me when I was partying by myself! How crazy is that?

I’m so grateful I took the right steps and the guidance to listen and to do what was in front of me. One thing I can say that has stuck is that my only job is to “shut the F up and listen,” which is how my uncle put it. Today I continue to follow those words because it saved my life. Thank you, Uncle Mark B.

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