By Anon

While it had certainly become clear I had lost complete control over the grog I, of course, was absolutely in denial about that simple truth. Equally certain was I had no practical conception of how that reality was affecting those around me, particularly those I loved the most. For my part, I espoused the hubris required to assure all with whom I might come into contact that all was right with the world and my place in it. Because I was experiencing a modicum of success in my chosen field of endeavor, and seemed the dutiful father to those parents and teachers who coexisted in the universe our children and their classmates inhabited, life was a dream – to me.  I sadly failed to realize this was a dream, nay a fantasy, I experienced while fully awake and then only when day’s blackout commenced sometime after the children were asleep. Then the serious drinking finally took its toll.

When my ‘streetcar’ stopped at the last house on the block at a 7:00 a.m. AA meeting, I am not sure what I was prepared for, but certainly it was not to stop drinking and absolutely was not to stop drinking for the remainder of my days on this planet. However, like the proverbial prolonged and consistent drip of water which, over time –sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly – splits even the most solid block of granite, prolonged and consistent contact with the AA message finally split me to my core. That I even got into the rooms was proof of my willingness, albeit of the reserved and retiring variety upon arrival, and for months to come thereafter. Now what was my next step?

I hoped just the effort would right things on the home front; that my show of a good faith attempt at such a monumental challenge would smooth the ruffled feathers, calm the anxious fears and, most importantly, stop the nagging to quit “cold turkey.” When my half measures continued to avail me nothing, my miracle happened and the honesty of my condition escaped my lips for the first time at a meeting. It was as if I stepped out of a darkened closet into a sunlit room, abounding with friends, none of whom I knew, just that, indeed, they were friends. I soon found that although I was basking in the Sunlight of the Spirit, I was still a drunk. My disease had gone nowhere. I had not been cured. I had only succeeded in finally admitting to myself and to that new host of friends, not just who I was, but what I was. When I made that first call to Louis, selected from the group’s phone list because he was the only face I could put with a name on that list, Louis’ first question broke the dam of resistance.– He asked simply:  “Do you have a sponsor yet?” As we talked about that question and my negative response, I began to realize I could not do this alone. Equally important, I realized no one expected me to. Guys like Louis actually wanted to help. I also realized that I needed help.

I believe now this was when the seed of humility was planted. The seed took root, akin to any nourishing fruit, and grew into a daily, sustaining diet, a sustenance I needed to achieve for a life-continuing daily reprieve from drink. But as the days had rolled into weeks, then months and even, unbelievably, into years, so too the product of this seed evolved. I dutifully read and believed that without more of this precious quality, I could not live to a useful purpose; and it would be good insurance when confronted with that real emergency sure to be in my future.

At times, these concepts seemed to me to be only words on a page, voices in my brain, the echo of a heartfelt share which sounded so profound in the hearing, it now rang as at a growing distance and hollow. Like those first 100 “came to believe,” I, too, found there was an infusion of this belief into the marrow of my bones. Anything less was only lip service to an idea, not a taking of the Second Step. In the Principle of Humility I have discovered the same to be true. I must infuse it into the marrow of my soul. I hear it so often said “You don’t have to do this alone.” I believe this Principle of Humility tells me I cannot do this alone.  I have come to believe this Power Greater than myself is always there for me. True humility tells me there are those I would meet in this fellowship too, as I trudge the road of happy destiny. For they are the lifeblood of my program and I need them as surely as I need air to live.  Without them I am lost. When my spirit is so focused on those I am with in this fellowship, its wind fills my sails and my course ahead is sound. 

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