When leading a meeting it is suggested that the leader shares what it was like, what happened and what it’s like now. What it was like is to characterize our drinking career. We may share when we started drinking and using and what was going on in our life at the time. Possibly some traumatic event occurred that made us think of drugs and alcohol as viable solutions. For some of us drinking was not our problem; it was our solution. Many people believe that they were born with alcoholic tendencies and traits. This may be true especially in light of the physical allergy that addicts have to drugs and alcohol. Some of us began drinking alcoholically from the first drink. I know that I did, and I just couldn’t get enough. I was fourteen years old at the time and became a full-blown addict to drugs and alcohol almost immediately upon beginning to use them. I thought they were my solutions to all my problems. They also helped me to navigate social situations.
What happened is that I became a drug addict and alcoholic. From the beginning I had a gut feeling that what I was doing was wrong. But I would use or drink and that drowned out any thoughts of right and wrong. Throughout my twenties I continued to use and drink. I added Seconal, Percocet, Ativan and cocaine to my alcohol addiction. I would mix my drugs and the other substances. It’s a wonder I didn’t overdose as I used all of the aforementioned drugs on a daily basis near the end of my drinking and using career. Eventually my family approached me and insisted that I go to a detox program. I agreed to do so as I knew I was clearly on a path to destruction. I did a five-day detox program and then I began to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I remember that in the beginning I smelled really funny as the substances were leaving my system. This lasted about three weeks. I have stayed sober since my first day in detox which was April 3, 1985. I never relapsed as I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it back to the program.
What it’s like now is living life on life’s terms. I have had the most joyous occasions in sobriety, and I have had some things happen that were not so joyous. By taking the 12 Steps and applying the principles of the program to my life I have been able to navigate my way through life in a comfortable manner. I can feel it when I start to run on self-will and not God’s will. Hopefully when I get off track, I have the tools of the program to help me get back on track. Life is good. Yes, I have adversity happen in my life. But once again I have the tools to help me deal with it. Am I Happy? Yes, and I have a deep sense of contentment. Would I go back to my old life? Not a chance I would do that. I thank God everyday for keeping me sober and I am so grateful that I was given the gift of surrender.