The first thing I did when I was home from the hospital and back with my family was find the first AA meeting and actually go this time. It was the most frightening thought. I still hadn’t accepted really that I was/am an alcoholic. I needed proof, proof that I was not an alcoholic. Not like those people. The ones we create in our minds. Whatever image we create in our minds of what an alcoholic looks like. Still denying. I had to try at least, to prove to my family that I was serious this time, and the only way I could have done that was attending/doing every option there was to help me get sober. I knew I needed help and had come to terms with that…..but really, an alcoholic? I walked into AA and was greeted by a very pleasant lady who noticed my tears and anxiety, she just smiled, gave me a hug and welcomed me in saying, “Everything will be okay, you are here.” I felt at home at that very moment. She gave me the literature to go home with, The 12 steps, and The Big Book, sat me in a seat with ladies who also welcomed me and made me feel so comfortable. I sat and listened to the openings and stories of who had been sober for years and ones sober just that day. I received my 24 hr coin and held it so tight. I talked with people, I watched, stared at people and thought, wow, this is nothing like I had imagined it to be. These people don’t look like what I thought them to look like. There were doctors, lawyers, nurses etc. People just like me. People coming together to share their journey and help those wanting a better life. I worked the steps, read The Big Book and related to almost every story in there. I was amazed at the amount of professional well known people who also shared the same “disease” as I do. It gave me perspective and insight of this sickness, weakness.
I stayed on with AA for 9 months until I felt I could do it on my own with the support of my friends and family. I’m heading into my 10th year of sobriety. I did come to terms with being an alcoholic and I am okay with that. It doesn’t change the person I am by acknowledging the medical term or name for it. It doesn’t mean I am tarnished goods, or not worthy of anyone or anything, it just means I can’t drink. It doesn’t do anything positive for me or anyone around me. I’m okay with that too.
AA may not work or be the answer for all who are suffering with an addiction but it did open my eyes to see that, no matter what we look like or do for a living, we/I suffer like the rest. All you have to do is try. Try it out, don’t dismiss something you are afraid of or unknown too. You could be pleasantly surprised at the new you that comes out.
Remember, the only thing that maters is you want to get and be better and this is only one of the options that are out there for you. Doing it alone doesn’t work. Sharing and togetherness, no matter where or when, that’s really the only option.
This is Being Me Sober