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H.O.P.E. Happy Our Program Exists

Kathy C, New York

In my own case, it all began so innocently and by the end, my life was a mess, people didn't want me around when I drank and my children were very angry and confused, as was the rest of my family.  The loneliness and feelings of guilt and remorse were with me so much of the time but I continued to drink.  The big problem was that I got to a place where I could not stop!  I was functional for some years but things began to go wrong -- my marriage failed, I had to go back to work full-time again and my  two  pre-teens were very active so I was pretty busy.  I had to sneak my wine because if they figured out that I had been drinking they would scour the house or my car until they found the bottle so that they could pour it out and they were very acute about the signs.  

I knew that what I was doing was not normal -- the women I knew did not drink an entire bottle of wine in an evening.  They would have one or two and then leave half a glass on the table and not think anything about it again.  How I envied them.  I kept trying to be 'normal' but I didn't realize that I would never be a normal drinker.  I would always be alcoholic because my reaction to any alcohol was very different from those normal people.  They did not crave it the way that I did nor had to sit on their hands so that they would not get drunk at a luncheon or a coffee.  Wine made me feel more of what my idea of who I thought I should be but it kept getting out of control.  No wonder they would look at me strangely although no one ever brought it to my attention.  They did ignore me from time to time.  So much for being a normie.

The last months of my drinking were not pretty.  I kept showing up at work looking very rough and feeling even worse.  One of my co-workers told me after I began to be sober that she was positive I had a death wish.  I guess everyone knew even though in my mind I was hiding it somewhat.  Then came the day it all blew up -- I  came out of a morning blackout (which had never happened before) and was at work.  That meant I drove many miles on a super highway -- I could have injured someone or even myself.  That really got my attention so I knew I finally had to ask for help.  I went to a detox facility to see if they had any solution to what was happening to me.  

While I was a patient we had visitors from AA one afternoon.  They came to share their stories with us.  I could not believe how well they all looked -- they laughed and joked and not drinking didn't seem that big of a deal to them.  They had found a solution to their drinking problem.  They told us to read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous which would explain what was wrong with us and what to do about it.  They also suggested we do a few things when we were released -- go to as many meetings as we could, read the Big Book, find a sponsor, get a home group and work the Steps.  There was something about these people which made me want what they had found so I made a pact with myself that I would listen to those suggestions and make sure I followed them.  

People at meetings are so glad to share especially with new people.  They made sure that we 'newbies' had Big Books and meeting lists and even gave us phone lists to use if we were having a difficult time of it and needed someone to help.  I came to love those meetings -- I always feel safe there and so much better when I leave.  I did find a wonderful sponsor and a home group and went to meetings whenever I had free time.  The more I went the more I wanted to keep away from drinking.  One day something came to mind that I had lost that awful urge to drink.  Talk about freedom!  It spurred me on to keep up what I was doing and not give up even if I had a bad day or life had thrown me a curve ball.  It has worked for many years now when nothing else did.  AA has given me back the hope I had lost and a better life than I could have imagined.  

I urge you to contact the AA Office where you live and ask for meetings near your home.  You can also become involved with all the venues here at E-AA where you will find groups to join, meetings in our Chat room,  literature and even a Temporary Sponsor venue where you can request a sponsor to help you with your program and working the 12 Steps.   There is hope here and some really fine people to help you along the way.  Why not give it a try?  It doesn't cost anything and you just might like being there.  It has worked for me for quite some time now.

Kathy C


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