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"God dang it...I'm awake..."

Mike, Northeast USA

Looking back, I can see the sickness way before alcohol entered the picture.

I was the type of 1st grader that would steal your favorite book, then
help you look for it. Spitballs at other students was lame - I aimed
for the principal. I was that kid.
Extremely shy at first, but never learned how to put the brakes on bad
behavior once I opened up.

Had my first taste of whiskey at 7 years old from an alcoholic uncle.
"Here boy, this will put hair on your chest."

Being the oldest of the siblings growing up, I had my parents
constantly making an example out of me. Being sent to my room became
something I wished for after awhile. Pushed to solitude and loving it.
Anything to get away from this family was welcomed.

At age 13, my biological father gave me up for adoption to a step dad
who married my mother. Within a week, alcohol entered my life. I don't
recall the mindset of what sprang the idea to willfully try to get
drunk, but I paid a homeless person a few dollars to grab me two 40oz
bottles of Mickey's Malt Liquor, more famous for the angry bee artwork
on the cap than the taste. I guzzled both down as if I had been a
seasoned drinker.

It was instant attraction because I fell in love with the effect
produced. I became a very deliberate drinker over time. How much, how
fast and how messed up can I get, were my only concerns for 20 years
after that first drunk. I would get resentments and feel uneasy when
others would offer me "a beer" as a background for a social gathering.
"How dare you", was my thinking. Just for you not offering me the
entire case, I will go get my own bottle of rot gut vodka and drink
to oblivion. It was that simple for me to find an excuse to get

The good times, smiles and get togethers ended in my late teens. I
killed the party. I wish I could say I brought booze hidden in
something wherever I went, but the bottle would never make it with me
to destinations. It became a necessity to drink before any and all
occasions. There were times I had to white-knuckle sobriety and it
would never be long until a significant other would be begging me to
go drink. Misery about sums up me not drinking. I became depressed,
sat at home by myself, father drowning in booze, hoping for it all to

I was a firm agnostic, so no use in thinking God could save me either.
I destroyed two households with children involved, jail time, a few
trips to the loony bin, living under bridges, robbing houses. None of
it was enough to get me to stop.

I even walked into an AA meeting trying to get help. But my only
memory of that was walking in. I was absolutely not ready for what it
offered. Apparently, I wanted to be punished some more.  A year later
I decided to leave this earth with a handful of sedatives mixed with

"God dang it...I'm awake..."

The magic happened when the willingness came to open the book of
alcoholics anonymous while living in a sober house. Finally, whoever
wrote this must have had a camera surgically embedded in my head!  A
month into sobriety, soon after step 5, I had an all at once deep
spiritual experience that changed my life in an instant. I came to
to believe that I want more of this, so I stuck around by applying
principles outlined in our literature. By the grace of God, I have
not even been tempted to drink since May 6th 2013.

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