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Grapevine : August 2010
me. She showed me what it could be like to have an older sibling who guided you through life's di culties. She taught me "One Day at a Time" and "Easy Does It." She walked me through the real life-skills I needed to learn, like how to find a job I liked, how to stay married one day at a time and how to live without needing a drink to numb out. I have since learned in AA how to be a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a worker. Every relationship and every job I've ever had needed a tune-up. I used to struggle to the top of the heap or hide underneath it. Actually, I still struggle to the top of the heap; one of my defects is perfectionism and another is people pleasing. Iwanttodoitall perfectly, and I want everyone to like me while I'm doing it. I have slowly learned to accept my failings as a parent and a wife. I have slowly learned to say "I'm sorry" to my husband when I am wrong. I have learned not to be so defensive. I have learned to ac- cept my anger and to get outside help for the areas of my life that are not healing as quickly as I want them to. Alcohol took me away from my fam- ily and AA brought me back. When I was drinking, I couldn't be honest with myself or my loved ones. I didn't know that I was trying to run the show or that I was self-centered. AA has taught me to be one in a family, to show up at the family gather- ings, to wash the dishes, to do the grunt work and to keep my mouth shut when that's what's required. I don't have to be right, and people don't always need to know my opinion. I can be of service to my family by being an example of sobriety and right living. I am becoming who God meant me to be, in spite of myself and my upbringing. Sara S. Vancouver, British Columbia had the privilege of attending a me- morial service for him and meeting the friends and family members I'd heard so much about through his stories. Among his belongings, we found all of his AA coins rolled up in paper like a stack of silver dollars. Everybody took one to remember him by. I've got his 15-year coin on my keychain, where it's been since my anniversary last spring. I think of him every time I see it. A.D. Texas These two family trees came together in me, an anxiety-fueled alcoholic. Grapevine 27