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Grapevine : January 2011
til something bad happened. I had thrown away all that was important in pursuit of broken, ruined things. I gave up great relationships in pur- suit of one-night stands. I gave up a good life in pursuit of a good time. I gave up my career over my choice of beverage. I had no real friends in my life. I had drinking buddies---degener- ate has-beens and wannabes---about whom I knew nothing outside the bar. I had neither car nor house, be- cause of my drinking. My adult life had been a kalei- doscopic montage of one drunken night after another, chasing cheap liquor with cheap beer and chas- ing, with a few notable exceptions, cheap women. The notable excep- tions were, by and by, chased away by my drinking, or one or more of my myriad other bad habits. After pursuing my career from---I kid you not---the age of 3, I was finally too well-known as a drunk to get any work. My world shrank until I was living in a place in which I knew no one, except a part of my family, who looked at me with suspicion. They knew something wasn't right with me. I knew they were right. Seeing Brian that day, in all his silly, alcoholic craziness, brought it all home to me---my whole trivial life in one foolish gesture. I knew I had to change. Eric M.-E. so much reminded. Iamsosure people around me thought that I was a little nuts treating them like I did during this time. It would probably be appropriate now to make an open amends. Slowly, time has healed us as a family and we can think back without being in tears. In the meantime, I go to meetings every day and I am still sober. I still feel today that I want to stay sober more than get drunk. And that is what I am grateful for. My Higher Power has resumed his healing within me, stronger than ever. ere are times whenIsitinmy room and tears just burst out, reiterat- ing what people say about the hurt of losing a child never going away. But, as people say in the program, "God will bring you to it, and he will lead you through it." As I am writing you all this, my heart is filled with gratitude. It makes me more willing to talk to newcomers in order to help them find peace like I did in the pro- gram of AA. I could go on and on with examples in my sobriety when my HP was there when I needed him the most. He has not let me down yet. Michael M. Hoffman Estates, Ill. Slowly, time has healed us as a family and we can think back without being in tears. Grapevine 25