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Grapevine : January 2011
rette with them, I was assigned a fe- male sponsor. People shook hands with me and said, "Keep coming." I walked into my first beginners' meet- ing in denial over my drinking. I left the church feeling like I had surren- dered. In retrospect, I felt then that I had become powerless over alcohol after years of progressive drinking. Today I realize that I had no control over my drinking since that very first plastic cup of liquor. The road to recovery began with honesty. Only when I accepted that I had a problem with alcohol could I move forward. After that first meet- ing, I was told that all I needed to do was listen, keep an open mind and remain teachable. I became willing to seek help and take suggestions. After six months of being in the program, I was still gripped by the obsession to drink. The rooms of- fered me hope and relief, but I need- ed something more. Thus, someone suggested that I work the Steps. I found a sponsor who was willing to walk me through them. We met weekly and read the Big Book together. Reading "The Doc- tor's Opinion" gave meaning to why I was powerless over alcohol. I learned that powerlessness is admitting that I have a lack of power or control over the choice to drink. It also explained the difference between an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic. I discovered that I was helpless over alcohol both in mind and body. I identified with the obsession, cravings and volatile be- haviors of an alcoholic. I understood that self-reliance is a form of sick- ness. Also, when I turned my life over to the care of alcohol, my life became unmanageable. In my recovery today, powerless- ness has expanded to people, places and things. When I am fearful about a situation, I have to return to the First Step. Trying to take control of a situation means that I lack trust in my Higher Power. While I'm run- ning the show, things quickly become unmanageable. The Promises began coming true when I started having faith. I found a stable job, and bought a condo and a car. When I was sober for four years, I met my husband in the program. That AA member who made me shout out my powerlessness six years earlier had saved my life. My journey began when I proclaimed that I was powerless over alcohol. How did he know that I needed to speak out loud in order to believe? Tanya C. Bedminster, N. J. 'I want to hear you say, "I'm powerless over alcohol."' His voice echoed in the basement of the church. 30 January 2011