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Grapevine : February 2011
Although we stayed together for 11 months, I soon realized I didn't like being around him unless I was drunk. He'd want to do things and all I'dwanttodowasgotothebarand drink. When I'd finally had enough, I broke it off the only way I knew how--- I cheated on him. Now I was truly by myself. I had friends, but when I didn't like myself, how could I believe that my friends liked me? So I was drinking every day with the fears and resentments grow- ing at an exponential rate. I remem- ber sitting at a bar downtown one Sat- urday afternoon. I saw a dude riding his bike and immediately hated him because there was no reason to get all decked out in spandex for a little ride around town. Who the hell did he think he was? My biggest resentment was against myself. I would get drunk af- ter work and then walk home with the tape running in my head: "You're ugly and you're stupid and no one wants you and you really are a useless (body part you sit on) who would be better off dead." And then, finally, came that mo- ment of clarity. I had been thinking about going into treatment but was so scared by the idea that it took that ex- tra kick in the backside to get me in. I had no idea that I would spend the rest of my life going to AA meetings. But go I did! My first sponsor told me that I needed to do 90 meetings in 90 days. I can't say I didn't miss a day during those first three months, but I certainly did more than 90 meet- ings. I rearranged my lunch so I could go during the day, even when I was going to go that evening. And I know all those meetings saved me. The spiritual experience came very early on when I saw the Twelve Steps and the phrase "God as we understood him." It struck me like a thunderbolt: No one owns God. Just because some- one says, "God hates me for being who I am," doesn't mean it's true. The God I know tells me to judge not lest I be judged, and to love my neighbor as I love myself. And now, thanks to Alcoholics Anony- mous, I do love myself. I know, too, that my friends love me---I actually believe it. And I no longer need to drink. At two years sober I did a char- ity bicycle ride from Minneapolis to Chicago: six days, 400 miles. In training for it, I went to a bike-re- pair workshop and, while riding to the school where it was being held, IrodebythebarinwhichIhad been sitting when I saw the guy I immediately hated because he was decked out in spandex. I looked down---I was wearing spandex shorts and special riding shoes. Yes! I had become the person I resented! I did a little happy dance in my head. Anonymous Grapevine 15