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Grapevine : February 2011
Grapevine 31 NEAR the beginning of my sobriety, I found myself talk- ing with a sponsor about Step Two, and he encouraged me, as our literature does, to ask myself what kind of God or Higher Power I was willing to believe in. It didn't have to make sense to anyone else, he told me, as long as it was a power greater than me, and it made sense to me. He also en- couraged me to search my own experiences for any time when I felt that I was being helped or cared for. I wasn't sure where to begin, until a little while later when I was re-reading "Bill's Story" in the Big Book. At the beginning of his story, our co-founder mentions seeing an "ominous warning" on a tombstone just as he was beginning his drinking ca- reer. Years later, the "real significance" of this expe- rience occurs to him, when he realizes that at that moment he was reaching out to something, and something had reached back! I was amazed to find myself identifying with Bill's experience; only, for me it was a television, not a tombstone. During my first week of sobriety, I received a call from my mom. She wanted to know if I had any interest in my grand- mother 's furniture, since she had passed away a few weeks before and her apartment needed to be emptied and cleaned. I jumped at the chance. My own living space was sparsely furnished with items that, like the rest of my life, had su ered considerable wear and tear due to my alcoholic lifestyle. Particularly dis- turbing to my still-fuzzy state of mind was the pitiful black-and-white television I had been watching. I drove a rented truck two hours north to my grandmother's apartment. Still new to our Fellowship, I did not yet realize that I might have found help from other AA members if I'd been humble enough to ask. Her apartment was on the third floor of a senior citizen apartment building. ere it was, a large (although slightly outdat- ed) floor console TV. e challenges of getting it out of the apartment, down the hallway, into the eleva- tor and up into a truck were already plucking at the corners of my mind, but I did my best to push them aside as I got to work dragging, lugging or shov- ing the rest of the furniture out the door. Finally, there was noth- ingle buttheTV.Ihada hand truck, but the idea of tipping the TV up onto its side so it would fit on the hand truck led me to imag- ine the tinkle of electronic components as they shook loose on the inside, ruining it. If I had another man, we might have been able to li it from both ends and carry it the whole way, but the only other people I'd seen were folks whose age and physical condition made such a request for help seem unwise. On top of that, asking for help still wasn't exactly one of my strengths. Now what? I stood there, feeling the old anger rise in me. Once again, my life didn't work. I just wanted a nice TV. Was that too much to ask?