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Grapevine : March 2011
AN ORDINARY WOMAN ISOBERED up in rural Mississip- pi in 1979. I did not know there were a lot of women in Alcoholics Anonymous for several months. I went to meetings near the small town I was living in, and there were mostly men at those meet- ings back then. Having hit a low bot- tom and desperate for sobriety, I was just grateful to have help of any kind. When I had been sober about seven months I began venturing out looking for other meetings. I discov- ered there were women in sobriety about 50 miles from where I lived. I started driving between 200 and 300 miles a week to go to meetings with other women. I was both re- lieved and terrified at the same time. I would look at these lovely ladies and think, "They have not done the things I did when I drank. They don't feel the shame I feel." I met a woman who had been sober for many years, and when she spoke, I listened. I wanted what she had, and I prayed for the willing- ness to ask her to be my sponsor. I had been sober for eight months and had not really worked the Steps. Our drinking experiences and our lives were different, but we suffered from the same disease. It was obvious to me that she knew how to stay sober and I didn't. She agreed to sponsor me and that was one of the happiest days of my life. She was both gentle and firm. I balked at Step Four. I truly did not ever want to tell anyone the degrad- ing things that I had done in my drinking. She continued to love me until I could love myself and she led by example. For the first time in my life I got honest with another human being and my life changed forever. She guided me through the Steps and listened to me without judgment, and I began to have a spiritual awakening as the result of working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I will be forever grateful to her for all that Thirty extraordinary years of passing it on 12 March 2011