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Grapevine : March 2011
through it all. I'm a walking miracle." No one had asked me back in such long time, I was overwhelmed by their selfless giving. Through my sobs, I saw hope in their eyes. These wise ones, and one woman in particular, handled me with a vel- vet glove and a steel fist. She became my sponsor, my guide to recovery, my sounding board. She took me through the Twelve Steps. Sponsors and sup- port groups are put in my life to com- fort me when I am afflicted and afflict me when I am comforted. I learned in business that no one could do it for me. No one could be trusted. I was soon to learn that I could not do it---stay stopped---on my own. Here was yet another paradox: No one could do it for me and I could not do it by myself. They were quick to remind me that my best thinking and choices had brought me to this place and, by the way, this was not "Who's Who." What did I have to lose, except, perhaps, the high cost of low living? Early in recovery I was exposed to great folk wisdom that cut through all the mumbo jumbo and lies I had been telling myself for years. Act, do not react! Go to meetings when you want to and when you don't want to. Build up a bank account of meetings to draw from. Live by "H.A.L.T."---don't get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. When you are hungry, eat. When you are angry or lonely, go to a meeting; and when you are tired, rest. I quickly learned, not without many incidents of banging my head against a steel door, that there is nothing more im- portant than taking care of this pre- cious gift, the gift of sobriety. East side, west side, all around the town, I sought out others on the journey. I had paid too high a price for the folding chair I squirmed in while sitting in musty church basements, as well as the winding walk-up stairways leading to smoky rooms. But here, the truth was spoken over my life and tears were turned into laughter. I was to uncover, over the years, that the price I had paid "out there" was noth- ing in comparison to what it would cost me to relapse. I had seen so many others pay the staggering cost and slip back into hell. To this day, I have a healthy terror of my disease, waiting patiently for the opportunity for me tocavein.PickingupisayetIdonot want to experience. Twenty-six years later, I do not recognize the woman I was and give great thanks for the hand of grace that has changed my life. Beverly W. Boca Raton, Fla. I was ovewhelmed by their selfless giving. Through my sobs, I saw hope in their eyes. 42 March 2011