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Grapevine : April 2011
fashionable and was absolutely terri- fied to leave my house except to get booze. Bills didn't get opened because I didn't have the money to pay them. I became a round-the-clock drinker. Finally,IhadtogetajobsoI could at least pay my rent. I'd already lost my telephone service, the electric- ity was in jeopardy and, worst of all, I was running out of money to buy booze! What a rude awakening when, after being fired on my third day as a waitress, this former business execu- tive surrendered and said three awe- some words: "God, help me." I picked up a surrender chip in Florida on July 10, 1983. I had a willingness born of des- peration, found a sponsor who spoke in slogans and literally followed all the suggestions as we moved on through the Steps. I started to get to know myself, accept myself, forgive myself (and others), clear away the wreckage of the past and, most im- portantly, came to depend on God who is my higher power today. It took time and God's patience to help me realize I had made a decision to turn my will and my life over to His care, not just my drinking. Over the years, three of my chil- dren have earned seats in AA. They've come to find their own sponsors, programs and recoveries. My oldest daughter is now six years older than I was when I got sober and she just celebrated 23 years of sobriety! One has 14 years, another came around AA for 15 and then decided to go out, and the fourth is not an alcoholic. By the grace of God, I never lost my rela- tionship with my kids. I will tell you I thought I might go crazy, but the people in AA circled around me and reminded me that if I enabled them, I might be making their bottom worse. That scared me enough to go back and continue focusing on my emo- tional sobriety. Powerless, powerless, powerless ... acceptance, acceptance and then more acceptance .... For the first 12 years of my so- briety, I went to at least 10 meetings a week. Then, I decided to move to a small city 10 miles away. I started going to meetings but I didn't like them. The people weren't friendly (I thought), and I didn't hear enough about the solution. At the same time, God led me to a local church where I committed my life to him. I now had an alternative location to focus my enthusiasm and energy. Since I didn't like the meetings, it must be God working, right? Wrong! I didn't stop going, but had slowed down to about 2 or 3 meet- ings a month. Then a funny thing happened. When I first got sober, my After twelve years of sobriety, I still didn't recognize this as alcoholism trying to seduce me. 14 April 2011