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Grapevine : April 2011
"But now I want you to promise that if you can't control your drinking when you get back home, you'll go toAA."Isawnowayoutofit,soI promised. On our way home from the air- port, my husband and I began argu- ing. The argument escalated as the night wore on. At some point, I start- ed drinking. Relief from the emotion- al pain I was in meant more to me than my promise to my mother. The argument ended when I screamed at my husband, "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you! I'm going to kill myself, and you can't stop me!" Iranoutoftheroomandupthe stairs to our bedroom, threw myself across the bed and experienced an anger that I'd never felt before. The dark room seemed to pulse with it, as if there was something present that was bigger and infinitely more dangerous than a petite young wom- an. My rational mind told me I was being melodramatic, even crazy, but I felt the presence of evil. Quickly, I whispered an unconscious, invol- untary "God help me." A few sec- onds later I fell, miraculously, into a healing sleep. I woke at 2 a.m., went down- stairs and found my husband sitting at the dining room table. Without pausing, I blurted out the truth: "I'm an alcoholic, and I need help." Had I thought about it a second longer or, I believe, had a Higher Power not directed my words, I would have said no such thing. Admitting that I was an alcoholic meant I would have to stop drinking and I didn't think I could stop, even if I'd wanted to. Also, given the state of our marriage, my husband was the last person to whom I wanted to admit what I per- ceived as weakness, the last person I wanted to ask for help. In the space of a few hours that night I had asked for help twice: first I asked God, then my husband. Although that marriage would later end in divorce, I received the help I needed when my husband took me to a treatment facility a week later. I have believed ever since that once I'd asked God for help, it was He who gave me the words to admit my powerlessness to another person and thus to begin a new life of sobri- ety through the principles and fel- lowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Getting and staying sober, one day at a time (for 27 years) is the great miracle of my life. But anoth- er miracle happened that night: I asked for help, not once but twice. It certainly didn't come naturally. In fact, I'd spent a lifetime not ask- ing for help. As the youngest in my fam- ily, I felt embarrassed not knowing as much as the others and, when teased about my ignorance, felt em- barrassed and ashamed. I became quiet and withdrawn, losing myself in books and becoming a shy but ex- cellent student. aagrapevine.org 19