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Grapevine : April 2011
I have experienced many mira- cles since I started working the Twelve Steps, but the most important, thus far, is feeling the nearness of my Cre- ator. This is something that I had no idea about when I came to AA. In fact, when I walked into my first meeting and saw God in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions that were hanging on the wall, I was convinced I had walked into a cult. The thing was, I also suspected that though it would take a long time for me to die as a result of my alco- holism, this might be the last root for me to grab before I slipped down that long, miserable chute of despair that I thought might exist for others, but certainly not for me. I was born in 1970, but my par- ents were still stuck in the '60s. We didn't live in one place for too long and we stayed in several communes. Some of the people in those com- munes did terrible things in the name of God. We traveled with the Love Family, went to a Rainbow Gather- ing and hit Grateful Dead shows. We stayed with Hare Krishnas, Buddhists Wild child A freewheeling upbringing made her defiant, cocky and terrified and Native Americans. I had 15 years with alcohol and other substances and was ready for recovery, even though I didn't know it. The blackouts were becoming lon- ger and, to add insult to injury, I was getting a tolerance to alcohol that felt like I was drinking myself sober. I thank God for every drop I drank, though, as alcohol shielded me from the pain and shame I had as a child, and well into adulthood. I was desperate when I walked into the rooms, but the spiritual dis- ease I now know as alcoholism was telling me to do anything to get "three hots and a cot." The wonderful mem- bers took me in and told me I needed a sponsor. I was told to get someone whose life was completely different than mine, so I chose someone who had time, didn't swear, wore clothes that matched and talked about God. She told me to call her every day, go to a meeting every day and call her before I drank. I said I thought this was a suggested program. Sugges- tions in AA, she responded, were the same type of suggestion one would 38 April 2011