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Grapevine : April 2011
tion of the word "lost": destroyed, not recoverable. She began to help me re- move every lurking notion that I may drink again like normal folks. She talked to me about How It Works, and asked if I believed that God "could and would if he were sought." I told her I didn't believe in God. She took the work I had done up to that point and helped me work backwards until I was able to "fully concede to my innermost self that I was an alcoholic." Based on that foun- dation, I began to understand that ev- erything I'd tried to stop drinking (or become sane) was doomed to failure. I needed something bigger than me to stand between me and the bottle. The First Step was becoming so- lidified in my life, but I couldn't grasp the "restored to sanity" part of Step Two. I didn't think I'd ever been sane, but my sponsor spoke about the kind of sanity that keeps a person from putting his hand on a hot stove. I was starting to recoil from alcohol in the same way. She also pointed out the section in "We Agnostics" that states, "Deep down inside of every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of God." My book-thumping, dic- tionary-hugging sponsor also showed me that agnostics are defined as peo- ple who intellectually debate the exis- tence of God and, if the disease rested in my head, why would I want to rely on that to keep me sober? I was will- ing to try anything. That anything was the fellowship I found in AA. I went to two to three meetings a day for the first few years of my sobriety. I attended sober events and learned to dance and laugh with- out the aid of alcohol. But, I was still desperately lonely, hating and needing the Fellowship at the same time. I prayed because my sponsor told me to. I'd be darned if I was going to drink again. Getting sober at 18 was challeng- ing, to say the least. The majority of the people where I attended meetings in Eugene, Oregon, were my parents' age. To add insult to injury, most of the old-timers told me that I had probably spilt more than they drank. My sponsor reminded me that if the old-timers had not spilled so much, they might have gotten sober sooner. I got involved in service at my home group, as well as at the district and area level. I sponsored others and went on Twelve Step calls. At two- Initially, I was under the impression that the Big Book was archaic, patriarchal and grammatically incorrect. I began correcting grammar, which included making God gender neutral. 40 April 2011