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Grapevine : April 2011
and-a-half years sober, I realized that maybe this AA thing just might work for me, too. I went to college and earned a Bachelor's and a Master's degree. I married a sober member of AA, we moved out of town and had two beau- tiful daughters. At ten years sober, I was gripped with a fear of parenting, becoming terrified I wouldn't be able to do things differently than my par- ents. I wanted to die, in sobriety. I am grateful for the people in AA who found it more important to save their asses rather than their faces, those with more than ten years who admitted wanting to drink and what they did to walk through the obses- sion. At a spiritual retreat, I finally re- alized I was a worthwhile person, and was done living my life as I thought others would have me, defining my- self by my supposed "status" in AA, by my job, my marriage and my parent- ing. Two years later, though, I hit bot- tom yet again in sobriety. When my husband and I relocat- ed, the hollowness in my life became apparent and my marriage fell apart. I drove the final nail in the coffin by making some poor choices without consulting anyone, including God. Thankfully, I still didn't want to drink no matter what. I got a new sponsor who was called "The God Lady," because she was always talking about how God worked in her life. She had me pray five minutes a day. I had to set the alarm. I wasn't allowed to do any rote prayers (the several prayers throughout our literature were not serving me). I had to talk with God. IfIranoutofthingstosay,Iwas to talk to God about what clothes I was thinking about wearing, and continually increase the timer by five minute increments. One day, I looked at the clock and a half- hour had gone by! Slowly, I learned how to listen to that still, quiet but strong voice within. We read the Steps in the basic text and in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, discussing whatever stood out. I came up with a word that de- scribed how God cares for me in my life: Reconciliator, Potter/Molder, Healer, Parent and plenty more. As a result, I now have an intimate re- lationship with God. Now, God might be too vast to understand, but I know exactly how God works in my life. My daughters also know who God is and how He blesses us in our lives. We pray every morning, every night and we also pray throughout the day, es- pecially if we need a do-over. I thank Alcoholics Anonymous for my life. I thank God for all that He gives me, all that He takes away and all that's yet to come. Not only do I have something that is bigger than the bottle, I have been re- stored to a sanity that God wanted for me all along. Amy S. Beaverton, Ore. aagrapevine.org 41