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Grapevine : April 2011
are open 24/7!), submitting myself to some degrading and depraved human activity, allowing my career to sink and hurting many on the way, swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills, sitting in a warm bath with my neighbor's Stanley knife I had borrowed (he doesn't want it back) and my body consistently raging with enough alcohol to kill a horse. Nothing woke me up until that day in the psych ward. For me, it was a very clear message. I was powerless over alcohol and my life was in ruins. I needed help, big time. How have I managed to stay so- ber for one year being an Agnostic in AA? First, I walked back into an early morning AA meeting, and was welcomed back. Second, I read Step One again: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable." That was me. This Step is the simplest, yet the most important in my life. I was completely powerless over alcohol. It controlled my life, my very being, poisoning my body and mind. My life had become unmanageable and I was tired of running away. Eventu- ally I had nowhere to run. Third, I read Tradition Three (probably for the first time): "The only requirement for AA member- ship is the desire to stop drinking." That's it? I'm in. I am an alcoholic. I have the dis- ease, I'm aware of it and doing my best, day by day, to keep it arrested with the help of my friends and the Fellowship of AA. Yet I am still an Agnostic. I feel safe in AA because of the compassion and care. I hear stories I can relate to. I can be of service. The Big Book has helped mil- lions find comfort in their own exis- tence. I am one of those people. If the Big Book has offered comfort, should we question the small percentage of it that makes us uncomfortable or do we simply accept the bigger picture, which is that AA has saved our lives. I once asked an Atheist, who was 20 years sober in AA, "What about the Big Book, with all the men- tion of God and spiritual messages?" "There are great tools to be used within those pages," he said. "Find and use what you need in your jour- ney of recovery. The Big Book is full of wisdom and hope." If you are an Agnostic/Athe- ist, take what you need from the program and use the tools for your own personal journey. Do not let the occasional (over) use of the word God frighten you away. There are some great shares in meetings that everyone can relate to. And, who knows? Some of us may even shift from our hardcore stance and one day find a Higher Power of our own. Remember, this is AA ... any- thing can happen. One day at a time.Anonymous aagrapevine.org 45