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Grapevine : May 2011
not feeling, not caring, not remem- bering and not being human. That was the day I tried to end my life. The alcohol had not done it for me, so I tried, rather weakly, to do it myself. I had the definite sense that I was suddenly not alone. There was another presence with me, telling me that I must make a decision right then to finally try to fit into my life, once and for all, as a sober person. Either that or I would die. A friend picked me up that morning and took me to the detox center downtown and, for the next four miserable days, I tried to fit into my new life. I tried my hardest even though I wasn’t able to eat, see, read or concentrate. The simplest thing like going to the washroom was an impossibility. I couldn’t sleep. I was paranoid, petrified, and worn out. Ev- ery time they took my blood pressure, I was sure it would be off the charts. In reality, it was so low they couldn’t believe it. I experienced panic attack after panic attack, so relentless that I prayed and wailed to God that I just get some relief. I was never as happy to see my surly father than the day he picked me up from detox and took me home. My mother cried when she saw me. I had lost almost 30 pounds and turned into a tiny waif who probably would have blown over in a slight wind. My mother fed me and took care of me. My father looked at me sternly, but also with concern. I know my parents must have had a real awakening that day. They finally saw me as the vul- nerable child who never, ever fit in. It was a sad realization. But here, now, was a new beginning—a wonderful, tender, delicate opportunity. I endured a month-long stint at a wonderful rehabilitation center about an hour from home. Set high in the hills, it looked down upon the land below, a beautiful, peaceful place where I fit in. I began to find, little by little, that I was learning to fit into my life more each day. Attending AA meet- ings regularly and practicing the AA principles in all of my affairs began to work. Slowly but surely, my life began to make sense. All those feelings that I thought I had squashed forever, like all the colors in a rainbow, fit into my psyche like they were supposed to. This time, I did not try to stop them. when I was happy, I laughed and felt joy. when I was sad, I felt an- guish and shed tears. I learned how to live in a manner befitting a normal human being. It was wondrous. of course, there were problems to overcome. But I had AA to help me deal with these new and sometimes difficult emotions. I fit into AA and was a part of something wonderful and healing. My 15-year drinking career had been the most successful career of my life, the one I had paid the most at- tention to. Despite being left out in the cold again by being told I was aagrapevine.org 25 GRAPE_22-27.indd 25 4/4/11 4:27 PM