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Grapevine : May 2011
Y our first AA meet- ing can be a scary place. You’re not only unsure about yourself and your reasons for being there, but you’re also overwhelmed with fear and doubt that the program actually works. You hear stories from individuals who’ve obtained signifi- cant amounts of sobriety time and have a sense of peace that you don’t quite understand. You wonder how long it’s going to take for you to ob- tain that same peace. Well, I was no different than you. Those very same thoughts haunted me. I was so terri- fied and overwhelmed, I almost gave up at the thought of trying. At the age of 40, I found myself sitting in a meeting hall, unsure if I really needed to be there. I still held on to the idea that I didn’t have a drinking problem, I just wanted to shut up everyone who thought I did. Denial became a way of life. I spent over 20 years drowning in the Caught on tape! NEWCOMERS He couldn’t believe the belligerent monster on the TV screen was him denial that became my reality. To- ward the end, I was going 110 m.p.h . down a very steep hill on a one way, dead end road. My philosophy was this: “I don’t drink every day, so I can’t possibly be an alcoholic.” What I couldn’t see was that when I did drink, I consumed bottles and bottles until everything was gone, or I passed out. I didn’t see it as a problem, though. I’d drink, get drunk, pass out ... no problem. I was no longer a “social” drinker and black- outs became a regular thing. When I started hearing horror stories of how I’d get when I was drunk, my philoso- phy then became: “Hey, if I don’t re- member, then it didn’t happen!” I screwed up one time too many and decided in order to get everyone off my back, I’d go to AA, wait until things calmed down, and then go about my business. That plan worked for a total of 44 days. My last drunk was a bottom I didn’t see coming. But then, few of us do. It’d been 44 days and I was do- ing okay, or so I thought until I picked illuStRatiONbyRiChaRdb. 50 May 2011 GRAPE_50-53.indd 50 4/4/11 1:03 PM