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Grapevine : June 2011
M y biggest con- cern in early sobriety was: I know it worked for you, but are you sure it will work for me? I believed I had fully surrendered and was convinced I wanted to stop drinking, but I wasn’ t sure how AA would accomplish this. The concept of “One Day At a Time” had not fully resonated with me and the basic ideals of “unity,” “service” and “recovery” were an intellectual and spiritual stretch. My greatest fear was that I would repeat my tortured past, that the obsession to drink would come and I would succumb, as before. The result was always the same. I’d have a drink in my hand, echoing the words of many an alcoholic before me: “How did this happen again?!” Followed, of course, by, “Well, I might as well get good and drunk now.” Around three months into my AA journey, I was ticking along on a spiritual sugar high. Then, my greatest fear, the obsession to drink, returned. I had just received unfor- tunate news in the mail and found myself in the grip of the obsession. My conscious mind demanded a drink. The compulsion to drink was so powerful that it was literally like a punch in the stomach. In the past, I had always folded and taken the drink. My hand, gripping the letter, was literally shaking as I was con- sumed with the thought of a drink. Suddenly, a faint whisper was heard above the din of drinking thoughts. “Call your sponsor. Go to a meeting.” Literally, that’s what I heard. I quickly called my sponsor, but got the machine (this being the pre- historic age before cell phones). I called three other members, but got answering machines each time. I usually work Friday nights as a bar- tender, but that night I was off and, for the life of me, I still can’t remem- ber why. But, I was, so I grabbed the meeting list, looked up the next meeting and headed out the door. I did the footwork and God took over, placing the right people in my path to save my sobriety. As I left my apartment, the weather was horrendous as we were experienc- ing a vicious storm. I arrived at the meeting location, which is actually a chapel on federal property in a park that was an army base during World War II, literally a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. As I pulled into the car park I noticed there were virtually no cars, which was strange for a meet- ing which was normally very well attended. My mind raced with thoughts such as do I have the wrong time and maybe the meet- ing is cancelled due to the weather. Gingerly, I walked up to the door and opened it to find five people aagrapevine.org 49 GRAPE_48-51.indd 49 4/29/11 1:09 PM