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Grapevine : October 2011
time did miracles. Having two spon- sees did miracles. Having friends and even getting into relationships filled me with joy and stunning op- portunities for growth. Around my third year in the program, I heard a speaker with triple my years describe how he used to stay up for a week straight and walk the roads of L.A. with a Bible, thinking he was the messiah. Instantly, I knew he was just like me because I had done that, but in the backroads of Vermont. It's like he waved the secret symbol. He had also been diagnosed as a manic- depressive. Then he explained that with the Steps and God, he got off all medications and now was a man who's been freed. I decided with God and AA I would do the same. I got a nutri- tionist who would help guide me into cleaner, better foods, maybe a few supplements to keep me even, and I'd drop all my medications too. Medications are a funny subject in AA. There are lots of opinions about them. There are certainly more opin- ions than there is experience, I've learned. One controversial AA group in my area is known to have their own strict ethos against psychologi- cal medications. It's a mess of a sub- ject, but it's the mess my sobriety and my story had to cross. I decided to try to walk on water. I quit my meds, switched to supplements and health food for a few months and every- thing seemed fine. I fell in love with a Portuguese dancer right around then, but four months later she re- turned home when her visa ran out. Something happened when she left, something I hadn't counted on. I fell through an elevator shaft. I returned to a deeply depressed state I'd somehow totally forgotten about---a state which had happened many times during and before my drinking years. The depression was horrible. I hated myself relentlessly. I couldn't sleep or eat. Just the fear of saying something to another person was a reason to want to give up. It was simply impossible to have a nat- ural, fun conversation or get a groove going with anyone. I went to meet- ings like a newcomer again, scared and shaking. I lay awake at night ter- rified. It just felt like an obliterating force was upon me. My sponsor, a man of 20 years in the program, who had a personal My sponsor, who knew a lot about slow processes--- and knew about patience and knew that God did deliver---told me to consider starting that process and to pray for patience. aagrapevine.org 37