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Grapevine : October 2011
relationship with HP beyond com- pare, did not know what to do with me. I was having panic attacks daily. He said maybe talking to my old doc- tor would be smart. I did, but she said I was in a state of breakdown and it would take months for my old medications to help if they even did anymore. 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. I would walk to meetings so crazed and lonely and hopeless. He kept trying to keep me in the day, saying that today there was nothing wrong actually going on, that today was all any of us really had. He'd say on the phone, "Look at the tree in front of you. It's alive. It's your equal." I'd look at all the trees. I'd pray un- til I burst into tears. I'd share about how weirdly my sponsor was han- dling this whole thing. My sponsor suggested I read the AA pamphlet on medications, which I discovered was very well-written and helped me see that AA in no way suggested getting off medications for my type of disease. He also suggested I read the small section to people like me in the Big Book in "The Doc- tor's Opinion": "There is the manic- depressive type, who is, perhaps, the least understood by his friends, and about whom a whole chapter could be written." I declared, "Why the hell didn't they write the chapter?" By sharing about my process, I found a few others in the rooms who'd also had similar breakdowns in sobriety and found out they were equally terrified but had made it to the other side with a deeper faith and balance. I started including exer- cise as a way to connect to my High- er Power. I renewed my connection to my men's AA group. My sponsor suggested I learn about meditation even though I wasn't done with my Ninth Step amends. A woman said to me that when you've really hit ter- ror or trauma in sobriety, get hugs from people, let yourself physically be held. I think it was only in this year that I surrendered fully to the pro- gram. I too needed to be held tightly in the program's arms like I needed water and sun, and I would surely perish if I didn't go to any length for my sobriety. Although I never once wanted to drink then, I often I too needed to be held tightly in the program's arms like I needed water and sun, and I would surely perish if I didn't go to any length for my sobriety. 38 October 2011