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Grapevine : October 2011
I've learned since that the an- gels that come into my life do not wear white robes, fly with magic wings or wear gold-rimmed halos. One of my angels appeared to me that Wednesday afternoon with wet urine stains on the front of his pants. And the reason I use so many adjec- tives to describe him is because he looked and smelled on the outside exactly how I looked and smelled on the inside. I have not seen that man again, but I keep looking for him be- cause I want to make amends. When I first came into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous I did not think I had a problem with my ego at all. As a matter of fact, I would have told you I had been a victim all my life. But I learned in Steps Six and Seven that my ego was one of the major character defects that kept me in denial about my al- coholism until it stripped me of all dignity. How could I, a smart, pro- fessional career woman, be a drunk? The only way I could stay so- ber was to go through the "painful ego-puncturing" that is described in Step Seven. The wall of denial I built around myself was like a thick block of concrete layered with "egoism, selfishness, and self-centeredness." It was only through the program of Al- coholics Anonymous and working the Steps with a good sponsor that the wall began to crack. The Steps helped me chisel that wall away so I could let goofmyegoandturnmywillandmy life over to my Higher Power. Work- ing the Steps was extremely painful for me. The role I played as victim all my life did not disappear immediate- ly. My ego was huge, and it took sev- eral years for me to become "right-- sized. "Eventually that wall of denial crumbled down and what stood in its place was a sober woman; a humble woman with dignity. I've learned that the attainment of greater humility is a skill I need to practice on a daily basis in order to stay sober. That humility that lay hidden deep within me ended up becoming my "great healer of pain." Michele K. Columbus, Ohio Each year, Grapevine holds a competition for photographers to be featured in our Wall Calendar. We'd love to see your most striking photographs that reflect the joy of living, serenity and other sobriety themes. Contributors of selected photos will receive complimentary copies of the 2013 Calendar and Pocket Planner. Entries must be received by March 1, 2012. ey cannot be returned, and may be considered for magazine illustrations. Submit digital images on CDs, along with printouts, or email to gveditorial@ aagrapevine.org. Include contact information. Please note: Digital files must be high-resolution---300 dpi minimum. Mail entries to: Art Editor, Grapevine, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115. For more information visit aagrapevine.org. ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST aagrapevine.org 43