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Grapevine : December 2011
Sober, I enjoyed being there and experienc- ing my first social event without a drink. The food was delicious. When I was drinking, I’d left many a meal untouched because drink was more important. I left that party sober and proudly drove us home. The next morning my wife made a wonderful breakfast, and we sat and talked and smiled at each other, remembering only good things from the night before. As I’ve heard now for over thirty years around the tables of AA, one can have a whale of a good time in sobriety. This first Christmas party was a prime example that I could have fun without having to drink. It made a lasting impression. What tools were helpful in bringing me through this first sober party? I think the boss’s wife’s comment contained a clue: I wanted to start being a decent sort of guy, and I felt that if I gave the Twelve Steps a chance at directing my life, a day at a time, they would lead me in that direction. They surely have done that. I’ve enjoyed this adventure in living—it’s been worth the effort. Don A. Lakeview, Ark. care at the time. I was not ready to be around heavy drinkers, nor did I want to be. This was the way I used to drink, before, during and after din- ners—and whatever the occasion. I had delighted in the sophisticated way I thought I looked, the way I thought I was smart by ordering the best wines, the smartest aperitif, and still being able to handle all that booze and stagger out the door, think- ing I looked and acted like a million. I saw this same behavior in the people sitting around the table that night. I was shown what I looked like in reali- ty—the slurry eyes, dropping the food or missing my mouth entirely, spilling drinks, falling out of the chair, not making it to the restroom in time. It wasn’t a pleasant memory, but it was necessary. I have learned in AA that when I don’t feel comfortable, I don’t attend the functions, and I go to a meeting instead. If other people choose to drink heavily, that’s their choice, and I don’t have to be exposed to it. I am not comfortable being around booze. I have read the paragraph in the Big Book about not having fear of al- cohol as it is no longer a problem for us. Perhaps I will arrive there some- day. Until then I choose to divert my actions to maintain my sobriety, to go to any length. This has affected our social life somewhat, but my husband has made do with attending func- tions that serve booze with his friends and co-workers. I attend perhaps one social function a year (I look for the larger tables now), and I take God with me. Marcy C. Grand Junction, Colo. aagrapevine.org 27 GRAPE_25-27.indd 27 10/28/11 2:23 PM