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Grapevine : December 2011
has given me a completely new out- look on life. Earnestly admitting that I had a problem with alcohol was just the be- ginning. I had been completely beat- en, and I knew I needed help. I was able to admit that my life indeed was unmanageable and was willing to sur- render that existence for something different. I gave up the fight against alcohol and sincerely asked God for help. Spiritual help came on strong. My outlook on life began to change drastically at that moment. Once I let my mind open a little it sprang wide open. Nearly every day I have a new perspective on some aspect of my life. Simply put, AA is a spiritual program. The mem- bers of AA showed me how they re- covered. They taught me how to live a life guided by God’s will. Having a spiritual awakening as the result of doing the Steps is truly a miraculous event. I no longer persistently dwell on the past or carry constant and crushing angst and guilt. It doesn’t serve me, it doesn’t serve others, and it keeps me from God. I now have a host of dear friends in my life, both in AA and at church. Today I do not blame anyone for my self-destruction. I believe God has a plan for all of us, and I’m will- ing to accept what comes my way. Today I don’t have to figure out God or understand why things happen. I still deal with fear and selfish- ness too often. At least now I can recognize it and take steps to keep it from growing and getting out of control. At times I suddenly realize that I feel full of knots, my mind is racing and I feel no peace or seren- ity. I am overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness, dread, and impend- ing doom. This is the way I used to feel all the time, and it feels terrible. It is amazing to me that I can now recognize these feelings and that I can resolve them a in new way: I ask God for help. My belief today is that God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-lov- ing. God “doesn’t keep score.” I now am a parishioner of my parish. I’m grateful to Father Bob and our priests, Father Pat, Father Marcin, and previ- ously, Father Ronnie. They are show- ing me how to live the church’s credo exemplifying God’s love, kindness, and tolerance. It is only through the miracle of God’s grace and the help of others that I have been restored as a useful member of our society. For that I am truly grateful. I am also aware that although I am recovered, I will nev- er be cured of alcoholism. The only thing that protects me from having to drink again is the strength of my spiritual condition. While I can never repay what has been given to me, I will continue to try. Mike T. Fort Myers, Fla. For more stories like this, visit aagrapevine.org /topic/personal-stories 42 December 2011 GRAPE_39-42.indd 42 10/28/11 2:24 PM