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Grapevine : January 2012
day or week reprieve. Hangovers had become much worse, with hor‐ rible withdrawals. I had completed the alcoholic checklist in its entirety, planning my day around drinking, regularly drinking in the morning, hiding alcohol, lying incessantly and isolating. It was no longer a want for alcohol, but an absolute need, and I was no longer a fun drunk. I was just a drunk. The final year was, of course, the worst. I was lost. My liver had been a problem for awhile, and I was vomiting multiple times per day, sometimes with blood, sometimes just bile. I couldn’t eat and woke up every night faithfully at 3 a.m., sweat‐ ing and shaking. I was in jeopardy of completely destroying my career, and my marriage was in tatters. My family was beside themselves with concern. I had alienated my friends. I had lost my connection with God. I was too sick to play golf, and when I did, I had to drink to avoid the shakes part‐way through the round. Similar to a failing golf game, I fi‐ nally faced the conclusion that I need‐ ed help to recover. I began to see a therapist to whom I am forever grate‐ ful. She mentioned the words “treat‐ ment” and “AA,” at which I balked. However, by the end of 2010, facing potential unemployment, divorce and death, I checked into the treatment center I never thought I would enter, recommended by the therapist that I never thought I would see. After treatment, I began attending daily AA meetings that I never thought I would attend. So much for “never!” My life is much better now. I actually have a life again, which in and of itself, is a miracle. Being in the first year of recovery, I still face a lot of challenging days and a lot of temptations. A good friend told me on a particularly hard day, “It’s like having someone change your golf swing after developing a bad habit. It feels awkward at first, and it is cer‐ tainly an adjustment, but you have to keep practicing and want it in order to get any better. You can go back to the old way if you like, but you probably won’t be satisfied with the result.” I feel I have a wonderful four‐ some of support—God, friends, fam‐ ily and the Fellowship of AA. I am very grateful to all of them. They are my lifeline. My relationships and my health, similar to my golf swing, are on the mend. I am once again able to enjoy life and my surroundings. I can laugh with others and even at myself. Of course, I play golf regu‐ larly, and, once again, I can go out and thoroughly enjoy the serenity of playing on my own at dusk, just talk‐ ing and listening to God as I let it go. It may be progress not perfection, but at least I am back in the game, and I am thankful. Now that is a re‐ covery shot! Donna G. Rochester Hills, Mich. For more stories like this, visit aagrapevine.org /topic/beginners aagrapevine.org 55 GRAPE_52-55.indd 55 11/22/11 3:08 PM