“The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.” -Robert Cushing
I’m sitting strongly in Step 1 but I am bordering the edge of looking at Step 2.
While I am not in a hurry to move through all the steps, I would like to continue seeing progress. I am hungry for change. I just noticed that I am beginning to express “hunger” through things other than food. But, truthfully, I am.
I didn’t realize the growth I have had since beginning the AA program. I am not going to say I am at a full acceptance of my past with drinking and drugging. However, I can say, that I can catch a glimpse of the growth that is going to continue to occur.
I’ve been in and out of the rooms of AA over the past six months for numerous reasons. The first was, “I am too young to be in AA. I am not an alcoholic.” The second was “I am not an alcoholic so saying hello, my name is ___ and I am an alcoholic” felt like a lie. The third was that I could handle drinking like a normal 22-year-old without abuse. The fourth was that I liked to drink when I was feeling lousy and my friend liked to drink to have a good time. The fifth was that I had shame and embarrassment that I was even attending AA meetings. The sixth was the concept that being in the program meant total honesty with myself and others and that shit is scary. The seventh reason was that I didn’t belong because I was only a substance abuser and I had an eating disorder. The last reason was that whenever I slipped up, I always seemed to get a bad case of the fuck-its, so why come back?
“If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”
I keep coming back because it’s helping to save my life. I get more out of AA than just sobriety. First, looking back now to the first time I entered the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I can sit in the present and see the change in me as a person and also, my mentality and spirituality. Not only that, but the reasons that kept telling me not to go to AA were all the reasons that were disproved thus far.
Even though I was not a day-in and day-out drinker, that does not mean that I don’t have alcoholic tendencies and that I don’t abuse alcohol. My values in life are to live sober-minded with clarity. Is drinking wrong for everyone? No. But abstinence is not the end of the world.
I used to panic every day when I was faced with the thought of, “Oh, dear God, I can never get drunk again.” or “Oh, dear God, I can never have a glass of wine again.” Is this true? Yes and no. Do I want to get drunk at times? Yes. Do I? No. Drinking for me also triggers the drug urges, so, that’s one extra piece of protection. Now I think long-term plan: Can I get through today without a sip of wine or beer? Yes. It’s not a matter of thinking “I will never touch alcohol again” It’s a matter of, “How will I deal with today with clarity?” Will I always have a 100% abstinence from total alcohol for the rest of my life? I cannot answer that, because I am only on today, at 22-years-old, 4:56 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-Tzu
I keep coming back because the practice of announcing “I am an alcoholic/addict” is no longer scary to me. Maybe part of this acceptance was fear or anxiety about specific word usage. But if I took a minute to think, comparing myself to the term alcoholic was not such a drastic difference: I had lost control over my drinking many times. I had lost my ability to stop. I drank to stop the pain and to forget. And I abused alcohol beyond just a social drink and partying. So saying that I am an alcoholic no longer guilts me. Will I always be “alcoholic”? No. But for today, it reminds me that I have to keep my eye out for alcohol. Besides, I want to live my life with full sobriety. And yes, I am an addict.
HELLO! Food addiction! Is that not what anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders are about?! Addiction to control, food, purging, exercising, laxatives, pills, drugs. Addiction. My eating disorder is an addiction I am fighting to beat. So just to jump in to complete acceptance; When I go to meetings, I, without shame announce, “Hello, my name is ____. I am an alcoholic, addict and eating disordered person.”
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive – Howard Thurman.
I keep coming back because I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed that I attend AA meetings. They have given me a completely new level of acceptance of letting others care about me. These meetings have given me a home, a chosen family, and some really good friends. I also have a protection as the baby in the group.
I keep coming back because I am learning to be honest with my feelings and dealing with my traumas and fears and anxieties, emotions and losses sober is fucking brutal. I need a support and strong accountability to keep me sober during this process, or else I will never heal whole-heartedly. I may not be at the point where I will announce to the world that I attend AA meetings. But I am at a point where the guilt and shame is gone and I can honestly say, I need these meetings. I need these people. And I need this program.
“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.”
I keep coming back because I have a cross-addictive personality. I have dabbled in different addictions and to completely stay clean from it all, I need to work the program. I need to know how to live my life with out drugs. But I also need this program so I can eventually learn, in addition to therapy, how to let go, forgive and live a whole life. A drug-is a drug-is a drug. I substitute the addiction and message for what I need to hear and what God needs me to hear.
I keep coming back because if I relapse with my eating disorder, drug use and even alcohol abuse, which could happen,… where else will I go?
My journey the past six months through AA has dramatically changed. My perspective and my acceptance. Even the relationships. I am changing and this is why, I keep coming back.