The Living Christmas Tree

I didn’t really want to “belong” in AA as well as I did. It’s not like when I had that “AAAHHHH” moment, when the noise in my head was finally quiet the night I took my first drink did I think that 10 years later I’d end up knocking on AA’s door. But I had gotten to the point that the person I saw when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t know or recognize. There was no light in my eyes, just darkness and pain. The more I learned about this disease called alcoholism, the more I knew that I had it. Before I got sober, I used to joke that I was a drunk and that alcoholics go to meetings.

I sat in meetings knowing that I had alcoholism for 13 months. With every little monthly medallion I picked up including my year chip, I thought I was really doing something. I thought I was special. I’d listen to people share about their selfishness and I would think to myself, “thank God I am not that bad.” What happened was this….. I have had some reoccurring health issues for the majority of my adult life which has afforded me the awesome experience of 3 surgeries and a handful of hospitalizations. One of these surgeries and hospitalizations happened around this 13 month mark.

In my mind God had, one more time, ignored my requests and I was ate up with untreated alcoholism. In the matter of moments what I had learned about the mental obsession gripped me. I lied, manipulated and conned my mother into handing over pain meds that I knew that she had and I took them. I was completely unaware of what I was doing or the consequences of my actions at the moment that it happened. I was gripped by this obsession and until I was so stoned and nodding out while sitting in a church watching a Christmas pageant, I didn’t know I’d done anything wrong. Then my thoughts were ” What have I done? How did this happen?” It happened just like the Big Book warned that it would without a thought of any consequence!

So great!!!! I got to re-establish and not even get drunk and I am a drinker, a drunk, a sot! That’s even what I told my friend that picked me up the night I went to pick up my new desire chip and claim my new sobriety date. I was angry at first, I’m not gonna lie! But, the truth is this, what I had learned about the mental obsession prior to the first drink was mainly academic at that time. My last few years were just flat out spree drinking with not even a desire to slow down much less quit.

The anger subsided when I realized a few things…. 1) If I’d taken a drink after those pills I’m sure it would have been a much longer time before I would have returned to sobriety. 2) God’s grace saved me from a worse relapse but ensured me that I absolutely had experience with the obsession. 3) I’m extremely selfish and was delusional when I thought that I was better than the other people in AA. 4) Someday, what I thought to be such a humiliating experience  will help someone else. That was almost 8 years ago and I thank God for the grace He showed me in that experience and what I have learned about myself since.


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