AA Has Blessed Me Twice
AA Has Blessed MeTwice
AA Has Blessed Me
I came to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous 18 months ago when I was 30. I was at my personal rock bottom. I still had my flat, my job, my friends and family but I was quickly running out of money. I had been borrowing from my mother on a regular basis and she wanted to know where all the money had been going. She was coming over from Canada to visit me in Edinburgh and I knew I could no longer lie to her. I was broke but I was also broken. I had had enough of feeling physically, mentally and spiritually miserable. I needed help.
My childhood had no major traumas but it wasn't smooth sailing by any means. My father's drinking got him kicked out of the house when I was only three years old. For the next eight years I spoke to him on the phone fairly regularly but only got to see him once a year or so. He eventually got sober when I was eight years old and after he had been sober a few years my mother was comfortable letting me visit him and spend holidays with him. He credited his sobriety to Alcoholics Anonymous which is how I knew where to turn when I hit my rock bottom.
I started drinking when I was 18 years old. I had always said I never wanted to end up an alcoholic like my father so for years I demonised drugs and alcohol. But eventually I started drinking because I was unable to stand being inside my own head. I was a thoroughly depressed teenager and thought I needed something to numb the pain and quiet the noise. I drank alcoholically from the start. It was never about socialising or having fun for me; I drank alone and I drank to get drunk. And it worked, until it didn't. I also smoked marijuana quite heavily for seven or eight years, for the same reasons. My parents knew about the drug use but as I come from an area where it's fairly acceptable, I was never made to feel as though I should stop. No one really saw it as a problem, or if they did they didnâ??t say anything to me.
My father passed away when I was 23. I was devastated as I felt like I had lost my best friend. I looked up to him and admired him for all he had been through and felt thoroughly lost without him. I kept on smoking, having given up drinking (for a period) at this point. Life went on without him. I opened a small business with my mother and we were successful. I was still miserable though and after a few years started drinking again. I blamed my hangovers on 'migraines' and seemed to get away with it. I started to think I needed to make a big change if I was ever going to be happy. Of course, I never thought that maybe giving up the drink and drugs was the answer. Instead, I decided to move across the pond. I packed my bags, sold the business, sold the car and hopped on a plane. I later learned this was what was called 'a geographical'.
I arrived in Edinburgh in July of 2015. I was scared and alone, but determined to make it in Scotland. My father was originally from the Inner Hebrides, and I felt like moving to the country of his birth would make me feel closer to him, in a way. But my drinking soon took off. I was accountable to no-one but myself, living alone in a strange country, and unemployed for the time being. I was quickly drinking nearly a litre of vodka every day. I knew I needed help but was unwilling to do anything about it. I just wasnâ??t ready yet. I somehow managed to get and keep a job that I hated. I eventually bought my own flat, even. On paper I was a success, but in reality I was barely holding on.
It took me another two years of this misery to finally break down and admit to myself I was truly an alcoholic and that I couldn't continue living this way any longer. It was killing my soul and my body. I wasn't being honest with myself or those around me and I knew it would all eventually come crashing down. I called the AA Telephone Helpline on October 20, 2017. I admit I had a few drinks in me. I was put in contact with a lovely local woman who talked me through my breakdown. I can't remember everything she said, but I do remember her kindness and understanding. She then got me in contact with another young woman who was going to take me to my first meeting. Two days later I was going down to the basement of a church on Princes Street, heading into my very first AA meeting.
Everyone was so friendly, so welcoming and as soon as the meeting began, I felt like I was in the right place. I felt like I was finally understood. I knew I was doing the right thing. I've been sober since then. I now open a Young Person's meeting. I have a sponsor I am close to and who has taken me through the 12 Steps. I pray most days, although I'd be lying if I said I was perfect and did it every day. I live the Steps to the best of my ability. It hasn't always been easy and I've faced some challenges since getting sober, but I am so much happier than I was before. I have honest conversations and honest relationships with those I love the most. I have more patience and understanding. I have a Higher Power I feel connected to. I have good friends and fellowship with other members. I have a life now that I wouldn't trade for anything.
Alcoholics Anonymous has blessed me twice. First, for giving my father back to me and second for helping me out of the hole I had dug for myself. Today, I am a very grateful alcoholic. I pray I remain grateful, one day at a time.