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BEING MORE AT EASE WITH MYSELF
Whilst not exploding into a full-blown alcoholic from my first drink, I have since learned that I was probably an alcoholic from birth; it was just a matter of time and circumstance.
I was never fully at ease with myself, very unsettled at times. My family life was somewhat chaotic; pub life was the centre of my early growing up but I was looked after and loved to the best of my parents' abilities. My education was average, I didn't set the academic world alight and left school and gained an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic. I don't know why as I didn't know, and still don't know, one end of a car from the other. I was not really interested and I left before I was pushed.
The only ambition I had was to join the Royal Air Force as soon as I could. I took a step nearer to that goal by gaining an apprentice school place with an aircraft factory, building the latest and fastest of jets, some of which I recognised when I did join up which I did when I left the factory- again, before I was pushed.
I had begun to drink by then, getting drunk and falling over like most of my contemporaries. For years my drinking habit was well hidden in the services. I turned up on time, washed and shaved and was good and interested in my job – that was all that was required from me.
I married and climbed the greasy pole, gaining entry into the Sergeants Mess, which became my heaven. This was the life, good companions and good beer. What I hadn't noticed was that I was one of the few that didn't seem to know when enough was enough.
I had many soul-searching moments, not happy with myself, having times when stopping was becoming a good idea but now knowing what to do about it. As I have learned in this Fellowship, unless I stopped, things could and did get worse. The circumstances I referred to in my first paragraph triggered in and my style of drinking changed – for the worse. For several years I fought and lost every round against this illness.
Although my family background doesn't suggest it, I did have an awareness of what Step Two called a Power greater than myself. It never occurred to me to find where it had vanished to. To my surprise it was I who had put it to one side.
When coming to the Fellowship I still fought and lost. This time though I had people around me who had ben restored to sobriety by this Power. If they could, so could I. “Keep coming back”, they said, and thankfully I have. Gradually the Power of the rooms covered me
On the most memorable day of my life my Higher Power gave me the gift of sobriety by showing me that although I had admitted I was an alcoholic, I hadn't accepted. I did so from that moment.
The emptiness has gone. I am more at ease with myself. I have discovered talents I never thought of and have put them to use, both in and outside the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
If you are new to the Fellowship and this magazine, read and take heed of what people have written. Just because we suffered hard and long doesn't mean you have to.
‘Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity’ - Step Two.
It works if you work it!
SHARE IS OUR STORY – SHARE YOURS.PETER R,