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Eat a Mars Bar

Eat a Mars Bar

Audie Version

A Young Person

I HAVE been buying SHARE magazine ever since I came into AA, it's only taken me 27 years to finally put pen to paper, so here goes.

My name is Claire G and I totally accept that I am an alcoholic. It was not in my plan for me to be one, but acceptance is the answer! I came to my first AA meeting in August 1992 at the age of 26. It was the Sunday night, Living Sober meeting in Farnborough. All that I remember from this meeting was a man saying, 'Eat a mars bar if you have the urge to drink.' (alcohol is full of sugar), and take vitamin B tablets. It was a strange meeting, my head was banging from a hangover, my life was over I thought - I had hit rock bottom.

The alcoholic has a very strong will and alcoholism is a disease of denial - the more meetings I went to, the more I could see that these people were mad but I wasn't as bad as them. A real alcoholic would sit in the park drinking from his brown paper bag. I was trying to control my drinking and behaviour because I did not want to be an alcoholic, I hated that word, (a family member had been in recovery since 1981, I had never asked what happened in meetings because I was never going!). Old timers would say to me, 'You might not like what you have to accept.' and 'Give AA time.'. I would sit in meetings and give people marks out of ten of how I saw them. My sponsor would say to me, 'You can't be a little bit pregnant; you are either an alcoholic or not.'

I stayed around the rooms for three months, on and off drinking, until I heard a message in a Bracknell meeting which had a massive impact on me. This man shared that his son was now in prison as a result of his actions while in blackout. This man had lost his wife to alcoholism and his son! Blackouts were a major part of my story; I was gripped in fear.

I had my last drink on the 7 November 1992. I lived in the rooms, I admitted I was an alcoholic. I made my first year very difficult, by only doing the first part of Step One. For me admitting and accepting are two different things, the alcohol is in the bottle and the alcoholism is in me.

I surrendered again to the Twelve Step Programme at 13 months dry and worked through the Big Book with my sponsor and a Fellowship friend. I had a psychic change and now have a powerful God in my life! I do Steps One to Three every morning, I thank God that I am sober. By going to meetings, working with a sponsor, doing service and working with my sponsees, I have not needed to pick up a drink.

To all you young alcoholics in the rooms, we are the same as the old, single, married, middle aged, divorced - we cannot pick up a drink without setting off a craving for another one. Coming in young to the rooms was a gift from my God, I didn't see it at the time. I was granted the gift of desperation at 27. What I do with my sobriety is my gift back to God.

There is nothing that I would like to change in AA - follow the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and keep our beautiful Fellowship in unity.

CLAIRE, Brighton