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A rewarding decision

BOY, did I overcomplicate this one! I came into AA after many years of destructive alcoholic drinking. I was given the gift of desperation alright. Once my head had cleared a bit and I found someone to sponsor me, I could honestly say I was willing to go to any lengths to get the peace of mind he clearly had. Life without drink and without a solution was a very confusing and painful place for me. The mention of God only ever came up in my life before sobriety at weddings, funerals and christenings. I used to stumble into midnight mass in a drunken state and embarrass my mum in my late teens too.

I was worried AA might be some kind of religious cult and when people told me I could choose a God of my understanding, I had no idea what they meant. I learnt what I needed to by going through the Big Book with my sponsor, the chapter WE AGNOSTICS (BB p.44) helped a great deal, not that I had even heard the term agnostic before I got to AA.

When I got to Step Three, I knew that I had to get my head around the God issue to do this Programme properly and with the rigorous honesty I was told was needed. In my early days, God was what I found in the Fellowship of AA, ‘Group Of Drunks’ as people told me. I concluded that to do a heartfelt Step Three, I merely had to really mean the prayer I was going to say and to show I meant it by following it up with more action.

As the Big Book tells us, the wording is quite optional. I put the Step Three prayer in the Big Book into my own words and told my sponsor I was good to go. He suggested we go to a place which meant something to me, a place special to me which had an emotional attachment. It may sound odd, but I chose the place my father had tragically taken his own life a few years before I got sober. It is a beautiful setting at a lake, which is tranquil and moving to me. Off we went together, and I said my prayer with my sponsor as my witness. It is hard to put into words how I felt, but it definitely had an impact on me. My sponsor explained to me on the drive home that I had taken a big step by making and really meaning that decision, but it was just a decision and now I had to crack on with Step Four.
Some people tell me they do a Step Three every day to hand over their will and their lives to the God of their understanding. I consider doing this to be part of my Eleventh Step, but over the years have come to understand those kinds of different interpretations are really not important at all. If we are a recovering alcoholic who is doing their best with this Programme, we’ll be okay.

SIMON D, Penarth, South Wales