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“I had to accept I was an alcoholic. That I could not drink socially like others. I didn’t have an off button.”

I remember at one of my early meetings someone referred me to page 417 of the Big Book. This page told me that “Acceptance is the Key”. When I went home and read it, I had
one of those lightbulb moments. I rushed along to my group and told everyone to turn to page 417 and read about this wonderful thing called acceptance.

I thought I had discovered or maybe even invented the importance of acceptance in recovery. Imagine my shock when I found it was something that is the key for everyone in their journey to recovery.

For me once I accepted the existence and importance of so many things I could move forward in my recovery.

I had to accept I was an alcoholic. That I could not drink socially like others. I didn’t have an off button.

I had to accept that my drinking was a symptom of many other problems that I had to face instead of numbing and blotting them out.

I had to accept life on life’s terms. I had drunk when I was happy and good things happened but also when bad and sad things happened. I didn’t accept that there were other better ways of dealing with these times.

I had to accept my emotions as an integral part of my life and to deal with them as well.

I had to accept that I would never drink again and not hold on to an unrealistic dream that one day I could drink sensibly. I had to accept that I would always need my meetings. This
became much easier as I love my meetings and it is never a chore to go to a meeting. In fact when I think that I don’t need a meeting it’s the very time that I need one most of all and I should get to one quickly.

As 2024 dawned I made my resolutions. To stay sober. Not to be afraid and to be kind. For years my New Year resolutions had included drinking less but never not drinking at all; you see I thought I could not live without the booze. How wrong I was: living without the booze has not always been easy but it has brought me and my family great joy and gratitude. It is through acceptance that I have arrived where I am now. In a place where I never thought I would be.

Menstrie Thursday Night Recovery Group