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First sober Christmas

“DON’T give him any alcohol!” my maiden aunt’s voice boomed over the dinner table at my first sober Christmas. Aagh! Outed! Shamed in public at a social occasion. My worst fears realised! In front of everybody. But my first sponsor had asked me if I was prepared to go to any length. He told me that I could get through anything, as long as I didn’t pick up a drink. So, I didn’t pick up a drink and I got through it.

I was realising that my whole drinking career had been about performing and looking good in front of other people. But the show was over. In fact, I had to admit that my show was not a success. Admitting complete defeat was the start of my recovery and the start of honesty. Instead of doing everything alone, I needed help: from a sponsor and my fellow human beings in meetings. And help from a Higher Power – the only safe dependence, the Big Book says.

When I came into the Rooms, the old-timers said Step Three was simple. “Your will is your thinking – ask God to take care of it! Your life is everything else out there – ask God to take care of it!” Since I began every morning to ask God to keep me away from drink and drugs in any form, He has. Since I began asking God to take care of my thinking, He has. Whatever happens, including embarrassing relatives! Happy Christmas!

DOMINIC J, Cambridge Young Persons