Sobriety is freedom

Sobriety is freedom

To join AA, the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking

  • Jun. 2, 2017 10:30 a.m.

Contributed

Hello, my name is freedom and I have been clean and sober for 10 years.

The book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me that I’m bodily and mentally different from others.

The first time I recognized this was early in Grade 8. I had a mickey of whisky in my closet and I was planning on having some whisky in my tea before school.

I liked the effect of the alcohol, the warm feeling. The next day I was feeling quite anxious and wanted two drinks before school, so I got up earlier. By the end of two weeks, I was bringing a thermos to school. I could not understand why my friends were looking at me funny. In that short time, drinking felt normal to me.

It wasn’t long before I started stealing booze from my parents and my friends’ parents. The obsession for alcohol took over and all I could think about is where and how I could get my next drink. The phenomenon of craving is the manifestation of an allergy, which sets me apart from others.

By the time I was 18 I didn’t want to drink anymore. I tried many times to quit drinking, but I just couldn’t stop. Once I put alcohol into my mouth the craving set in (one is too many and 1,000 is not enough).

When I was 30, I had my first child. I was so consumed with alcohol that I didn’t know I was pregnant and had continued drinking throughout my pregnancy until the morning sickness set in. As a result of my carelessness, my beautiful daughter, who is now 18, suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

I have three children, and I managed to not drink during any of my pregnancies, but as soon as they were over, the overwhelming obsession to drink came roaring back. I never realized why I was so restless, irritable and discontent. My brain knew alcohol wasn’t good for me, but my body screamed for it. There was always a battle going on, which created such frustration and which led to anger and rage because I had no control. Liquor became a necessity and I felt powerless.

When my youngest was two, I made my first phone call and reached out for help. As a result of that decision, my kids ended up in foster care for a year.

I had to admit complete defeat, I had to surrender to win and turn my life over to a higher power. I did not understand the concept of that, but I was willing to give it a try. They said to me that if I followed these steps I would be OK.

I have seen many families ruined by this disease of alcoholism over the years, but I have also seen the unfailing power of God pull chronic alcoholics from the gates of death.

I was exhausted, sick and tired, so I admitted that I was lost and could do nothing of my own free will. I was powerless over alcohol and my life was unmanageable. I came to believe that God could restore me and bring me back to sanity so I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to His care and direction.

As I became willing to accept the program of AA, I became rooted and grounded in the fellowship. My roots grasped the fertile soil, and I began to renew my mind through the 12 steps of AA and the understanding of the grace and mercy of God. I had to enlarge my spiritual life through working with others and being of service and developing a relationship with God. When stuff in my head goes astray, I get out of my head and into service. It’s a simple program of one alcoholic helping another.

The joy of living has developed in my heart over the years since joining AA. My children and I are doing great together.

I have a new sense of hope that whatever I’m going through, God is by my side, guiding me always because I know in the depths of my heart God did not save a wretch like me for no reason. He has a good plan for the lives of me and my children. God will always be there to guide me. All I have to do is ask. I am truly free by the grace of God and through the 12 steps of AA.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

District 70 AA presents the 45th Annual Vernon Roundup June 9 and 10 at Trinity United Church, 3300 Alexis Park Dr. Tickets are $30 and include continental breakfast, lunch and dinner. Registration is 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday. The event features speakers from both AA and Al-Anon, and all are welcome. For more information, call Dai at 250-550-5178, email dmc_79@outlook.com or Diane at 250-833-8091 or email diane4ultimate@aol.com

Just Posted

Carina Stokes, bar manager at Enderby’s Small Axe Bistro, was recognized as one of four exceptional B.C. restaurant workers by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby bar manager recognized as ‘stand-up’ B.C. restaurant worker

Small Axe Roadhouse’s Carina Stokes one of four to receive special recognition from the BCRFA

Dawn Low is the first female CAO for the City of Revelstoke. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review file)
Armstrong welcomes new CAO

Dawn Low previously served as CAO in Revelstoke since 2019

18-year-old skier Logan Leach follows his guide, Julien Petit, down an alpine track. The Lumby athlete who is visually impaired has been named to Alpine Canada’s Ski Team ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Contributed)
Lumby’s Logan Leach named to national ski team

The 18-year-old visually impaired athlete officially joins Canada’s Para-Alpine roster ahead of Beijing 2022

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club is the first ski area in Canada to signify its commitment to ending working poverty, by paying all its staff and contracted workers a living wage. (Contributed)
Vernon ski area first in Canada to pay living wage

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club invests in staff and contracted workers

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Most Read