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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Diane at 250-833-8091 or email email@example.com