I am conflicted about AA groups - simply because I've never been a joiner of any sort of organization However, as detached from AA as I can make myself feel at times I am never more connected to any social group than I am in an AA meeting. In hearing someone speak from the heart of their life, their suffering and of how baffled they are that alcohol took them places they never knew existed. When I speak of the long dark nights of the soul my fellow AA members can relate, having been to the spiritual abyss too. They know the dread, emptiness and hopelessness that accompanies the alcoholic when he is in the grip of his addiction.
I faced death, considered it like some people might consider moving to a new city. Not so much an adventure as it would be an escape from torment. My alcoholism was madness that took joy from a life that deserved joy. Replaced pride with shame and authorized actions that far too often put me in conflict with the people in my life. The craziest aspect of the disease was my denial that there was anything wrong at all. Coming to Step 1 was no easy feat -
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Powerless? Me? I didn't think so. I have heard that the key to behavioural modification is repetition. There was repetition in the conflict, poor judgement and utter foolishness brought about by my drinking that eventually got through to me. I wasn't normal - I wasn't like other people. When I drink I'm someone that I cannot respect.
I had tried to quit before AA but that met with no success and usually led to a binging to make up for lost time.
I had to accept that I was powerless, that my life was a mess. Eventually there was no denying this. At my first AA meeting I was too afraid or ashamed to get up and get my white chip. I waited until after the meeting and went up to the front and picked it up once the meeting was over.
My first step towards recovery.