I can remember begrudgingly sitting in an AA meeting when I first got sober and an older gentlemen leaning over to me and saying “If you want to stay sober and learn to live and have a better life, you’ll have to learn how to ask for help from others”. Starring straight ahead, without missing a beat, the immediate response from my inner voice was “that’ll never fucking happen!” And so….I suffered for six years as a sober person. Dry drunk, but sober. Man that was painful!
Finally, I had had enough of the constant suffering. I found myself uttering one of those cliché phrases that I hated hearing in those damn AA meeting. “If you are willing to go to any length…”. Yes, I am, and I know where to go.
I fought it hard for six years though. This simple program. This 79 year old book. Yah see, I was different. “I” was smarter! I would write a blog, redouble my efforts with the Therapist that I had been seeing for nine years, read recovery books and medical journals, and join sober online groups – one was actually an anti-AA anarchy group….no shit! It folded after we lost 25% of our membership in one day. Yeah, one of our four members quit.
After six years, I was tired of being a dry drunk. No longer drinking, but just as miserable and feeling it oh so intensely because I no longer altered my mental state. I was of no use to my family, job, friends or myself. That all changed when I let go absolutely. There’s another one of those “hallmarky” AA sayings. I learned the hard way. Or, probably right on time “for me”, that we need others to help us recover. We see when we can see and hear when we can hear. Right?
With the help of a Sponsor, I learned that psychology is the study of human behavior. The discipline wants you to “think” differently so your feelings will change. AA, on the other hand, is the study of our behavior. It is “taking action” for us alcoholics, that changes our thinking, feeling and outlook on life. But, as most of us are educated, and taught to solve problems, we go about studying, reading, seeing therapist…all with the intention of solving “the problem”. Well, the problem is “us”! But, we’re incapable of recognizing it and even more incapable of changing it without the help of others.
No one can help us more than a fellow alcoholic can. And I know where to find lots of alcoholics. I see them daily.