As one of the the one of the authors of this blog, I thought that I might start with the one if not the first post of sharing my experience, strength, and hope. AA Agnostica does this, and it seems to work for them so well that they have offered up some books to help support their site. Not that I expect this site to be as large as theirs, but I can't assume that one story won't resonate more with one person over another. We have but one common goal. To live a sober and sane life. So far, I've been able to do so for over a decade, and I hope that if you're stuggling, you can find a life that is free from the grips of John Barleycorn.
Move forward a few years, 22 or so. I found myself divorced, Alone, and had one DUI to my name. I was getting sick and tired of telling myself that I wouldn't drink the next chance I could. I would usually look at that bottle of beer in front of me, and say tomorrow will be different. I won't drink. Yea, Right. Sure enough by the end of the workday, I'd be looking for a place to settle in, and have a cold one. It wasn't easy, as I was an Over the Road Trucker, and the industry doesn't lend it's self well to alcoholics. So, I did the normal thing, and had a couple of water bottles in the back of the bunk that weren't, ahem, water. Just in case I got stuck someplace. I had also developed a list in my exit guide for the exits that were "alcohol Friendly". You know, Truck stops that had bars, or a store nearby that sold booze. I was very fond of Nevada.
This mental struggle and argument inside my head went on for a few years. Drinking wasn't fun anymore. Drink was pulling me in, and my illusion that I was in control of it was completely gone. But I was a red blooded American, and others had fought for my right to be able to work hard and play hard. Hell, I had served my country too. This was a RIGHT of mine! I had earned it. I deserved to be able to have a cold one at the end of the work day.
But, there was wreckage. The normal kind, you know. DUI, Failed Marriage, Foreclosed house, creditors that demanded payment...
Then one day (In Nevada) I was on my computer drinking a couple cold ones, trying to reach out to old classmate. Hoping to kindle some kind of romance, and see what kind of things she was up to, etc. And luck would have it, we were able to connect on-line. But it didn't turn out the way that I had first thought it would. We caught up on our lives since high school. etc, but then she told me she had been going to AA, and told me about it... and it resonated with me. More so than the thought of getting a hot date, with all the trimmings. I knew I was going to be in the area where she now lived, and we had talked about going to a meeting. I wasn't sure I was though with drinking, but the seed was planted. Someone else had dealt with this mental struggle and found some mental peace. Someone else had had a life that fell apart, and found a solution.
I still had a few stops and a couple of days before I'd be in southern CA, but we had a tentative plan. I still had Saint Patrick's Day plans on spending a day at a casino and drinking a few green drinks. A very weird thing happened that day. As I sat at the bar, another driver came into the bar plopped down some cash and ordered a beer and a shot. Within about an hour, I saw someone that was sober down shots and beers and go from sober to falling down drunk. I saw myself in him. I even helped him stumble out to his truck. The bartender gave me a couple of free drinks for that. But I sat there, and couldn't get drunk. Or at least, I didn't think I was drunk. I have no idea how much I drank. But eventually I went off to bed myself.
The next day I was headed to CA, and the following night I was going to meet up with my friend Suzy, the gal that had been to AA meetings. I had a 12 pack still in the bunk, but as I drove along that two lane highway towards CA, the sun was setting, and the mental argument in my head was driving me crazy. I was tired of being sick and tired of sick and tired. I knew I had to give up. I had to give in. I had to quit.
I parked on the side of the road, while the sun was setting, and tossed that 12 pack into the desert, and yelled at the world that I quit! I JUST QUIT. - I starting to feel some relief from it. I didn't know it, but there were pink clouds on my horizon. I slept well that night. The next evening Suzy picked me up from the truck stop and we went to my first meeting. We talked with some of the others there before the meeting. Man, I could relate in some way to most of these people's stories. Man, there were other people that were like me!
Then it came to introduce ourselves. I didn't know if I could do it... Could I say the words? Oh man, the committee in my head was struggling with it, as this would be a bell that couldn't be un-rung. Once the words come out of my mouth, and I admit it, that's going to be it. Once those words come out of my mouth, there won't be any going back. Once I say that I'm an alcoholic, I can't be an a non-alcoholic. Once it's said it's going to be done. Oh my, the guy next to me just introduced himself... My turn!!
"Hi, I'm Randy, and I'm alcoholic".
Whew. It's done. I'm one of them now. I'm an Alcoholic. I'm an Alcoholic.
I'M AN ALCOHOLIC!!!!!
Whew. Wow. What a relief. Wow, what a wave of relief.
After the meeting, I wanted to sign up. Oh man, where do I sign? What's the dues?
No Dues. Nothing needed to sign. Just keep coming back,and get a list of meetings, and some phone numbers.
After the meeting Suzy took me to a Mexican Place that is known for their Chicken. I'm not usually a Chicken fan, but that night, that was the best chicken on the planet.
I was free from being sick and tired.