from The San Diego AA Coordinator, January 2008 ~

Of course I deserve to drink. I didn’ t care that l couldn’ t control my drinking. It no longer mattered! If you had my life you would drink too….and blah de blah.

I had said it many times but this time it all ended differently. It was New Year’s Eve so of course I must drink and have a good time. Huh, have a good time! Who was I trying to fool! Having a good time seldom went along with drinking anymore. Yet I was off to chase that elusive feeling of bliss. I left my dingy downtown motel room and headed for a local bar.

Then I sat there and drank. When I realized my meager purse was getting slim faster than I was approaching that feeling of bliss, I left. I stopped at a liquor store and bought a bottle. Then I returned to my motel room to enjoy my liquid company. Yet the bottle turned on me. Bliss never arrived. I prayed for oblivion, yet it never arrived either. Complimenting myself on my high tolerance for alcohol, I went to the grocery store and purchased a bottle. Again, I settled in for bliss or oblivion. I got neither! I was alone with myself with nothing to buffer the anxiety. Pity overcame me. It wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t stand to be sober and l couldn’t get drunk. Briefly I thought of jumping out of the hotel window.

Then in my desperation, I screamed out, “Help me!” and suddenly I no longer felt alone in my room. I had given up, but there in the room, there was Something or Someone, a Power greater than myself that would help me.

The desire to drink was lifted but the need to drink was not. I moved to my mother’s couch where I shook terribly. My stomach was tied in painful knots. Still no memory of Alcoholics Anonymous returned to me even though l had been to meetings six or seven years earlier. Still believing the Power I had come to know in the hotel room would help me, I began weaning myself off alcohol with beer and codeine. After regaining my strength, I began returning to the beer bars.

One day this man offered to buy me a beer and the truth came out. “Yes, I’ ll take that beer,” I said, “but I don’ t want to drink anymore.” It was such a strange thing to say. I had to have been affected by the Power I had encountered in the hotel room.

Strangely enough the man at the bar understood exactly what I was talking about. He bought me the beer, and then explained that when people want to stop drinking, they go to Alcoholics Anonymous. It was as though a light bulb went off in my head, and a memory of a smoky AA meeting room I had once visited many years ago came to mind.

The next day I called up Alcoholics Anonymous and since that day, my life has become more than I could possibly have hoped for.