So You Think You’re Different – John T_Lifeline 2015

So You Think You’re Different by John T.

I’m an alcoholic! I was working for a large beer distributor and I was very successful in sales. What a great job, everyone drank. At least that’s how I saw it! That’s why when people would say to me; do you think you might have a problem with alcohol; I couldn’t understand; I’m no different from the other people working here. I’m just doing my job like everyone else.

It was suggested that I should maybe contact a clinic to ask them if they thought I might have a problem with alcohol. Well I could, and would never respect their opinion because I had a job and insurance so I just knew their opinion would be bias. They would just want my money and insurance to pay them so that was out of the question.

I continued on with my normal drinking as I understood it to be. As things got worse my world start to come apart rapidly. Problems at home; family, kids and a third car accident that landed me in the hospital for three months stay with extended rehab was still not enough to stop my pattern but it did get my attention. So, I remembered my long time friend Larry D that I did a lot of my drinking and partying with. Larry had lost his job because of the things we used to do. I remember seeing Larry and something was different about him; I knew he was in some program that was helping him get his life back together.

I contacted Larry and asked if he could meet me for lunch and he agreed. I knew nothing about AA but I could see his life was turning around and getting better. So at lunch, I asked him if he could me into this AA. I asked him the next time you go to one of those meetings, let me know. His response was, “John, I go every night” “I said, okay, next time. Larry said “Okay, how about Thursday night?” Thursday night came and I didn’t show up. A few days later, Larry called and I told him I was sorry and would be there next Thursday night.

The AA meeting was called Grass Roots and it met in a large church. When I walked into that meeting I don’t know what I expected but I knew I WAS DIFFERENT! I looked around and my thoughts were I don’t know what Larry’s been doing with his life but this is not for me. Some of these people were motorcycle guys, some looked like they didn’t have jobs, some older people, some young kids, white, DIFFERENT FROM ME.

I was ready to bail but I stayed for the meeting just to be polite, but couldn’t wait for it to end and that was going to be the last time I would see Larry D. Before I could escape Larry D. and another man asked me to have coffee with them. I agreed. During our conversation they told me about 90 meetings in 90 days and if at then end of that time if it seemed like it was something that would not work for me, I could go on with my life. Well, that appealed to me because I knew I could do the 90 days; then if anyone asked I could respond that I did 90 in 90 and there was no problem here.

Larry took out a meeting schedule and marked a meeting for every day for me to attend and he showed up to the meetings too. When I started going I was full of fear because I WAS DIFFERENT! After every meeting we would go have coffee and talk. About the third time while having coffee, Larry said, “John, the next time you’re in a meeting of AA I want you to listen for all of the things you did do instead of all the things you didn’t.” Well, they say this program of AA is a GIFT. “Some people get it, some people don’t.” I can honestly say that allowed me to get the gift of sobriety when I started looking at the similarities not the differences.


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