Eighteen years ago, I was court ordered into AA and introduced to the 1414 club, a 12-step meeting place in Longview, Washington. After 3½ years of being a dry drunk, hanging out in the half measures room, playing pinnacle, cribbage, and jigsaw puzzles, I thought that was the program of AA And after thinking all those AA meetings were the same, Barn! One last drunk. It was inevitable, being miserably sober.
Then fear gripped me. I started doing all the things that I had heard at the meetings. I got a sponsor, read the Big Book, got a home group, did service work and meetings, lots of meetings.
Today, all the Big Book promises have come true, more than I could ever imagine. I have sponsored alcoholics who have 4, 5, 7, and 8 years of sobriety, all of them blessings. I own a home, a new car, and I have a host of friends.
Now the thank you, to a few people that never judged me, gave me a shoulder, and helped me grow up. Thanks to the all-important Tuesday night Al Anon-AA mixed meeting who taught this alcoholic the other side of my disease. Thank you, Sue, the Thursday night Ocean Beach meeting, Chloe, and Dee, “spiritual leaders”. Walt, for being a friend, and an ear while I whined. Darrel, for the smile and making me feel welcome. Debbie for teaching me patience. George for your humor. Jerry for the hours of principles and advice. Denny for the Step Study.
Thanks to the Friday night Rainier group and so many people that listened to my growing pains. Members that shared and have no idea that they kept me sober and sane for one more day. I have moved away but many memories and people come to mind, all which I can’t wait to remember, but Thank You. So many were teachers, and this student was ready.
Today I still have a sponsor, read the Big Book, have a home group, and I try and give back what was given , so freely to me. Thanks for loving me till I could love myself. Thanks for having faith in me when I couldn’t be grateful. Being an active member of AA has taught me that fear, denial, hopeless pain, selfishness, and self-centeredness leads to that first drink.
So thank you, a grateful member of AA