DRINKING ALCOHOL TAUGHT ME HOW TO FLY
THEN IT TOOK AWAY THE SKY

Friday, July 11, 2008

MY FIRST 24 HOURS



DAY ONE

Thiry-Four Years Ago


MY PRAYER: My God, I am so grateful to You for this gift of sobriety, this gift which has allowed me to be another of those who can proclaim to any who will listen, Your LOVE, Your KINDNESS, Your PATIENCE, Your FRIENDSHIP, Your OMNIPOTENCE!


Following are some thoughts on my first 24 hours of sobriety, after sinking progressively for nearly twenty-five years into the alcoholic abyss of total self-centeredness, fear, paranoia, and alcoholic insanity.

Five minutes before midnight on Monday March 18, 1974, I had my last and final drink of alcohol. At that moment I was given an opportunity available to many, but which comparatively few have accepted. That is, the chance to begin a second life, to be one of you--that unique minority of humans who are fortunate enough to be given that second break, that gift, and receive the chance to live two complete and distinct lives in one lifetime.

Tuesday March 19, 1974 8:30 PM:
It was very dark that night (or so it seemed to me!) when I walked for the first time into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at Trinity-By-The-Cove Church, in Port Royal, into what was called then (and still is) "The Naples Group". Being "fashionably" five minutes late, I was thinking, "DUMB, Steve--look what you've done now. This is the stupidest move...you must REALLY have gone completely mad! I expected to sneak quietly into the room, sit, shake, and sweat (the three s's?) in the back, and figure out "How am I going to get out of *this* predicament?" All I needed was a few drinks to get me back to normal. Remember...I had my last drink just 20 hours before. (Yes, at 8:30 PM I had that "desire to stop drinking"--maybe until 9:30 PM?) Yes, I certainly was willing to do ANYTHING to have a better life--anything......except stop drinking! ("If ya wanna stop drinking...well, stop drinking", they used to say!)

Well, a fellow came walking fast, out into the parking lot, out from that meeting, almost falling down the few steps, to greet me, saying, "I'm Jim ...welcome." Then, no questions being asked or answered, he proceeded to guide me into the meeting room, right past/through everyone. I, as unobtrusively as possible, bumped into a couple old, old =grin= fellows, fell across a couple chairs and an old lady on the way to--guess where?--the door all the way at the other end of the room! So, already, I was ushered "in and out" of AA in 60 seconds.

Outside, he herded me across a small courtyard, into a smaller, very smoky, very crowded room, called the "Beginner's Room". How did they happen to know? This meeting was chaired by Bruce G., (who claims he remembers me from that night?) and the topic was Steps One, Two, and Three. Thank God, when I arrived, they were already on Step TWO! (I calculated that a third of the meeting must already be history!) Because all I wanted to do was get out of there. Not one memorable--to me--thought came out of that meeting, except those words which they all said at the end, not to me, of course! , but to each other, "Don't drink" and "Come back next week." (By the way, that's exactly what I did.)

Many in this room are able to tell you the "REST OF THE STORY", because we are all so much alike. So if some of you newer folks wish to hear the "rest of the story" you'll have to "Come back next week!"

Steve E. --written July 4, 2008, 34+ years of staying sober One Day At A Time.

7 comments:

J-Online said...

Steve,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I still have goosebumps. I hope you have a great Saturday!

Jenn

PS- God and I have been meeting regularly in my house as well! It's nice!

Mary Christine said...

I sure am glad you kept coming back!

Shadow said...

this promises interesting reading. since 1974?!?! that's beyond great! looking forward...

BHM said...

Stories like yours are why I'm able to keep hope in my heart.
Huge Congratulations!

Heather said...

*GBG* Isn't it so cool to look back and see God's hand? 30+ years more than rocks!! To think that I'm stoked over the impending 9 year mark kind of makes me giggle....comparatively speaking, you've lived two distinct lives. One drunk and another sober with God's help. Thank you for sharing!

PRAYER GIRL said...

How very much I wish I had kept a journal of my early days in Alcoholics Anonymous. But I didn't so..... what is - is, what was -was, what ain't - ain't!

I appreciate your memories.

Love - Prayer Girl!

Is Mary Christine a Lesbian? said...

Mary Christine said...
"I am sorry that I wrote what I wrote yesterday."

I, Mary, am so sorry
That I was such a control freak
I didn't know
That I could be so cruel
I’ll do a 9th Step
Oh, AA, oh, Bill & Bob
Oh – higher power
Oh, yes.

You tell me the 12 Steps
Are part of being insane
But that don't right
The wrong that's been done

[Spoken:]
I, Mary) Am so sorry
(So sorry) so sorry
Please accept my Big Book
But Zane Jabbers is blind
And I was too blind to see
Oh, HIV, oh, dAAve
Uh- Scott W
Oh, yes.

Are you a closet lesbian, Mary?