I'm not sure if this was a God-thing or what...
When I was about 4 months sober I had to drive across the USA, from California to Arkansas. I had already been to A.A. once and failed after 5 1/2 months sobriety and I was really afraid to get away from my A.A. Home Group and my sponsor... because I was afraid that I would drink.
I was honestly and sincerely trying to keep a firm decision in Step 3, daily, and I still wasn't sure what a Higher Power was really like. I did hope that if there was one, that it cared about me and was going to help me.
I had received information that my mother was in bad health and I had a fear that if I didn't make amends to her then, I might never get to make amends to her while she was alive. My father had already died before I got sober.
I had been going to Chinatown and visiting New Age book stores and Psychic Shops trying to find a magic bullet of information that would help me find out about God and I bought a bunch of books on Prayer and Meditation, hoping that it would help. I had already tried church and the Bible years before, but I just couldnâ€™t seem to get and stay with that program. I once got real religious a long time ago, and it was for real, but I ended up back on drugs and alcohol. Plus, at that time, I had some real mental attitude hang-ups about God and that particular design for living!
My sponsor told me to go ahead and make the trip. He said, "You must find a Higher Power that can keep you sober, and I'm not that Higher Power." He said "There is no doubt that you are an alcoholic like I am (yes, he could tell), and I believe you have a sincere desire. I don't believe you'll drink. Go ahead and go see your mother. Take a directory of A.A. meetings with you. (There is a big directory of meetings all over the country). Phone numbers. Keep in touch with the Fellowship while you are travelling. And, call me before you drink!"
I was totally scared! Everyday, several times a day, I kept praying "God, if you're there... please, please help me not to drink today. Iâ€™ll do anything you want me to do. Please help me. Because without your help, Iâ€™ll be drunk before the day is over!"
The trip lasted about 3 months. I didn't drink. I made my amends to my mother. And, I had numerous situations that were really not-so-normal.
My car kept breaking down on the road and wouldn't start. I would pull into a rest area, stop the car and it wouldn't start. I would get my Big Book out and read it, and pray, and do what I thought then was meditation. After a while, the car would start again with no problems.
I had a CB radio with me and would turn it on when I was driving. After I would leave the rest area, I would hear about an accident with an over-turned truck, that hit cars, and on one occasion exploded on the highway. I had goose bumps when I realized that if my car had not stopped working, I would have been in the middle of the accident when it happened. I was experiencing a lot of those strange sort of things happening, and it made me wonder, "Is there really a God, or Angels or something that's looking out for me and trying to help me?"
I didn't drink!!! And, I was able to continue through with taking the 12 Steps. I had started keeping a journal of those God-type things, and by the end of a year sober, I had enough experiences that could have made a book! Those experiences remind me, when I have doubts, that there really is a Higher Power that cares about me. I now have enough on my own experiences that proves it to me. It might not mean much to you, but it sure means a lot to me!
My mother is still living. And, it has been over 18 years now, that I haven't had a drink.
I continue to do daily what I did on that trip. I seek to improve my conscious contact with God, as I understand God, and pray for the knowledge God's will, and for God to give me the courage and power, to do what's revealed to me, help others, especially alcoholics, keep active in my participation in Alcoholics Anonymous, and I continue to use the 12 Steps to remove anything that comes up that blocks me from this Higher Power.
Life is incredibly wonderful today... even during the hard and difficult times. Yes. I still have difficult times. But they are not about drinking. It's about normal problems that normal people go through every day. The difference is, I have a faith that is based upon my experiences that helps keep me on course, and I have the program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have sobriety. And, for this, I will be eternally grateful!
Thank you to all the AA members out there who have helped me and continue to help me! My life would not even be a life without you!!!
There are some of you who I know, that helped me, and there are many thousands of you, that I don't know, that also help me! Every time I go to a meeting, at home, or far away, or to an A.A. convention, or round-up, I meet some of you. It's those of you who keep coming back, who keep the doors of A.A. open, and keep the coffee brewing, that the message of A.A. gets carried to me and countless others every day in every way.
The Internet A.A. meetings are wonderful. But I don't want to ever get so carried away on the web that I get away from physically seeing the faces and being with the sober members in A.A. in the meetings and in the Fellowship activities. When there is a call from an alcoholic who wants to get sober, I want to be sure that physically, and not just through email, that my hand will be there to reach out to them, just as your hands have reached out to me!
Thanks for letting me share!