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Hello, My name is Ben H., and I am an alcoholic.
I know my story is not unique, but I have not run into another like it in this area. When I came into AA, I sat down and read the Big Book and worked the first three steps on my own. I was totally broken and knew I was powerless over alcohol. I had no problem believing in a Higher Power, because I already had one, nominally, though I had to seriously rearrange my thinking about Him. I worked a ridiculously puny 4th & 5th step with a sponsor I had for about 6 months. He did not waste much time on me because he was 20+ years sober and could see I was not very serious about the Program. That was 1984. Fast forward through 20 years of off & on meeting attendance, 10 years of which I did not attend meetings. It was a long dry spell. Around 2004 I got into spirituality and as a result of reading some C. S. Lewis books, began seeking God on another level. At this time, I met my current sponsor and his wife, who is not AA, but is very spiritual. After many early morning discussions in the kitchen of the Biscayne Room, I asked him to be my sponsor. We have since reworked the 4th through the 8th steps, and I am trying to actively employ and apply the 10th, 11th ,& 12th steps in my life. What a waste of time â€“ 20 years to find out what I was looking for was in the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous all along. I am eating humble pie. What is this tirade about? It's about getting yourself a sponsor ASAP. Don't wait, delay, or procrastinate. A good sponsor is educational, enlightening, understanding, sometimes maddening, uplifting, and, if you're lucky, humble. Make the leap â€“ ask him/her to be your sponsor. Don't wander around in the wilderness for years like I did. ReaderRat
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Thank you for sharing your experience, Reader Rat.
It's sad to watch so many stumble along in A.A., wasting the valuable time that they have left in life -- when our whole deal is about having tools that can not only keep us sober, but also to give us the good life, if we use the tools.
I was thinking about this as I was driving home from a meeting tonight. If an alcoholic is hopeless (and, I believe that many of us are), and we can use these tools to get sober and keep sober... why not use the same tools in all the other areas of our lives?
If the tools work so well on the problem of alcoholism -- just imagine what they would do on problems that are not hopeless!
When I first came in to A.A., I thought the only thing being offered was -- physical sobriety. And, unfortunately, at that time, there were many old timers, then, as their are now... that think physically sober is the only thing attainable or possible, using the A.A. program of recovery.
I am so grateful that I learned that our tools can not only give me a life that is so good that it was beyond anything that I could have imagined for myself -- I can use these same tools to achieve success in any other area of my life that I choose to use them. They work. They really do.
I think the real problem that keeps many from trying to use the tools -- is that they "get an idea" that they understand "what it's all about and how it works." They stay physically sober for a little while -- and become convinced that "they know it all." And, they've never even scratched the surface with actually using the tools. They have listened to things that they heard shared in meetings, rather than reading the book and listening to alcoholics that have read the book, and followed the precise instructions in the book, in regards to using the tools. They only "thought" they had an open mind. And, their Omnipotent Ego rapidly closed the little bit of mind that they had open at the time.
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