For some of us the relief was instant and almost miraculous. For many others that reprieve came slowly and sometimes painfully. We found ourselves in AA knowing we needed to be there but still being tugged on by alcohol. It had become our “go to” for every problem and emotional need. Now it was gone. But not forgotten! Something had to give.
I had stopped drinking and I was going to meetings but the idea of drinking kept coming back. Most often after a meeting when I was home alone after a long day. I felt like I was thinking about drinking more than I did when I was actually drinking. I talked to my sponsor and he said, “Just don’t drink today.” I knew that but it felt good to hear him say it. The next morning he called and invited me to go to a new meeting with him that night. The day flew by!
As my early weeks in the program rolled by my sponsor and his buddies kept me busy. A meeting almost every night, jail meetings, ABCs (ashtrays, brooms and chairs) and washing his car. Not really but I would have! And weekends were even busier with picnics and dances and parties. It had been a long time since I had been so actively involved with life. It had been a long time since I had been invited anywhere. And even longer since I felt that good without being half loaded. Someone even accused me of smiling! With no thought on my part alcohol was losing it’s hold on me.
It took months before I understood what was going on. The fellowship was replacing my desire to drink with a superior way of life. I was still an alcoholic, full of fears, insecurities and character defects. But now I could take these shortcomings to my sponsor, my group and the fellowship. And the result was so much better than taking my problems to alcohol. As my dependency on the fellowship has grown the desire to drink has become a thing of the past. Unfortunately, this desire to drink can and will return if I forget where my perfect release originated. I must stay faithful to this way of life on a daily basis if I am to continue to reap it’s rewards!