From the October 2011 magazine.

The Thin Ice

Emotional turmoil kept her drinking; serenity and the Steps kept her sober

"I felt constantly like I was at the end of a game of crack the whip—barely stable on ice skates thrust forward at breakneck speeds."

I remember the first time I heard "the promises," I thought that was the most ridiculous sentimental crap ever. Mostly I was just pissed off that I was in so much pain and that I was sober enough to feel it. I was confused, angry, hurt, scared and totally empty—the concepts of serenity and peace were so far fetched to me. When I heard the Promises read at my first AA meeting, I was certain I'd arrived in the wrong place. I was about one week sober and had just lost my job. I was full of feelings of uselessness, self-pity and economic insecurity. And I most certainly did not see the value of my sobriety. I was hanging on by a thread.

Just a couple of weeks prior, I'd sunk my life savings into treatment after my best friend pulled me aside and told me she'd never seen anyone in such a dark emotional place and "perhaps it had something to do with my drinking." Of course she was right—I had a black eye, my apartment was so disgusting I was considering moving out because traditional elbow grease would never be enough to clean it; I was bloated, hungry, emaciated and gross. I wasn't even fooling myself anymore. I wanted to die. I was such a mess that I couldn't even muster up a haughty, "You don't know what you're talking about, and I'm fine!" But I was in just that place, that higher power-fueled place, where I listened to her and said, "You're right."

-- Kimberly M.

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