From the December 2014 magazine.

Go for the Ride

One reason he got involved in general service was right outside on the curb

It took me 10 years just to get into service. That is certainly not anything to brag about, and it was only by God’s grace that I remained dry. In the beginning I attended meetings, got a sponsor and began the journey through the Steps. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand that the Steps become a way of life only if I continue to practice them daily. A career-ending injury allowed me to move back to my home state, but I had a difficult time adjusting to AA. Finding a sponsor was strenuous due to my bad attitude, and then I selected a man who got drunk the week I asked him. Of course, that meant I didn’t need a sponsor, so I didn’t have one. Next to go were prayer, reading the Big Book and finally, meetings. A new outbreak of misery was the result. Eventually, I learned that I didn’t need to drink to suffer from alcoholism. In the middle of yet another self-imposed crisis, I was unable to see my sad state of untreated alcoholism.

After seven years away from AA, I finally returned. Searching for relief, I attended a weekend retreat that woke me up to the fact I needed to get a sponsor and do Steps Four and Five again. The man I asked to sponsor me took me back to Step One. Today, I’m grateful that he helped me see I needed to back up. So, I began my journey through the Steps again and slowly began to move forward. It was much more difficult than when I was a newcomer. Just attending meetings and sharing was not all that was required to carry the message. Twelfth Step work meant that I had to reach out to another alcoholic, making myself available to work with him through the Steps, and being his friend while creating the spirit of recovery, unity and service.

-- Anonymous

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