From the May 2013 magazine.

May 2013: Enjoy the Ride

Learning to have fun again was a trip of its own

I was in AA only a few months when the annual picnic was announced. The day before, my sponsor said he would pick me up at 7 a.m., and he did. We went to a farm stand and picked up at least 10 dozen ears of corn. Then we went to the community park and met a few others to get ready. We set up the fire pit, and Big Tony made breakfast, while the rest of the crew joked and horsed around. I stayed for the picnic, mostly because my sponsor drove and it was a 10-mile walk to the house. The picnic was a great success: good food, plenty of homemade desserts, a card game, good speaker for the meeting, and people seemed to be having a good time. I wasn’t drinking and I really didn’t want to drink, so the question was, “Why wasn’t I having a good time like the rest of the people?” This was a great opportunity for a new resentment, right? Then I realized that it wasn’t them, it was me. The Big Book says we’re restless, irritable, and discontent. That fit me perfectly, and I guess it always did!

I can look back through grade school, high school, six years in the Navy, all the jobs I had; I always felt I was on the outside. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know how to be part of … unless, of course, I was drinking. That’s the sad truth. I drank to feel different about myself and about the rest of the world. But it was a lie. When I drank I didn’t really fit in; I just stopped caring that I didn’t. I drank at the world to feel better. It was years after I got sober that I realized I had hated myself for a very long time—and I didn’t anymore!

-- George F.

Drums, Pennsylvania

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