March 2020 | Puzzled


Confused after arrests and relapses, she was finally ready to listen and put the pieces together

It was not until I was in a women’s residential program for addictions where AA meeting attendance was required that I truly found the Fellowship of AA. 

I had known about AA earlier. I had even been to meetings. But I simply never “got it.” In the meetings I went to at the women’s house, I heard people say, “Fake it ’til you make it,” which is exactly what I did. If I had not been required to attend those meetings, I would have never come to the realization I was no longer faking it.

My inability to stay sober was what led me to the women’s program. I couldn’t even stop drinking long enough to ask for help. I had been in legal trouble for drunk driving and was waiting for my court date. I had been trying to stop drinking so I would not be sick if I were to be incarcerated. Then one afternoon I had the shakes, so I went to buy more liquor, and for some reason, sincerely asked for a Higher Power to help me. I didn’t stop drinking right then, but I know now that’s when I set the ball in motion. 

When I finally did go to court, I went there drunk. I was arrested and I detoxed for several days. I was hallucinating so badly that I didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t. For me, the insanity was that I got out of the detox and went right back to drinking instead of using the opportunity to start my sobriety. 

I was arrested again. I knew I wanted to stay sober, so I requested to go to a rehab. When I got to the facility I was nervous, but I knew I needed help to stay sober. This time I got willing. But still I felt restless and irritable. I went to group therapy, but I didn’t really want to talk to people all the time. They sent us to AA meetings and they all talked about booze constantly. I didn’t want to hear about alcohol. It sounded like they came to these meetings to relive their drinking days. I felt that they were the ones with the problem. I began to lose my way. 

I went through the Steps, but I didn’t think the people who ran the rehab knew what they were doing. I thought everyone in AA had no life. I decided I didn’t need rehab anymore. Of course, what happened next was a relapse.

When I went home to visit, everyone told me how proud they were of me and what a great job I was doing. I was just going through the motions. 
I went to the store where I used to buy liquor. I got some and drank it and spent the rest of my visit alone and full of regret. I didn’t enjoy drinking. I hid it from everyone. 

When I went back to the women’s house, I talked to my counselor about my relapse. She asked why I drank and I couldn’t answer her. I went out for a walk and came to the realization that I had never really given the program my all. I knew I had to do it for me. I began to see things differently.

Not everyone relapses, but I did. It was a spiritual awakening of sorts. At AA meetings, I now began to hear people talk instead of just hearing the drinking stories. I started finding little nuggets that I took with me, and I noticed how these could be useful in my recovery. Everything seemed like a puzzle and I could begin to see where the pieces fit together. When I started trying to put too many pieces in the wrong spot, I found clarity in the hands of AA.

I now see that I was saved when I was arrested that day. It led me to a program that helped me grow and introduced me to the open arms of AA. Today I work on my mind, body and spirit with my sponsor, who is a godsend. I live happily one day at a time. I know that AA is the medicine I need.

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