Thank You GOD and AA for saving my life! One day at a time!

by Jo
(Philadelphia)

A friend of mine sent me the link for this site, and here I am. My name is Jo and I am an alcoholic with a little over 4 years in the Alcoholics Anonymous program. I have not had a drink in 14 years, but I've only been in recovery for 4 years and, for me, I've only been sober that long.


I'm from a small town in southern New Jersey. I grew up in a home rampant with abuse -- physical, mental, and sexual. Those things are not what make me an alcoholic. The feelings I had inside, the belief that I was stupid, no good, unlovable, the fear, the anger, and how I chose not to feel them... those are what make me an alcoholic.

I didn't have my first drink until I was 18 years old. I was in a park near where I lived with my family. Having sneaked out of the house, I went to hang with some the kids who were part of the "in crowd," the kids who never spoke to me before. That night, I got introduced to alcohol for the first time. What happened right from the start was a feeling of numbness, of not having to feel all the things I believed to be true about myself. Suddenly, I was pretty, smart, funny, and worth something. My drinking took off pretty much from that point on, and I quickly ended up drinking to the point of black out 7 days a week.

I put down the drink 14 years ago due to an attack on my physical person. I had been working in a strip club where, boy, was it easy for me to get what I wanted exactly when I wanted it. I was sharing an apartment with a male roommate to whom I was not attracted in any way, shape, or form. I came home one night in my usual stumbling condition and he chose to take advantage of that. I woke up the next morning disgusted with myself and afraid. That was the moment when I decided to put down the booze, but not to change any thing else. I left the apartment behind, along with all my things, because I couldn't be there with what had happened.

I stayed in the sex industry for 9 years after that, working in one after another, bone dry and completely out of my mind. I acted out in the same ways I did while drinking without even having the excuse of the alcohol in my system. I ran through life hurting myself and anyone who came near me. I thought I was better than the members of AA because I didn't need any help. I worked around alcohol. I served it. I had everything under control.

But the reality is that I didn't have anything under control. I was busy grabbing whatever I could to shove into the hole inside me where all those feelings of not being worthy lurked just below the surface.

I finally made it to the rooms of AA when, after 10 years of being dry, not sober, I was knocked on my knees in fear. There is a big difference between being dry and being sober. I had the urge to drink, and I couldn't figure out why. I can tell you why I had that urge now, though... We all have our breaking point and I had finally reached mine. All of the things I had used to fill the whole in my soul had finally stopped working. That's why.

I went to a mental hospital, where I hoped to be locked away until they could fix me, until I didn't want to drink anymore. God has a sense of humor. I didn't know you had to tell them you wanted to die to be locked up. So, I sat there for almost 2 hours and told them "No, I don't want to die. I just don't want to drink. Please help me." They asked me why, if I didn't drink all this time, why don't I just go to an AA meeting? "Why?" Because, I didn't need any help, or so I wrongly thought.

The hospital sent me home and I was at my first meeting the next morning, where I was blessed with meeting my first sponsor who followed the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was, as I like to say, strong-armed through the 12 steps. My life certainly didn't change over night, but it certainly did get better.

The more work I did, the closer I got to God, the more my life improved and the more I knew that, if I just turned my will over, one day at a time, the happier I'd be. Today, I work at a visitor information center and get to keep my pants on! Yay! God rocks!

If you are new to any of the twelve step programs, don't be afraid grab a sponsor and dive in. Life is better today then any other time in my life. I am grateful for what God and AA have given me, and I don't mean material crap. I've been there and done that. What I mean is the dignity, self respect, and a sense of peace and calm that comes with sobriety.

So, come on, people, and make like the old Nike commercials and "Just do it". Trust me on this: True sobriety is where it's at!

Comments for Thank You GOD and AA for saving my life! One day at a time!

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Aug 12, 2011
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Love You Forever
by: adora alvarez pascual

Thank you Lord for saving my life.

Mar 02, 2011
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Thank You Jo!
by: Nicole

Jo, your story really hit home for me. I wanted to let you know that I can relate, on so many levels. Your description of not wanting to feel, avoiding all of those negative emotions lingering right beneath the surface, hurting yourself and those around you all because you didn't feel worthy... Those are all things I can relate to so much. And your story really showed me how much work I still have to do to get my own life back on track.

You are a very strong person, and I admire your bravery in fighting your addictions. So, thank you, Jo, for sharing your story. I hope you know how strong you are and how valuable your story is to those who are struggling... It was to me!

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