A few years before coming to A.A., I knew I was going crazy. I do remember crying out to God to help me. Somehow, I got the strength to leave my husband. (I was afraid that, on one of my violent drunks, I would kill him or be killed by him.) It was a long road from that moment to the time that I was able to get help and to know that God was in my life.
I had the first glimmer of hope at my first A.A. meeting. My fear was that I might not have the disease of alcoholism; if I didn’t, I knew I would never make it. Life had ceased to function for me in any normal way; my depressions were paralyzing
A.A. seemed to present to me the direction and structure I had longed for. I began to have just the slightest motivation and just the slightest will to live. Through months of painful withdrawnness and hostility, I slowly began to find a voice within me that had to be heard. I forced myself to speak up at a meeting, so I could prove to myself that I existed. Then I began to get some freedom, but I was not really connecting. I had found friends in A.A., and it became a family for me, but after a while this wasn’t enough. In facing life for the first time, I was full of fear. I could discuss problems with these friends and with doctors, but there was an ingredient missing in my life.
Always before, I had put myself in the hands of a man and made him the sole reason for my existence and my will to live. I knew that if I did this again, my disillusionment would be hard to bear. I had to have my own will to live. And this perhaps is when I began to rely on God—Someone to protect me, Someone who wouldn’t possess me, Someone I could silently talk to and pray to. Perhaps I became willing to believe. I would tell a friend of mine, who was having the same problems, that I prayed to God not to take a drink today and not to get married today. It was a sort of pact. I was very serious about this. I couldn’t seem to handle romance and God too well at the same time. And God did start to give me the strength that I had always thought would come from the man in my life.
I need power each day, because I get weary. But with A.A. as my structure and God as my source of strength, I can face life without taking a drink. I don’t have to stare out my window in total despair any more. The ocean and the sun and the trees and all the fantastic beauty that God has created have finally become very real to me. I crave and need the presence of nature. But I must also bear in mind that it is the spirit within me, which comes from God, that is going to be the healing force. I can turn to it wherever I am.
I want very much to share myself with another human being now. I am afraid of taking that step. But, then, I have been afraid of everything else, too, and now I know that it is possible to overcome fear.