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Losing Myself in Others

I was told early on in the program of AA, to be of service....to lose myself by helping others.  There were several volunteer jobs in the program.  After a year of continuous sobriety under my belt, I felt ready to step into action and volunteer.  The first opportunity was to become Literature Chairperson for the group.  It was my responsibility to update and stock pamphlets for the meeting so that newcomers and old-timers alike had access to information from AA World Headquarters based in New York.  The job entailed going to the local Central Office and purchasing brochures and AA Big Books, written by the founders of AA.  Our meeting provided free "Big Books" to newcomers who couldn't afford them or at cost to those that could.  The meeting treasurer would always re-imburse us for the cost of literature.  Everything at the meeting...coffee, books, rent for the space, sobriety cakes and sobriety tokens were paid by contributions made by members at the end of the meeting…

First Day of Sobriety September 1st, 1980

My first day of sobriety was an eye-opener.  When I walked into my first meeting of AA, I was greeted by people that seemed almost "too happy".  What the hell was going on?  I was expecting a crowd of misfits like me...well, they were misfits but sober misfits!  The feeling of "never belonging" was always ingrained into my psyche since I can remember.  I later learned that everyone in that room, one time or another, felt like they didn't belong.  One of the greeters at the door could sense my apprehension in going to a meeting and offered some really good advice to this newcomer.  He said simply, "take a seat, in the back, don't say anything, and just listen to what other alcoholics were saying.  That was great advice because it took the pressure off me.  I was afraid to share but soon also learned that sharing was an option.  The first impression I had of the meeting was that nobody really was there to judge.  Mostly, the people that did share offered…

An Epiphany

The night at the liquor store ended peacefully.  Thankfully,  I was spared from being transported in a police cruiser to the detox center.  I owed it all to my girlfriend who convinced the officers to let me go to her custody.  She drove me home and soon things got a little "dicey" again when I called my ex-wife on the phone.  I proceeded to tell my ex that I was soon to be married in October.  The news of my betrothal didn't settle very well with her.  She hung up on me but called back immediately.  She emphatically told me that I would never see my kids again if I were to get married.  She hung up again and I was fuming!  My preferred way of dealing with anger and frustration was to destroy an inanimate object such as a chair, table or in this case....the telephone.  We only had rotary phones back in those days, but they were large, plastic, and annoying.  I referred to the phone as an "instrument of disaster" meaning that the majority of calls spelled disast…

"I Be Nice!, I Be Nice!"

When I arrived to pick-up my girlfriend at work, she said she was running late and told me to wait for her.  Knowing that a liquor store was just around the corner, I decided to make my wait worthwhile.  I didn't have any cash at the time (imagine that) nor did I have a bank balance.  Needless to say, I picked up a can of beer and proceeded to write a check for sixty-five cents.  When the clerk denied my check, I became very belligerent and told him that I was not leaving the store until he took my check.  That didn't work very well as he called the police instead.  When the police arrived, I put on my best face and instantly became very polite.  "Yes, Officer, I will leave the premises as you wish", was a carefully rehearsed statement.  I left politely but only to return fifteen minutes later demanding that the clerk take my check.  Again the police were summoned.   I remember flailing my arms up in the air reciting, "I be nice, I be nice!"  The police…

My last drunk

I wanted to write about my last drunk, which was on August 31st, 1980.  That evening, as I remember it, wasn't particularly ultra-dramatic or earth-shattering.  What transpired that night seemed to represent  a culmination of negative traits over the years that came to a surface that evening.  My "alcoholic personality" manifested itself in full force that night.    At that time, I was self-employed working as a print advertising sales representative for a specialty tourist map which I had created and published.  My goal, being the ever-present practicing alcoholic, was to make the quickest sale possible and then make a mad dash to one of my client's bar.  Some of the ad sales were made without any cash being transacted.   Sometimes, instead of a cash sale, I would propose a "trade out" in exchange for advertising. I was successfully able to negotiate a seven-hundred dollar trade out for both food and beverage consideration.   You can imagine my delight…

Welcome to Addiction Recovery!

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Hope and Inspiration for Recovery...This is the first of many blogs about addiction recovery.  My drinking career started when I was twelve years old and lasted sixteen, long, suffering years.  When I turned twenty-eight,  I was "sick and tired" of being "sick and tired" and decided to surrender to the disease of alcoholism.  Achieving sobriety, one day at a time, was my goal and with a lot of support from fellow recovering alcoholics and sponsors,  I was able to succeed.  I learned, from others, that there was a better way of life in sobriety and I truly wanted that. 
    There is so much information that I would like to impart to newcomers and those that are currently in recovery but are struggling to stay sober.  My daughter, Lisa, was also afflicted with addiction at an early age.  When she was seventeen she went to a sober living facility in Louisiana and enjoyed sobriety for three years.  Unfortunately, when she turned twenty-one, Lisa thought she could drink …