Keep Coming Back!

My name is Wullie, I am an Alcoholic. My home group is Ayr Wednesday Night.

I had a very normal upbringing, mother, father and older sister. Never seen any drinking unless it was New Year, always celebrated with great gusto here in Scotland. (For maybe three or four days until the drink ran out!) I had my first “real” drink at the age of 14. I loved the taste, the smell and what it did to me. I was a greedy drinker right from the start.

Drinking with my contemporary’s, we all did it, just some more than others. Going into pubs at that age, I felt that I had arrived. The bright lights and the sparkling glasses had me transfixed. I lived in a mining village, so  you actually had to wipe your feet on the way out of some of them!

When I turned 18, my drinking progressed. I was a man and should drink like a man. So, no more beer for me. I decided from that point on, that I would always drink the best my pocket would allow. Sometimes it was fine wines, malt whisky’s and good brandy, other times it was just as much alcohol for the money that I had.

Blackouts played a part right from the start. My friends were always good at filling me in on the parts of the previous night I couldn’t remember, always with a little (or a lot) of embellishment. Drunk driving was a way of life.

A change in career from heavy engineering to the license trade (bar trade) changed my drinking again, It was now always available. The guilt and remorse I suffered was worse than the hangovers, there were many promises of never again to my wife. Promises I really, really meant when I was not drinking. Promises that I didn’t know I couldn’t keep. Once my mind had convinced me it would be different this time, all the promises disappeared into thin air. Once I took even that first fatal drink, I had little or no choice on where or when I would stop.

My first AA meeting was in November 1988, I had just drunk myself out of my business, I was a publican (innkeeper). I came to AA because my wife was powerless over my drinking and her life was unmanageable. Two months later I was drunk again, for the next 33 months in and out of AA, never getting more than a day or two.

I had my last drink on 29th September 1991, it was a bottle of vintage Champagne at the end of a four-day bender. I awoke the next morning, sick and tired of being sick and tired. A thought came into my head that I should go back to AA and do this for myself, as opposed to doing it for everyone else, and at that moment the desire for drink left me. Call it psychic change, spiritual experience, god consciousness or just the gift of desperation, I decided then and there to come back to AA and put in the required effort.

For everyone the effort required is different, for me it was 104 meeting in my first 90 days, then at least 6 a week for the next few years. I joined a group (or two or three), stuck with sober company, got a sponsor and got involved in AA doing service at meetings, making the tea, washing dishes and cleaning ashtrays.

I went to my first Intergroup meeting when I was 3 months sober with my sponsor. “This is not for me,” I thought. “Too many rules and regulations to learn!” The 12 Traditions and the 12 Steps were enough for me to be getting on with!

Thankfully, I did go back. Service has played a major part in my continued recovery. I attended Intergroup for a good few years before being persuaded (or was it coerced?) to attending Region.

Region afforded me the opportunity to attend our 2004 Annual Conference in York. The way this wonderful Fellowship works and make decisions just blew me away. The way the different views from all corners of AA GB come together, agreements reached, disagreements heard without being disagreeable. To me, quite unique.

I am still very much involved in service, attend two to three meetings a weeks and share with others.

AA has given me and my family a life beyond my wildest dreams, I only came to stop drinking and get some peace in my head. As I write, I am have just celebrated my 26th AA Anniversary, more than a quarter of a century, ODAAT, on 30th September last.

Thank God for our Fellowship and thank the Fellowship for the God of my understanding.

Wullie I.
Ayr Wednesday Night