Too Young?  Bad Enough?

My name is Ali and I’m an alcoholic.  It has taken me some time to say that without feeling ashamed or embarrassed.  It is only now, that I have witnessed the strength of the people in meetings admitting they have a problem and facing that head on day after day that I can be grateful to have found AA.

As a new wife and mother at twenty-nine, I arrived at my first meeting feeling at my absolute depth of despair. I don’t remember much, but I know I felt hope from that very first evening.  I wanted things to change as I was at the stage where I no longer wanted to drink but I simply could not stop.  I really had no idea what to expect but I had ideas of them saying I was too young/not bad enough (how delusional was I!?). But of course, all I got was a warm welcome and an invite to come back.

“We let go absolutely,” from the Big Book stands out to me from my very early days; as this is what I had failed to do when trying and failing at abstaining myself.  It was a ‘surrender to win’ as I had heard some people say in meetings.  It was a relief that the struggle didn’t need to be quite so hard if I was able to let go. To say it wasn’t hard would not be true, it was hard, but it was simple. It must be for me.  Don’t take the first drink, one day a time and get to meetings.  It worked where nothing else had and continues to work almost two years later (a day at a time).  That was (and is) very important to me,‘to keep it in the day’, it helps me when dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of life.

The power of AA, for me, is the people.  The understanding of what you have been through and are going through.  If anyone is struggling with the fact that they are (or may be) an alcoholic, my advice would be to get to meetings and just listen.  You will always get a warm welcome and nothing is expected of you for membership other than a ‘desire to stop drinking’.

Aside from being the only way I have been able to stop drinking, Alcoholics Anonymous has saved my life and has given me freedom, a future I could have only dreamed about and above all hope.

Ali, Alcoholic