Thursday, May 27, 2010


I was blessed with a certain degree of willingness when I came to the rooms of AA back in 1996. I was first of all, willing to come to AA even though I wasn't sure I was really an alcoholic (and drug addict wasn't even on the radar). I came because I had seen an immediate change in my little bro who had been to meetings the entire week prior to my first meeting. I was willing to take some direction when I arrived. My dad told me to listen, stay quiet and see if perhaps I might find something I could relate to. He suggested that I try not to focus on the differences between me and the people in AA. That was some of the best advice I ever got in AA.

There were plenty of differences for sure. But, as people began sharing during that first meeting, I was shocked to hear and realize how much I had in common with these complete strangers, these alcoholics. I understood the lonliness they felt, the confusion, the constant planning and thought about my next drinking episode. I understood their anger and resentment, their mistrust of God, family and friends. Right from the start at my very first meeting, I felt at home. I thought perhaps that my dad had set me up, "greased" the group about me in advance. But, these people were sincere and they knew what the heck they were talking about.

I was willing to get phone numbers (yet not quite willing to use them, since I had dad and my younger brother to talk to those first few weeks). I did come out of my first meeting with a phone number though. They told me in the meetings to make 90 meetings in 90 days and I worked hard at that. In Toledo that was easy because the place is crawling with meetings. I got hold of the Big Book and 12X12 and began reading daily. Within a month I had joined my first home group (a Step meeting) and somewhere around that time I had found my first sponsor. I had agonized about asking him until one of the other men informed me I wasn't asking for a date to the prom, I was asking for help getting sober and staying alive.

I was on my way, a day at a time. My sponsor told me to call him daily and I did. He "loaned me" his HP until I could understand myself and own. He taught me how to pray and how to meditate. We worked through the Steps together, slowly and thoroughly. I stayed sober and haven't found it necessary to drink since a week before my first meeting. I am grateful to have been in enough pain to be willing to do some of what was suggested to me.

There are lots more details of course, but I think you get the point. There is a certain measure of willingness required if we are to stop drinking and begin recovering in AA. We have to take action, surrender to the fact that we cannot control or arrest our dirnking alone. I will always be grateful for the willingness to do what it takes.


dAAve said...

motivation + willingness = sobriety

Anonymous said...

You hit it on the head. I just lost an unwilling sponsee - wouldn't go to more than a meeting a week or pick up the phone. Fortunately, by "lost" I mean back to drinking and not dead . . . yet. But it's a good reminder. Have you been willing to go to the "Saturday Night Fights" i.e. Toledo AA Intergroup? That's a real test of willingness!

drybottomgirl said...

So, so true. The willingness makes the difference. I was so ready and willing to try anything new, that I jumped in with both feet. I also see people who want sobriety but are unwilling to work or change and they are often in a relase sooner than later. Your testament to what can happen when you are willing can and will be an inspiration too many!

Syd said...

Great post. Surrender to win is an awesome thing.