You may remember a few weeks ago we left me standing on the top step of a ladder, chain saw in hand roaring its little heart out as only a chain saw can do, when, out of the fog of my brain, a voice broke through, and, well, I don’t want to say it had a sharp edge, but let’s just leave it as a voice intended to communicate a certain disapproval for my standing on that ladder’s top step, a roaring chain saw in hand.
The voice clearly conveying the harsh judgement that whatever I was about to do was about the dumbest, stupidest, most unsafe action a person could undertake.
Yet, it made all the sense in the world to me. For, you see, my friends, while the chain saw was powered by gasoline, I was fueled and powered by several cans of my own special fuel.
I mention this absolutely stupid action on my part because it was near the end of my days of regularly refueling with my intake of alcohol-powered soft-drinks during yard-work chores. It was just before I realized I was an alcoholic … one prone to stupid life-threatening actions but which I and many of us survived only by the Grace of God. I guess I like to think this episode prompted me to, well, at least consider dealing with my problem drinking.
Actually, that’s not the timing of the issue I remember. I knew I was an alcoholic much before this awakening moment. I just didn’t have the courage to surrender and do something about my addiction, and besides, I admit now I hadn’t had enough as yet of my drug of choice. This little episode caused me to rethink what I was doing with my life and my addiction - to begin taking measure of my conduct, life style, and alcoholic pattern drinking.
What I’m trying to say is that sometimes it takes a life-threatening action to bring us to that point of the real surrender-- that moment when we admit we have lost control and have tried everything except giving up our addiction. I had no more available options.
Oh, sure, I did. I could continue my erratic out-of-control conduct and take the chance my family and employer wouldn’t abandon me.
I knew about the Program. I had a close friend who’d been involved for several years. I called him and we soon talked. He didn’t ask me to sign anything or promise I wouldn’t drink forever. All he said was that he had also felt helpless about the nature of his use of alcohol to manage his life and its ups-and-downs. He told me about the Program of Alcoholic Anonymous and how it had provided a way for him to get ahold of his life and to seek and find a better way of living. He kept saying that AA wants all of us to come to believe that use of the Program will provide us “happiness, joy and freedom” from our addiction.
It seemed to me that he was on to something and I decided to do something about my addiction and go with him to a meeting and check it out.
Jim A., Covington, KY