At 27 years, he was getting close to a drink. Would he tell someone or keep it to himself?
About a month before my 27th AA anniversary, I found myself thinking about a drink. Since I had that much time in the program, I rationalized that I should be able to have a drink at dinner. It didn’t seem too serious, and I had not acted on it, so I didn’t talk to my sponsor or any of my friends in AA about it. Besides, I believed I was working a good program. I went to a lot of meetings, sponsored people, chaired and shared at meetings, spoke at other meetings and talked to a lot of alcoholics.
After my anniversary, I took a week’s vacation to Mexico. While I was there, in the back of my mind I remembered a meeting I had attended in my first year of sobriety in Puerto Vallarta, where two AA members came in terribly distraught because they had slipped while on
vacation. I remember being surprised that the good times could be as dangerous as the bad times.
Now I was back in Mexico. I thought I was well-prepared for my trip. I was armed with a list of meetings. I had some extra Grapevines, the “Twelve and Twelve” and a Big Book. However, the list of meetings did no good, as I didn’t go to any of them. The literature was of no value, as I didn’t read any of it. I could not reach my sponsor in the States. On the way home, after five days of not using any of my AA support, I had progressed to a point where I was thinking about what that first drink would be.
By the time I got home, I was scared. I called my sponsor, who was out. So I went to a meeting. The speaker there had nine years of sobriety and had then gone out and relapsed. She was out for six years and vividly recalled how bad it was and how difficult it was to get back.
At a meeting the next morning, a speaker told of being sober for 28 years before relapsing and recounted how tough it was to get back.
Coincidences? I have learned in AA that there are no coincidences. Later that day, I went to another meeting where the speaker had not slipped. However, he recounted an interesting story of how he had set up an email account with God that he used regularly. In reviewing his emails, he indicated that it was incredible to see that when he got out of the way and let God work, most of those email prayers had been answered.
Soon after, my sponsor returned my call and after appropriately chewing me out for not calling sooner, we had a helpful chat.
I went home and took my dog for a long walk to mull the events of the last 24 hours and had a
talk with God. I recalled that by my using the Second Step in AA, God had saved my life in 1986 by removing my obsession to drink. I prayed that he would help me now with this dilemma. I kept remembering the adage that I learned in early AA meetings, “I can’t, God can, ask him.”
Remember when you are sick and have a fever? Only when the fever breaks can you start to get better. That night my AA fever broke. When I woke up the next morning to a bright new day, I had no desire to drink, nor have I since.
—Bob H., Phoenix, Ariz.
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