To my tribe ❤️
Hi, my name is Maria and I’m an alcoholic…
and I hate being here…
and I hate you and your smiley faces and laughter…
and I hate your book…
and I hate all your little sayings plastered all over the walls…
and I hate when you ask me if I have a sponsor…
and I hate when you run to hug me after a meeting and give me a list of women to call…
and I hate when you tell me to “keep coming back”…
and I hate saying that I’m an alcoholic…
and I hate myself most of all.
These were the exact thoughts that swarmed my head when I first began my journey with Alcoholics Anonymous.
In all honesty, I also hated your sobriety. How could it even be possible for you to have “X” amount of sober days? You’re lying. You must be.
I hated that you were “happy, joyous and free” (AA Big Book, p 133) and I was stuck in a deep, nightmarish, dark pit of “restless, irritable and discontent” (AA Big Book, p xxvii).
But you very gently kept checking in on me and offering me a new life. A design for living…
IF I would just be willing to honestly give your way of life a chance.
IF I was willing to admit that I was powerless over alcohol AND that my life had become unmanageable.
IF I was willing to work ALL of the Steps.
IF I was willing to get a sponsor…to humble myself to another human being and ask for help.
IF I was willing to trust that there was a way out of my misery.
IF I was willing to believe that there IS a SOLUTION.
IF I was willing to believe that YOU believed I could get sober.
IF I was willing to believe that a power greater than myself, a power of MY OWN UNDERSTANDING, would help me become who I really wanted to be.
What I really wanted was to be just like you…like those sober people in the rooms…even if I didn’t always like them or believe them. I really wanted that. It took me a while, but eventually, I really wanted to believe that I could do the work, exactly like you suggest, and that I could find myself again. Maybe even love myself again and maybe even find a way to be and stay sober.
So, I took your suggestions. I did the work and low and behold, you helped me save my own life. You, and your suggestions, and your book and your sayings on the wall, and your smiley faces and your rigorous honesty…all of it.
And, when I tried to thank you and express my gratitude for your love and guidance, you turned around and thanked ME for helping to keep YOU sober. “Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength and hope.” (Big Book, p. xxii) Bill W refers to this connection, one alcoholic to another, as the language of the heart.
It is simply amazing that you showed me, you actually became a living example of recovery, humility and acceptance. You, the same people whom I wanted nothing to do. Who I wanted to avoid. Who I shut out and prove that I just needed more will power to find sobriety and less of what you were offering. Goodness, how I was wrong.
You helped me find a version of myself that truly is the best version of me I have ever known.
I am so deeply grateful for this program. For all of the wonderful men and women who loved me when I couldn’t love myself. For everyone who told me to keep coming back even when I didn’t want to. I am especially grateful for my higher power, whom I call God, who brought me to the rooms of AA and the loving arms of all of you who show me every single day that recovery possible.
Thank you for helping me stay sober…just for today.
Thank you for being my “God with skin on”…just for today.
Thank you for helping me learn to love myself…just for today.
Thank you for helping me do this…one day at a time.
Thank you for being my tribe. ❤️