I got real lucky in 1978. I got to that point talks about in the Big Book, in the chapter “A Vision For You,” it was the point where couldn’t live with alcohol and couldn’t live without it. I was running from the law, hitchhiking cross-country with another guy and we made to Las Vegas, Nevada and ended up in a halfway house. I was just at the point that it talks about in the book where it says that we finally get beaten into a state of reasonableness, a point where we are as open minded and willing, as only the dying can be. I was so fortunate. You know, I think surrender is the solution to alcoholism. But I think like most solutions it evaporates very quickly. I was so lucky that when I was at my point of surrender which was a very brief window of opportunity, before the recuperative powers of my alcoholic ego returned, I had fallen into the hands of some members of Alcoholics Anonymous that were grounded in the principles in the Big Book. They believed in Alcoholics Anonymous with everything in them, and they were really vital active members of AA. They started to encourage me at my point of surrender and to do some things that maybe six months earlier, or even six months later, I wouldn’t have done.
I was given a unique opportunity and I started to form the habits and the disciplines of sober members of Alcoholics Anonymous. I started to form a meeting habit and a prayer habit as well. I was told I was sick. I was told, “We know you don’t believe in God. It’s quite all right. You just get down on your knees every morning and you ask whatever is running the universe for the power you need to stay sober. You get should also get down on your knees at the end of the day thank that power, knowing that you didn’t do that by yourself.” So I started to do this, and I didn’t even believe in God, but I believed what it talks about in this book that says there is a solution before we ever come to believe in a power greater than ourselves. It says that we first come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of our life as we’ve been living it. I had been in a trap I could not spring, of being drunk, then sober, then drunk, and so on. I just couldn’t do that anymore and I was willing to do anything to change that.
I started talking to my sponsor and a couple of members of my home group and started telling them what was going on inside of me, and what was going on outside too. M group was really big on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and I was told that I had to read something out of the book every day. I started going to book studies; I don’t know if it is something about me, but I can’t read this book by myself, sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me. But if I would read it with some other people, all of a sudden it’s like, “Oh yeah! Well, that wasn’t there in the book yesterday.” You know, it’s a funny deal. The last thing about my group was that they were entrenched in service and they let me know I was supposed to do something for somebody else every single day. They made it known the line that it says in the book that “as a problem drinker, my life depends upon my constant thought of others, and their needs, and how we can work for them.” Yep, my recovery is tied to the constant thought of others and helping them.