One of the best AA speakers, Bob D. shares one of his best experiences in recovery. He talks about how Alcoholics Anonymous has allowed him to find his way in life, and how his life has taken on new meaning.
Finding a primary purpose
After working the steps, there was “rightness” about everything in my life. All of a sudden, I had a sense of useful purpose. It was like everything in me started to make sense in the light of what had just happened. I started to realize that this is why the old timers had been hammering me to go on twelve step calls, because they knew something about me that I didn’t know. They knew that even this self-obsessed, narcissistic, self-involved, self-focused, and self-absorbed person that if I stayed in that venue long enough, one day something would happen. That is what happened that that night. I got relieved of the bondage of self. I think I’d been relieved briefly of it before in a couple of occasions but this night. I knew it. I knew that this is my primary purpose in being alive. This is the good juice here. This is what I live for. This is what lights me up like alcohol used to. It lights me up and gives me a sense of wholeness. It’s this. One of the guys I sponsor he says he talks about twelve step work and he says, “Oh yeah, that’s the good dope.” I’ve never found anything else that will do that for me.
I’ll tell you something. I went through most of my life as a kid and in my adult years with the feeling that I was missing something. There were guys I went to high school with and worked with, that it seemed like everything they touched turned to gold. It was like everything they did just worked out. They had great relationships with people, whatever job they had, they just went to the top. They were productive. They laughed a lot. They were happy and they were connected to something that it seemed like I couldn’t reach. They always were doing very well in life and some of these guys were real stupid, and it didn’t seem fair. I was much more intelligent and aware than these guys, and I knew the truth about life. These guys seemed happy at a level I was never capable of, and their life just clicked. However, they knew something I didn’t know. They knew that they weren’t alive for any other reason except to love other people. I existed. But I mainly tried to serve and fix myself.
But with this experience, it was the first thing that ever gave me a reason and knowledge of why I’m here. I don’t wonder anymore about what I’m going to do and what I’m going to be when I grow up. I don’t wonder anymore who I am. I don’t wonder anymore what my life’s about. I know absolutely why I’m here and I know why I’ve been saved from an alcoholic death. It is so I can help people that are just like me. I can’t help everybody, but I’m real good with people that are sick like I’m sick. If you don’t identify with me, there is going to be another speaker coming along that you will identify with, because we’ve got a wrench for every nut here. In the light of my primary purpose, all of a sudden everything in my life makes sense. It all has usefulness, even my worst defects of character. Even with some of the things I suffer from, my experience becomes useful, to the suffering alcoholic. I can help him where nobody else can, not because of ego or anything like that, but because he is me. Just like the line in our book that says the alcoholic properly armed with information about himself can help another alcoholic when nobody else can.