There are many incredible AA speakers, but Kip’s story has moved and inspired just about every single person that has listened to him. He talks about hitting bottom, which for him was incredibly low, and moving in to a wonderful new life of recovery using the twelve steps.
Hitting bottom and realizing it is one day at a time
On May 12, 1984, I came out of a blackout the same way I had come out of them thousand times before. My first conscious thought at the time was to hurry and get something in my body as quick as I possibly could. That was always my very first conscious thought after coming to from passing out. On this day, God gave me a moment though. God gave me a vision that morning that I don’t have the vocabulary to even explain it to you. What I saw and felt with every emotion in my body was like watching a movie. I watched this “movie” I was being shown and I remembered. I remembered the day they put that little girl in my arms. I felt such incredible overpowering love for that child. I remembered the promises that I made her and that I meant it with every fiber of my being. The “movie” immediately switched to this other picture. I saw a man walking past this little girl who was in a raggedy old dress and she was crying because she was hungry. Her father walked right by and just took her money for food and bought a bottle of wine. The man was me.
This is why first step is absolutely the most important step we ever take. The book says I must admit to my inner most self that I’m powerless over alcohol, it does not say about what you admit to your drug counselor, or your sponsor, or anyone else. You have to admit it deep down, in your innermost self, where you live, and where no one else can see. I knew I knew with every fiber of my being I was powerless. I would even steal the food out of my child’s mouth for a drink of alcohol. I am powerless over alcohol, it is my master. It tells me where I can live, where I can go, when I can go to bed, and when I have to get up. There is not room for anyone in this world if they are going to get in the way of me and my drinking. I got scared because the people in AA said that no human power was ever going to fix me.
I got down on my knees and said this little prayer that I have not changed much from that day to this. I said, “You know, I do not know who you are, and I do not know what you are going to do with me from this point on, but I will do absolutely anything you put in front of me if I don’t have to take a drink.” Right then and there I knew with every fiber of my being that I was not going to have to drink that day. It was my moment of surrender. Next I went to go see Charlie who was in AA. When I got there and told him what had happened he said, “I’ve got some good news, and I’ve got some bad news. The bad news is that people like you don’t get sober, period. People like you die in institutions and you die on the side of the road. They don’t even write your name down. The good news is this, I’ve been around here for a while and I see a teeny tiny little sparkle in your eye. I know what that is. God has opened a window for you. From here on, it’s going to have to be one day at a time, every day of your life.”